LINGUISTIC NETWORK CONFIGURATIONS: MANAGEMENT OF INNOVATION IN DESIGN-INTENSIVE FIRMS
In today's business and academic arenas, design is more and more viewed as an important strategic resource. In fact, over the last couple of years, we have seen a real explosion in business and research literature that see scholars and companies alike trying to continuously link design to innovation and business strategy. With this paper, our intent is to understand how companies can take better advantage of this strategic resource, and in particular develop a set of organisational guidelines that can support them in this quest. To accomplish this, we analysed the innovation processes of a set of leading design driven companies in the furniture industry to identify how they develop product innovations. What we found is that they adopt particular practices and innovation approaches by collaborating with a series of interpreters; moreover they structure themselves in what we have defined as linguistic network that can vary according to specific configurations. The focus of this paper is therefore on defining and making explicit the characteristics of the linguistic network able to improve a company's capabilities to access diffused knowledge about socio-cultural models and increase the "exposure" toward context evolutions.
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