Identifying Design Opportunities

3.00 credit hours

Designing is giving form to an idea for a more desirable product, service, process or organization, and refining the idea into something that can be delivered reliably and efficiently. Good design integrates these evolving ideas with the day-to-day realities of a firms' operations, systems, marketing, economics, finance and human resources. Designing is thus a unique managerial activity that brings together changing technologies, capabilities, relationships, activities and materials to shape an organization's plans and strategies. It combines analysis and synthesis to create opportunities for improvement and means of attaining them. Viewed this way, designing is a core competence of a successful entrepreneur or innovative leader. Design analysis is the systematic review of the four orders of design found in every firm--namely, the firm's communications, products, interactions and environments--and the creation of opportunities to increase firm value by improving each. Students will identify ill-defined, ill-structured problems within organizations. Such problems are ones for which there are no definitive formulations and for which the formulation chosen affects the solutions available. For such problems, there is no explicit way of knowing when you have reached a solution, and solutions cannot necessarily be considered correct or incorrect. But finding innovative solutions to such problems can provide unique opportunities to create exceptional value. A major outcome of the semester's inquiry is a presentation of the design problem and proposed design solution.

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Weatherhead School of Management
Case Western Reserve University

10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7235 USA

216.368.2030

weatherhead@case.edu