Dela sida

Organizational sensemaking through enabling design services

Title: Organizational Sensemaking Through Enabling Design Services
Author: Magnus Eneberg
Affiliation: Department of Design Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
DOI:  10.3384/svid.2000-964X.12253
First published: 2012-12
Year: 2012
Pages: 53-59
Number of pages: 7
Language: English
Publisher: SVID, Swedish Industrial Design Foundation/Linköping University Electronic Press,Linköping University, Sweden
Publication type: Journal article
Journal: Swedish Design Research Journal
ISSN: 2000-964X
   

Download the article

 Download the article "Organizational sensemaking through enabling design services here (pdf, 606 Kb)

Abstract

It is argued that the focus of design is becoming increasingly intangible. At the same time as design consultants are expanding their offerings with new services aimed at enhancing innovation and the strategic process in client firms, studies indicate that industrial design consultancies have a problem getting commissioned and paid for the intangible parts of their service. One possible explanation is that design is regarded as providing a relieving service that delivers aesthetic competence at the end of a product development process. This indicates a problem in communicating the contribution of enabling design services to client firms.

The aim of this paper is to increase the understanding of enabling design services. This is done by comparing the characteristics of design thinking, its methods and processes with sensemaking theory as described by Weick (1995).

Conclusions

The seven properties of sensemaking have been compared with the three characteristics of design thinking to reveal similarities and differences and hence the contributions of an enabling design service. An enabling design service involves elements of learning and interaction to a greater extent than a relieving design service and thus would create a greater value since it generates new knowledge and competencies in the client firm. In contrast to relieving design services, the full potential of design is utilized in an enabling design service.

OD in contrast to design has had a history of treating deviations from an objective truth. Using a sensemaking perspective of OD moves the focus away from the search for an objective truth towards the existence of multiple perspectives. This view stresses that problems and the information used to solve them are not something that exists outside an organization but is co-created by the individuals inside the organization and the value network in which the organization participates.

Design on the other hand has had a focus on integrating dissimilar, often contradictory perspectives and contexts. The design consultant creates affordance when supporting an environment that allows the individual to perform actions and in this way facilitate the opportunity for different thought networks to merge and new competencies to be developed. In this context the design consultant would provide the client organization with a tool to enhance iteration between tacit and explicit knowledge, integrating hands with thought, and thus provide a common visual language that can facilitate intra- and inter organizational interaction.

Design education is argued to train students to become experimental and use an abductive mode of thinking with several explanatory hypothesis of the future. This could be contrasted to management education that often is characterized by an inductive or deductive mode of thinking. Since sensemaking takes place retrospectively (i.e. after an action has occurred), organizations would gain by using an abductive mode of thinking and hence the competencies of the design consultant in the OD process. By doing so, the ongoing flow of actions in the client organization is punctuated and the conditions created to present several fictional futures and contexts to be “tested” and meanings crystalized among the participants.

There is an obvious resemblance between the ontological and epistemological perspectives of organizational change theory influenced by sensemaking theory and the concept of design thinking. At the same time, they originate from dissimilar traditions and hence bring different methods and competencies to the table. In this paper some of the characteristics of design thinking have been discussed in a sensemaking context and hopefully this will contribute to the ongoing dialogue about the contribution of enabling design service in client organizations.

References

Ainamo, A. (2009) Building the innovation factory: the people dimension, Knowledge, Technology and Policy, 22(4).

Boland, R., Collopy, F., Lyytinen, K., & Yoo, Y. (2008) Managing as designing: lessons for organization leaders from the design practice of Frank O. Gehry. Design Issues, 24(1), 10–25.

Bradford, D., Warner Burke, W. (2005) Reinventing Organization Development: New Approaches to Change in Organizations. San Francisco, Preiffer.

Brown, T. (2008) Design Thinking, Harvard Business Review, 86(6), 84–95

Buchanan, R. (1995) Wicked Problems in Design Thinking. In R. Buchanan & V. Margolin (Eds.), The Idea of Design: A Design Issues Reader (pp. 3-20). Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Buchanan, R. (2001) Design research and the new learning. Design Issues, 17(4), 3–23.

Carmel-Gilfilen, C., Portillo, M. (2010) Developmental Trajectories in design thinking, Design Studies, 31(1), 74–91

Cooper, R., Press, M. (2001) The Design Agenda: A guide

to successful design management, Chichester, England, Wiley & Sons

Cross, N. (2006) Designerly Ways of Knowing, London: Springer

Delléra C., Marchesi A., Verganti R. (2008) Linguistic Network Configurations: Management of innovation in design intensive firms, International Journal of Innovation Management, 12(1), 1–21

Dewey, J. (1929) The Quest for Certainty: A Study of the Relation of Knowledge and Action. New York: Minton, Balch & Company.

Dunne, D., & Martin, R. (2006) Design thinking and how it will change management education. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 5(4), 512–523.

