Integrating Design into Organizations: The Coevolution of Design Capabilities

Tua Björklund, Hanna Maula, Sarah Soule, Jesse Maula

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
517 Downloads (Pure)


Organizational leaders are increasingly turning to design approaches as a panacea for uncertainty and disruption. However, frictions between design and typical engineering and management practices make integrating design into organizations difficult. To do this well, it is necessary to foster the coevolution of two types of design capabilities: deep expertise in design practices and wide understanding, application, and scaffolds of design. Underestimating the coevolution leads to three typical “pitfalls” that can limit the effectiveness of investments in design. This article examines each of these tensions in the context of large technology companies and presents practical recommendations on how to avoid them.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0008125619898245
Pages (from-to)100-124
Number of pages25
JournalCalifornia Management Review
Issue number2
Early online date10 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • design
  • design thinking
  • innovation
  • strategy
  • organizational change
  • strategic management


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