Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management.

Publication Details

International Product Development Management Conference Universidad de Murcia, 14-16 June 2010


The role of design and designers in new product development (NPD) has always been problematic and complex in its approach and in the extent of its involvement (Leenders et al., 2007; Murray and O’Driscoll, 1996; Veryzer and Borja de Mozota, 2005). As the industrial design profession seeks to confront the challenges of a recessionary environment, both the designer led ‘intuitive’ approach to NPD, and the marketer led ‘systematic’ approach become outmoded (Cross, 2001; Martin, 2007). There is shortcoming, even ambivalence, in the NPD and design management literature as to how design is involved in NPD (Cooper et al., 2003; Olson et al., 1998). Perks et al. (2005) suggest the designer’s involvement is moving from merely functional expertise to broader leadership activities. The research reported in this paper seeks to contextualise the fledgling position of design as NPD leader, and to understand the nature and level of design and designer involvement in NPD.