Design is increasingly recognized as offering strategic value to business in driving innovation, and has assisted organizations in balancing the needs of several stakeholders while maintaining competitiveness. However, for organizations which are not design-oriented, realizing outcomes through design can present a complex challenge. This paper presents the findings of a two-year action research project, and contributes a method for building an appetite for design, developing an awareness of the value design can offer, and for taking action within organizational constraints. Outcomes include enhanced perception of design methods, a clearer understanding of stakeholders, and the contribution of a framework for integrating design in organizations yet unfamiliar with the value of design.
This article presents findings from a two-year longitudinal action, research study exploring the challenges and outcomes of attempting to develop design capability in one of Australia's largest non-profit aged-care providers. The research identifies four distinct objectives for design utilization in practice, and suggests that existing approaches for design utilization overlook non-profit organizations that seek both economic and social viability. While the objectives of realizing economic and social outcomes are addressed in design literature, there is an absence of literature detailing how non-profit organizations could utilize design to realize these outcomes. This research, therefore, contributes the non-profit design ladder—a framework to assist non-profit organizations to further develop their utilization of design and foster design as an organizational capability.