Tag Archives: design management

Why is it so hard to apply Design Thinking to Korean Companies?

Joo, J., Lee, A. J., & Park, J. H. (2018). A New Framework of Design Management and Three Additional Requirements To Apply Design Management to Korean Companies: Experience Design, Collaboration, and Trial and Error. Design Convergence Study, 17(6), 145–165.

The present research has two objectives. First, we introduce a new framework of design management proposed by Heather Fraser, the Director of Rotman Designworks. It comprises three gears: (1) user understanding, (2) concept visualization, and (3) strategic business design. Second, we investigate the key requirements that are necessary to apply the new framework to Korean companies. We collected fifty reports about the five special lectures from a new product development course at a university in Korea. These lectures were given by three designers and two product managers. We used interpretative analysis and followed three process of qualitative analysis of transcription, coding, and theme discovery. We derived specific requirements for applying design management to Korean companies: (1) experience design, (2) collaboration, and (3) trial and error. We introduced a novel design management framework and clarified the requirements how to successfully apply it to Korean companies. These findings imply that, firstly, executives and practitioners need to improve mutual communication and, secondly, corporations and agencies respect each other in their partner relationships.

Collaboration, Design Management, Design Thinking, Experience Design, Trial and Error

“In sum, our review of the past research on design management shows various approaches introducing design into chronological business management and supporting successful business cases. However, it focuses design management in the strategic stage; it does not provide specific assistance with practitioners who are interested in applying design management in their tasks. Therefore, we introduce a model for practitioners to undertake management planning efficiently” (pg. 150)

“…we should accept the meaning of designing the customer experience, which includes the company’s identity, rather than emphasizing the product’s design-centered simple styling. … respect is required in partner relationship of corporations and agencies. In order to activate design management, the corporation’s interior decision-making and organization structure should change” (pg. 162)

Designworks written by Heather Fraser

Jan Chipchase @ Seoul

Jan Chipchase


Hidden in plain sightSpeech at Seoul by Jan Chipchase (Executive Creative Director of Global Insights at Frog, Author of Hidden in Plain Sight)

Title: “Leap of Faith”

Synopsis:  “Drawing on over a decade working for Fortune 500 and Korean clients Jan’s talk will explore the use of real-world insights to inform and inspire design, strategy, challenge minds and flutter hearts. The talk will cover a sample project all the way through to cutting edge techniques in obtaining insight and discuss why sometimes, against the better judgement of the organization it requires a leap of faith.”

Time: October 28, 2013 (Mon) 4-6PM

Place: Conference Hall, Administration Building, Kookmin University




관찰의 힘얀 칩체이스 서울 강연 (프로그 디자인, 크리에이티브 디렉터 / 관찰의 힘, 저자)

제목: 믿음의 도약

시놉시스: 얀 칩체이스는 지난 10년동안 포춘 500대 기업과 한국 기업들을 대상으로 프로젝트를 수행하면서, 현실 세계에서 발굴한 인사이트가 디자인과 전략을 개선하고, 틀에 갇힌 사람들의 생각에 도전하며, 심지어는 사람의 마음을 움직일 수도 있다는 점을 보여주었습니다. 본 강연에서는, 기존에 수행한 프로젝트 뿐만 아니라 인사이트 발굴에 사용되는 기법들도 함께 선보일 예정이며, 다양한 사례와 기법들을 통하여 언제, 왜 데이터에 기반한 판단보다 믿음이 조직의 발전에 도움이 되는지 논의하려고 합니다.

시간: 2013년 10월 28일 (월) 오후 4-6시

장소: 국민대학교 본부관 학술대회장

참고 1) 동아비즈니스리뷰 인터뷰 (201308): “르완디 시장조사때 밀수꾼 인터뷰… 극단적 아웃라이어는 통찰의 보고”

참고 2) 조선일보 인터뷰 (20131008): “제품 기능에만 치중하면 실패… 소비자 깊숙한 내면적 욕망 읽어야”



Welcome Jan! On Oct 28, 2013, he gave a speech at Kookmin University, Seoul. He shared with the attendants his unique perspective and rich insights as an Executive Creative Director of Global Insights at Frog and author of Hidden in Plain Sight. In total, 280 people showed up. This event was run by Ran Yoon who is working at the product development team, SK Telecom, and used to work at the marketing team, Samsung Electronics Canada. One of the attendants, Jaeyong Yi, the president of PXD, a Korean design consulting agency, wrote his review in Korean language.


Jan Chipchase @ Kookmin University

Jan Chipchase

Apple and Samsung took different approaches toward design thinking


DML_design thinking

… Samsung is a good example of a “technology push” firm. Samsung has been a late mover in the electronics market. Responding to unparalleled business challenges, the company first expanded its design team from 200 designers in the late 1990s to 1000 designers in 2012. Samsung has made noticeable debuts in winning several international design awards. However, the company’s intuitive and analytic teams needed to work closely before they were able to deeply understand and appreciate each other’s way of working. The forced collaboration produced challenging decision-making conflicts—the types of conflicts that are difficult to resolve without a moderator. Instead, decisions were made exclusively by the intuitive team or exclusively by the analytic team. This issue explains why Samsung has performed well in design awards, but has not yet introduced an iconic product like the iPhone…

… Apple approaches design thinking differently from Samsung. Its design team does not communicate with its manufacturing team. Instead, an independent team (consisting of Steve Jobs and his supporters) made most of the firm’s business decisions. In the process, Jobs limited the decision-making power of the analytic teams in order for them to be comparable with the power of the intuitive team. Note that although Steve Jobs was often criticized for his assertive decisions, he did free the intuitive team from the analytic team. As a result, Apple products are welcomed by a massive number of consumers—even though their individual features do not necessarily outperform the products manufactured by their competitors …


Research questions about design

Research topics @ DMI_20120808 001
Research topics @ DMI_20120808 001

Research topics @ DMI_20120808 002
Research topics @ DMI_20120808 002

Research topics @ DMI_20120808 003
Research topics @ DMI_20120808 003

At the 2012 International Design Management Research Conference  (August 8-9, 2012 @ Boston), I have attended a group discussion session called Research Methodology Clinic. Its description says,

Join us for a group conversation, facilitated by Alison Rieple and Jeanne Liedtka, in which interested colleagues come together to offer feedback and coaching to each other on the thorny issues we face as academic researchers in design related areas. Come with a research issue you’ve been struggling with and/or to offer your successful methodological insights to others!

In this session, 12 participants have shared not only their research methodologies but also their research topics. From the pictures above, you will be able to identify who was studying which topic. The research topics vary from DESIGN (Understanding how design really happens), DESIGN THINKING (Definition, construct, and application / Its relationship with management), and DESIGNERS (Collaborative problem solving / Decision-making) to DESIGN POLICY (Corporate level of design polity), INNOVATION (Metrics to identify innovators), DESIGN PROCESS (toolkit, activities, and actions) and SERVICE DESIGN.