Author: Kim, Kyulee
Title: An exploration on the roles of design to create shared value as an integrative social and business innovation process
Advisors: De Bont, Cees (SD)
Liu, Xihui Sylvia (SD)
Gutierrez, Laurent (SD)
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2020
Subject: Design -- Social aspects
Industrial design -- Social aspects
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Design
Pages: 199 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Ever since shared value's inception, the amount of design research in conjunction with shared value has been inadequate. It is the goal of this research to synthesize all available information on shared value to 1) understand what has been discovered regarding the relationship between shared value and design and 2) build a practical framework that will allow for a holistic understanding of shared value. Design's relationship to shared value deserves systematic study, and the framework developed from this research will serve as a device that effectively helps designers accelerate its implementation. This practical framework is formulated based on existing research (literature review) and empirical data (analysis of current practices through case studies and expert advice) to ensure an evidence-and data-driven approach. Three research gaps were identified in the literature review during the initial stage of this research. First, there was insufficient design research that examined shared value as theory. Second, no study articulated the wide array of roles that design can play to create shared value. Finally, existing business frames on shared value were insufficient for designers' use. With these three gaps, the study aimed to create a shared value framework relevant to design practice to bridge the gap between theory and practice. This subsequent conceptual framework will provide a holistic understanding of the roles of design in creating shared value. To achieve the aim, three research questions were addressed. The first two questions were stated to collect data and the last question was formulated to analyze data. Research Question 1: What practical design tasks were observed during the realization of shared value? Research method and key result: The four design projects were selected purposefully for case studies. In-depth interviews were conducted with project managers and entrepreneurs to identify practical tasks in shared value creation and observe how practitioners employ design to respond to those tasks. As one result, four case descriptions were written based on case studies. As another result, eleven design tasks were discovered, and those tasks were illustrated in sequence. Moreover, these tasks were often repeated through the iterative process of shared value creation. Expert interviews and deductive content analysis later revealed the iterative process was an essential precondition to effectively apply the eight roles of design to create shared value. Research Question 2: How should design practitioners (entrepreneurs and project managers) respond to those practical tasks? Research method and key result: Eight expert interviews were conducted and interviewees were asked to interpret the four cases. They identified shortcomings of the four cases and provided advice on achieving ideal shared value. As a result, eleven pieces of expert advice were listed to answer what those design practitioners should do to achieve ideal shared value. From the list of eleven, one of the most frequently mentioned was that shared value creators need to understand the iterative process of identifying evolving user needs and creating solution for optimal alignment of social and business goals. Six advices from eleven were found to be significant because multiple experts reiterated the suggestions. They are: need for stakeholder analysis, efforts for behavioral change, use of design tools, strong social purpose, genuine social action, and aligned vision among all collaborators. Research Question 3: What are the appropriate roles of design when aiming to create shared value? Research method and key result: Deductive content analysis was conducted to confirm the utility of the framework (eight roles of design to create shared value). Based on the proposed eight roles of design, codes were created. Case study and expert interview data were analyzed to check if all eight roles were fulfilled through those data. Data included a description of the actions practitioners took to create shared value and descriptions of what expert believed ideal shared value should be. As a result, all eight roles were discovered from the synthesized data. However, each of the four cases failed to fully employ the eight roles of design, illustrating the complexity of achieving ideal shared value and highlighting the importance of the iterative process. Moreover, the framework could demonstrate its utility as a potential diagnosis tool that displays the improvement opportunities from the current state of shared value endeavors.
Based on the research taken from the literature, practitioners and experts, a conceptual framework was created from the premise that ideal shared value requires integrative roles of design. Specifically, the four types of design (1. Formgiving, 2. Method and process, 3. System creation, 4. Strategy) were defined in two different contexts: business and social. Finally, 8D Framework is formulated in this research, and it describes eight design roles: 1. Differentiator, 2. User-centered design, 3. System design, 4. Top-down strategy, 5. Design to change user behavior, 6. Co-creation, 7. Ecosystem design, and 8. Bottom-up strategy. The findings of this research intend to improve shared value's role as a practical operational initiative beyond the theoretical mandate. Furthermore, this work aims to not only increase the awareness of shared value among design practitioners but also accelerate its implementation in the corporate world as it provides innovation opportunities. In expanding design's evolutionary journey in shared value, this research intends to serve as a bedrock and reference point to prospective in design and business, as well as students, design project managers, entrepreneurs, and other practitioners of shared value.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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