Managing New Product Innovation: Proceedings of the Conference of the Design Research Society

Managing New Product Innovation: Proceedings of the Conference of the Design Research Society

Managing New Product Innovation: Proceedings of the Conference of the Design Research Society

Managing New Product Innovation: Proceedings of the Conference of the Design Research Society

Synopsis

The papers that comprise this volume present examples of design led product development in a wide range of industries, from engineering through to design management and consultancy. The book is aimed at professionals and upper undergraduates.

Excerpt

Bob Jerrard, Myfanwy Trueman and Roger Newport

This book presents a selection of papers from the Design Research Society conference Quantum Leap: managing new product innovation, held at the University of Central England from 8 to 10 September 1998. The event was held in collaboration with the University of Bradford Management Centre, the Design Council, the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Chartered Society of Designers.

THE MEANING AND VALUE OF DESIGN

It has been said that “a nation's competitiveness depends on the capacity of its industry to innovate” (Porter, 1990) but it is increasingly difficult for industrial companies to produce successful new products in the face of intense global competition and today's turbulent business environment. Hard pressed managers have to make difficult decisions in a complex world of perpetual change and a climate that has been described as “permanent white water” (Bartlett and Ghoshal, 1995). Can design be used to support these decisions and sustain a competitive advantage?

To be successful, innovative products must take into account opportunities provided by new technology and materials on the one hand but they must not loose sight of the customer on the other. According to leading designers Seymour Powell (1993), there is a need to take “no more than half a quantum leap at a time” to stay in touch with customers and others working on each new project. If designers loose touch with the values, beliefs and needs of the market place it may be difficult to get new products accepted, and if companies do not have an integrated project team, problems are likely to occur even before product launch. This might be related to the 'millennium dome effect', people could not fail to be impressed by the design and technological achievement of London's millennium dome but there was a great deal of uncertainty in July 1998 about its value and purpose. To counter this, Fujimoto (1990) points out that successful products require 'integrity'-a blend of productability, usability and appropriateness.

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