The Innovation-Styling Spectrum: Factors Constraining the Design Ambition of UK SMEs
This paper describes the development of a framework depicting a spectrum of approaches to managing industrial design. This framework is based on literature and case examples, and four representative cases are described in detail. The concept of design ambition is defined and preliminary findings indicate that companies which display higher levels of design ambition that their competition can gain significant commercial advantage. There is some evidence to suggest a connection between technology maturity, design orientation and design ambition, but further data is needed to draw firm conclusions. In addition, a range of barriers to improving design ambition have been identified. Further work will focus on the development of a practical approach to overcome these barriers, in the form of a decision support tool to assist in the valuation of industrial design involvement.