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Designer-led NPD Implementation Issues in Chinese SMEs

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Designer-led NPD Implementation Issues in Chinese SMEs How a Design Executive Officer (DEO) Can Craft an Organizational Culture 


Younjoon LEE and Jaewoo JOO


Design-oriented New Product Development (NPD) has been recognised as
beneficial for company growth; however, there is limited reporting on the
understanding of its effectiveness in a real-world context especially in Chinese
SMEs. This paper aims to explore issues related to the implementation of
designer-led NPD in a Chinese SME. An experiment was setup whereby two
NPD teams were assigned to conduct NPD concurrently. One of the teams
carried out the conventional NPD process model used by the company, and
the other adopted the designer-led NPD process model. A metrics tool was
built in the form of questionnaires for obtaining the views of the participants.
Results indicate that designer-led NPD is perceived to be more inclusive of
team member’s views, resulting in what we termed a ‘democratic’ NPD.
Although, it was relatively resource intensive as it required more time. , it
provided an opportunity for the company to produce a radical new product.
This research is a single case study suggesting that the marketing
performance of new products can be valuable for further understanding the
effectiveness of designer-led NPD and that the long term effectiveness of
designer-led NPD in Chinese SMEs requires further investigation.


PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2014


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