Towards an understanding of design leadership

Johann Riedel, Kulwant Pawar, Ahmad Beltagui

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


This paper aims to explore leadership styles in relation to the management of design. The paper is based on the analysis of data collected during a multiple-case study of the role of design in business. The study involved interviews with senior managers in six case companies. The paper proposes a typology of design leadership, which defines some characteristics of different leadership styles. Design can make an important contribution to the commercial success of firms (Black and Baker, 1987, Rothwell, 1992, Walsh et al., 1992, Sentance and Clark, 1997, Hertenstein et al., 2005). For many managers, however an excessively narrow view of design hinders a broader, more strategic approach towards its management (Schneider, 1989). There are arguments that design is misunderstood (von Stamm, 2004) or neglected by design illiterate managers (Kotler and Rath, 1984). In some companies, however, design is valued by managers and is key to the success of the business. Verganti (2008) cited examples of successful, design-intensive firms such as Alessi, whose management style nurtures the creativity of designers.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2009 IEEE International Technology Management Conference, ICE 2009
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9780853582595
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2016
EventIEEE International Technology Management Conference, ICE 2009 - Leiden, Netherlands
Duration: 22 Jun 200924 Jun 2009

Publication series

Name2009 IEEE International Technology Management Conference, ICE 2009


ConferenceIEEE International Technology Management Conference, ICE 2009


  • Design
  • Design Leadership
  • Design Management


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