Moving Design from Metaphor to Management Practice

  • Jeanne Liedtka Darden Graduate School of Business Administration
  • Bidhan Parmar Darden Graduate School of Business Administration

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.
Published
2012-12-14
How to Cite
Liedtka, J., & Parmar, B. (2012). Moving Design from Metaphor to Management Practice. Journal of Organization Design, 1(3), 51-57. https://doi.org/10.7146/jod.6298
Section
Translational Article