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Title: A theory of value in design
Author: Reber, Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 4108
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2011
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The continual strife to increase value in business economy attracts increasing attention in research. The contribution that design can make to economic value positions it as an important research area (Borja de Mozota, 2006; Daniels, 2006; Desbarats, 2006; Hertenstein and Platt, 2006; Lockwood, 2006; Phillips, 2006). However, investigations reveal that current literature provides different interpretations and highlights different aspects of the value phenomenon, but lacks a more fundamental formalism of value. A theory of value in the context of design (TVD) is provided in this thesis. The theory provides a means to support the development of more comprehensive explanations on the value phenomenon and consequently on value in the context of design. The value phenomenon was investigated from a value perspective in terms of axiology, economics, psychology, sociology, value interpretations across disciplines, and value types; and from a design perspective in terms of value interpreta tions in design, product and process value management, economic value of design, and human values in design. Knowledge gaps were identified and it was concluded that there was a need for a more fundamental formalism of value. Value and design theory characteristics were investigated and it was concluded that a theory provides a means for such formalism. The theory building in this thesis was based on critical realism. The person, cognition, determination, situation, interpretation, entity, and criteria axioms of value were identified, providing insights on the fundamental characteristics of value. A model of value determination (VDM) was then developed, highlighting the role of the cognitive activities involved. Based on the value axioms and the VDM, explanations on value-related phenomena were provided. A theory of value in design was then postulated in terms of key elements and construct relationships. The validity of the TVD was investigated using a protocol analysis, open-interviews, and a requirements analysis. Pros and cons of the work were revealed and further work on taking the research forward was discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral