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Title: A study of design innovation framework for innovative manufacturing companies in the UK
Author: Na, Jea Hoo
ISNI:       0000 0004 5914 7605
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2016
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The importance of design to enhance innovation in businesses has gradually diversified with the expansion of the meaning and influences of design, and is now regarded as a critical strategic tool to increase commercial competitiveness and sustainable growth in a complex global market. Concurrently, the importance of embracing the extensive scope of innovation - including technological, product/service, process and organisational innovation - in businesses, especially in manufacturing companies, has been identified by scholars, industry bodies and the government as a way to avoid the ‘locked-in’ effect of existing technology and a business model which could hinder competitiveness. In this context, innovative manufacturing is regarded as an enabler for developing advanced and high-value manufacturing, which are considered as being of strategic importance in achieving the UK’s global competitiveness and economic balance. The research, however, identified a relatively narrow view and use of design in innovative manufacturing, limiting the potential benefits of ‘designing’, ‘design strategy’ and ‘corporate-level design thinking’ to systematically enhance the extensive scope of innovation. The research therefore aims to create a design innovation framework to provide a comprehensive overview of design innovation actions and influences for UK innovative manufacturing companies to further improve innovativeness. The research consists of three phases: (i) the exploration phase, which explores the expanding role of design and innovation, and the context of UK innovative manufacturing, (ii) the development phase, which establishes the relationship between design and innovation in the business context, and discovering the design innovation characteristics which form the design innovation framework and its implementation process, and (iii) the evaluation phase which identifies the adaptability and usefulness of the framework in the innovative manufacturing context. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used, including a questionnaire survey (n=48), in-depth interviews with academics and industrial experts in manufacturing and design innovation (n=36), and case-studies of UK innovative manufacturing companies (n=46). The research identified twenty design innovation characteristics with six main benefits including: (i) problem/opportunity identification, (ii) extensive collaboration, (iii) clear communication, (iv) innovative product and service development, (v) effective process development, and (vi) work culture and environment improvement. The design innovation framework and implementation process recommended by the research therefore provide a comprehensive overview of the influence of design innovation to achieve creative idea generation, optimise the business environment, and successful commercialisation which enables the improved product/service, process and organisational innovativeness of UK innovative manufacturing companies.
Supervisor: Choi, Y. ; Harrison, D. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available