Forty Years of Research in Design Management: A Review of Literature and Directions for the Future


  • Brigitte Borja de Mozota Université Paris X Nanterre, Paris, France
  • Fabiane Wolff Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos/UNISINOS: Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil


Defining the research in Design Management (DM) involves the intersection of two disciplines: management sciences and design sciences. We focus on design management research and summarize the diversity of the relationship between these two interdisciplinary fields through a study of the international literature published between 1977 and 2017 on the subject. Firstly, the hybrid territory of design management is defined through its keywords and their evolution; using various definitions of design management, a representation of the place of design within organizations then starts to emerge. Secondly, the analysis focuses on the five key themes of design management developed in the literature— the value of design, the methods and skills of design, the tools of design, its integration in other functions, and the theme of “better manager by design”—as well as the resulting models. Finally, this review of the literature highlights the emergence in the discourse of two complementary forces: design management and design leadership.






Special Issue: Design Management