Cabirio Cautela Michele Simoni

The Management of Outsourced Creative and Design Services: Managerial Trade-offs and Organizational Configurations

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Design is receiving an increasing attention by scholars and designers. In particular, product design has become not solely an activity devoted at increasing product aesthetics but also a culture that pervades management strategic thinking. Design-driven innovation has extended its scope beyond the development of the product meaning and the «reason why» customers buy products to the creation of firm's brand identity, the definition of offering positioning and the management of market relationships. Therefore, the decision to engage with designers and other supplier of creative services to improve firm's competitiveness has become strategic in nature. Based on an in depth review of current innovation and design management literature, the paper identifies four different managerial tradeoffs that managers address when they recruit designers, assemble a designer portfolio and manage this portfolio: the degree of control of the creative process, the degree of control of the brand identity, the degree of control of the variety of creative sources, the degree of control of the creative spillovers.


  • Innovation Management
  • Design Management
  • Designer Portfolio
  • Creative Services
  • Organizational Configuration


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