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How a Design Executive Officer (DEO) Can Craft an Organizational Culture

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AUTHOR(S):

 

Younjoon LEE and Jaewoo JOO

 

Prior work on the topic of design leadership highlights its role at a strategic
level and mainly focuses on the introduction and execution of creative
activities across disciplines within an organization. Therefore, prior studies
tend to delineate a Chief Design Officer (CDO) who manages and enhances
design (or creative) activities. Different from prior work, we shed light on the
corporate-level design leader, the Design Executive Officer (DEO) who instils a
design mindset into the organizational culture. In the present work, we clarify
a DEO by comparing it with a CEO and conduct a case study to establish its
relationship with employees. In particular, we use Brunswik’s Lens Model, a
well-accepted psychological mechanism, to understand how a DEO
communicates with employees. The present work contributes to the
academic discussion on design leadership by introducing the notion of a DEO
and its unique value in the business context. It will further assist designers to
expand their boundaries.

 

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

 

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