Using Design Briefs to Empirically Replicate and Extend the ‘Designence’ Model of Strategic Design Value


  • Ian D Parkman University of Portland



Despite increasing attention from academics and practitioners Design Management lacks a widely-agreed upon empirical measure. This paper proposes a new conceptualization of Design Management based on the view of design as a “managed process” within organizations (Bruce and Bessant, 2002, p. 38). We employ an expert rating procedure of product design briefs and Exploratory Factor Analysis to derive eleven factors of information elements contained within these document that constitute Design Management: F1 Insights into Customers; F2 Business Model; F3 Product Aesthetics; F4 Authenticity; F5 Symbolic/ Experiential Value; F6 Functional Value; F7 Promotions/ Distribution; F8 Sustainability; F9 Production/ Development; F10 Project Management; F11 Risk/ Safety. Further, we clarify the strategic role of Design Management by relating these factors to measures of firm performance at the product project- and competitive advantage-levels. Our findings are rationalized using the Balanced Score Card for Design Management approach, made up of: (1) Customer Perspective; (2) Process perspective; (3) Learning and Innovation perspective; and (4) Financial perspective. Our results confirm the overwhelmingly positive relationship between Design Management and firm performance and highlights the differential effects of individual factors across the two measures.

Author Biography

Ian D Parkman, University of Portland

Associate Professor of Marketing at the Pamplin School of Business