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Title: Learning to practice : a case study in dynamic learning at the interface of design and business
Author: Murphy, Emma
ISNI:       0000 0004 2736 5472
Awarding Body: University of Dundee
Current Institution: University of Dundee
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis presents a PhD research project into how learning takes place at the interface of design and client business in a leading-edge design consultancy. The role of design has changed from what was once considered a tactical activity, to a more strategic role today. Designers today are also faced with increasingly complex problems, and debate surrounding the modern emergence of design thinking (Brown, 2009, Lockwood, 2010, Martin, 2009) suggests that designers, now more than ever, need to be client business-aware in order for the UK design industry to remain competitive. Designers therefore, need client business-awareness. But how do they learn to bolster their client business-awareness while working in industry? Can this be used to inform the delivery of design education? This thesis uses a qualitative case study research methodology to examine how designers working in a complex and competitive industry learn to become more client business-aware, and it extends the examination of these findings from the particular case study to the design industry, and to the wider context of the delivery of design education. Factors of influence include methods of learning, specific learning activities, environment and culture. This thesis also uncovers a phenomenon later referred to as the tacit-explicit-tacit dimension. When examining knowledge frameworks in organisations, the literature highlights the desire to make tacit principles explicit and for these to remain explicit, and even to then 'proceduralise' these into a code of practice, or set of procedures (Bohn, 1998). And so, the principles of making something explicit that was once tacit tend to focus on the area of knowledge. This thesis, however, will demonstrate how tacit principles surrounding the acquisition of client-facing business-awareness are made explicit, and then, instead of these elements remaining explicit or becoming 'proceduralised', are made tacit once more, by embedding and tailoring this now explicit 'awareness' into the fabric of the organisation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available