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Design Thinking and Corporate Entrepreneurship: an exploratory study

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This study explores the connection between design thinking and corporate
entrepreneurship. As suggested by earlier pioneering studies, the potential of
design thinking for recognising entrepreneurial opportunities is researched. In
addition, the levers and challenges of design thinking are subject to this study
to find other links between design thinking and corporate entrepreneurship.
We conducted expert interviews with eleven interviewees in ten
organisations. The study revealed a variety of approaches that have been
structured. Design thinking is utilised to improve new product and service
development. The study revealed ambiguous results whether design thinking
leads to new entrepreneurial opportunities. Understanding the user can be
one element leading towards opportunities, however, the organisation needs
to be capable to act on them. In addition, design thinking is often linked to
corporate entrepreneurship in other ways, namely the partnering with startups
and championing a project. These findings open important avenues for
further research on the connection between design thinking and corporate
entrepreneurship, namely in respect of strategic renewal as well as the
collaboration with start-ups.


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


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