Tag Archives: Heather Fraser

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

Design works published in Korea

Heather Fraser published “Design works: how to tackle your toughest innovation challenges through business design” five years ago. It demonstrates how organizations can drive innovation and growth through Business Design – a discipline that integrates design-inspired methods and mindsets into business development and planning. Roger Martin said in his forward that “This book tells the story of the 3 Gears of Business Design, simply and practically. Its goal is to provide an easy-to-use guide for organizations that are eager to harness the power of Business Design.” The Korean version of the Design works is published in Korea.



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Author: Heather M. F. Fraser / A seasoned business strategist, brand-marketing expert, and longtime entrepreneur and educator, Heather is a global thought leader in Business Design. Heather co-founded Rotman DesignWorks with Roger Martin in 2005 and served as Executive Director of DesignWorks through 2012. She has cultivated Business Design as a discipline, delivered student curriculum, and led innovation programs for over 3000 executives. She advises leading organizations on how to advance their business through innovation, including teams from Procter & Gamble, Nestle, Pfizer, General Electric, Target, and VF Corporation.

Translator: Jaewoo Joo / Jaewoo Joo is an Assistant Professor of Marketing in the College of Business Administration and a Participating Professor of Experience Design in the Graduate school of Techno Design, both at Kookmin University. He earned his Ph.D. in Marketing from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Jaewoo writes and teaches about Design Marketing and New Product Development (NPD) through the lens of the Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making (JDM).

Translator: Ran Yoon / Ran Yoon is a product planner and marketer at SK Telecom, the leading service carrier company in Korea, and collaborates with a wide variety of planners, developers, and designers. Previously, she worked as a planner and marketer at Samsung Electronics Canada.


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Please click here for more detailed information about the Korean-version Design Works.