Moving Design from Metaphor to Management Practice

Journal of Organization Design, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 51-57 (2012)

Darden Business School Working Paper No. 2253293

7 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2013 Last revised: 14 Jan 2015

See all articles by Jeanne Liedtka

Jeanne Liedtka

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Bidhan L. Parmar

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Date Written: December 13, 2012

Abstract

Despite the centrality of “design” to the field of organizational science, we argue that its use has remained at the level of metaphor rather than practice. Donald Schon’s concept of “reflection in action” addresses this gap by describing how managers can practice designing by generating problem frames as hypotheses, and then testing and refining those hypotheses in the situation. Much of management theory has focused on stable and predictable situations where problem framing is less important. As practitioners and scholars alike increasingly embrace the complexity and ambiguity of the global business environment, Schon’s ideas are starting to take hold. In this article, we explore Schon’s concept of the “reflective practitioner” and show how it can move beyond theory to implementation.

Keywords: Design, design process, problem framing, hypothesis generation

Suggested Citation

Liedtka, Jeanne and Parmar, Bidhan L., Moving Design from Metaphor to Management Practice (December 13, 2012). Journal of Organization Design, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 51-57 (2012) ; Darden Business School Working Paper No. 2253293. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2253293

Jeanne Liedtka (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
804-924-1404 (Phone)
804-924-6378 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/liedtka.htm

Bidhan L. Parmar

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
148
Abstract Views
665
rank
201,898
PlumX Metrics