Döös, M. (2007) Organizational learning. In Educating the Global Workforce: knowledge, knowledge work and knowledge workers, L. Farrell & T. Fenwick (Eds.) London: Routledge.

Edeholt, H. (2004) Design innovation och andra paradoxer – om förändring satt i system [Design innovation and other paradoxes – on change applied to systems]. Doctoral dissertation, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden.

Eneberg, M. (2011) The enabling service of the industrial design consultancy: a change of focus from goods to service dominant logic. Licentiate thesis, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

Ford, C., & Ogilvie, D. (1996) The role of creative action in organizational learning and change, Journal of Organizational Change Management, 9(1), 54–62.

Hargadon, A., & Sutton, R. (1997) Technology brokering and innovation in a product development firm. Administrative Science Quarterly, 42(4), 716–749.

Hatch, M. J. (2006) Organization Theory: Modern, Symbolic, and Postmodern Perspectives, (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.

Krippendorf, K. (1989) On the essential contexts of artifacts or on the proposition that ‘design is making sense (of things)’. Design Issues, 5(2), 9–39.

Leavy, B. (2010) Design thinking – a new mental model of value innovation, Strategy & Leadership, 38(3), 5–14

Marshak, R., & Grant, D. (2008) Organizational discourse and new organization development practices. British Journal of Management, 19, 7–19.

Martin, R. (2010) Design thinking: achieving insights via the“knowledge funnel”, Strategy and Leadership, 38(2), 37–41

Mead, G. H. (1934) Mind, Self and Society. University of Chicago Press.

Nonaka, I. (2004) A dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation. In K. Starkey, S. Tempest, & A. McKinlay (Eds.), How Organizations Learn: Managing the Search for Knowledge (2nd ed.), 165–201. London: Thomson.

Norman, D. (2002) The Design of Everyday Things. New York: Basic Books

Norman, R. (2001) Reframing Business – When the map changes the landscape. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons

Olsson (Eneberg’s birth name), M., & Svengren Holm, L. (2009) Strategic growth of industrial design consultancy – a study of changes in ID consultancy in a post-industrial society. The 8th European Academy of Design Conference, Aberdeen, Scotland.

Rylander, A. (2011) Designtänkande – myt och möjlighet, ADA, 20th of September, http://www.adasweden.se/nyheter/branschspaning/designtankande-myt-och-mojlighet/ (retrieved September 20th, 2011)

Sawhney, M., & Prandelli, E. (2004) A dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation. In K. Starkey, S. Tempest, & A. McKinlay (Eds.), How Organizations Learn: Managing the Search for Knowledge (2nd ed.) (pp. 165–201). London: Thomson.

Selznick, P. (1949) TVA and the Grass Roots. Berkley, CA: University of California Press.

Schön, A. D. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. London: Basic Books Inc.

Simon, H. (1996) The Sciences of the Artificial, (3rd ed.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Stolterman, E. (2007) Designtänkande [Design thinking]. In S. Ilstedt Hjelm (Ed.), Under Ytan: en antologi om designforskning [Under the surface: an anthology on design research] (pp. 12–19). Stockholm: Raster Förlag/SVID.

Ullmark, P. (2007) Forskning, design och konst [Research, design and art]. In S. Ilstedt Hjelm (Ed.), Under Ytan: en antologi om designforskning [Under the surface: an anthology on design research] (pp. 20-29). Stockholm: Raster Förlag/SVID.

Ungaretti, T., Chomowicz, P., Canniffe, B., Johnson, B., Weiss, E., Dunn, K., & Cropper, C. (2009) Business + design: exploring a competitive edge for business thinking. SAM Advanced Management Journal, 2, 4–11.

Valtonen, A. (2007) Redefining Industrial Design: Changes in the Design Practice in Finland. Helsinki: University of Art and Design.

Vargo S., & Lusch, R. (2008) Why ‘service’?, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 36(1), 25–38.

Verganti, R. (2009) Design-Driven Innovation: Changing the Rules of Competition by Radically Innovating What Things Mean. Boston: Harvard Business Press.

Von Wright, G. H. (1986) Vetenskapen och Förnuftet [Science and Reason] (3rd ed.). Borgå, Finland: Bonnier.

Weick, K. E. (1995) Sensemaking in Organizations, (1st ed.). Thousand Oaks Cliff: Sage.

Werkman, R. (2010) Reinventing organization development: how a sensemaking perspective can enrich OD theories and interventions. Journal of Change Management, 10(4), 421–438.

SVID, Stiftelsen Svensk Industridesign | Besök: Söder Mälarstrand 29, 3 tr | Post: Söder Mälarstrand 57, 118 25 Stockholm | info@svid.se I 08-406 84 40

Dela

Anmäl dig nu till vårt nyhetsbrev

 

SVID, Stiftelsen Svensk Industridesign | Besök: Söder Mälarstrand 29, 3 tr | Post: Söder Mälarstrand 57, 118 25 Stockholm | info@svid.se I 08-406 84 40