طراحی مبتنی بر فن آوری و رشد اقتصادی پایدار
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|15624||2012||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Technovation, Available online 18 July 2012
This paper seeks to analyze how design creates economic value. The literature on knowledge-based economic development has primarily focused on innovation as the analytical lens, whereas design is the original action that leads to innovation. Despite the fundamental importance of design, existing design research has offered few insights and little guidance for national strategies due to the lack of focus on and analysis of design in an economic context. This paper addresses such gaps by linking design research and economic development theory. We first elaborate on the relationship among design, invention and innovation, describing the necessity of design activity for invention and innovation. Our analysis of the fundamental characteristics of design across contexts sheds light on the strategic importance of the accumulative nature of technology-based design for sustaining economic growth. Through the lens of technology-based design, we further quantitatively compare Singapore and three similarly-sized countries (South Korea, Finland and Taiwan). Based upon interview data, we also qualitatively examine Singapore's national strategy focusing on design. The quantitative and qualitative results align well with the Singaporean government's use of design as a strategic lever to pursue innovation-driven economic growth, and also reveal its achievements and shortfalls which indicate possible directions for strategic adjustment.
Innovation is the critical driver of economic growth (Schumpeter, 1934 and Solow, 1956), especially in advanced economies which have approached the frontier of knowledge and thus face limited opportunities to adapt exogenous technologies for production (Porter, 1990). Because of its clear importance, there have been numerous studies of how regions and nations can foster innovation through managing such factors as R&D manpower and spending (Mowery and Rosenberg, 1998 and Griliches, 1998), industrial environment and competitive dynamics (Rosenberg, 1963 and Porter, 1990), government policy and institutional environment (Lundvall, 1992, Nelson, 1993 and Freeman, 1995), etc. In particular, the growing body of research on design has added greatly to our knowledge of the innovation process (Baldwin and Clark, 2000, Dym et al., 2005 and Weisberg, 2006). However, despite their relevance and importance, the findings and theories from design research have been overlooked in innovation policy and economic development studies (Hobday et al., 2012). This paper supplements the preceding economic development studies on innovation alone by addressing design as the specific activity which results in innovation. In doing so, we build upon prior work which treats design as the process through which innovations emerge (Aubert, 1985 and Walsh, 1996), and focus on technology-based design for its specific advantage over other types of design in sustaining economic growth. To our best knowledge, we are the first to link design research and economic development theory. In so doing, the work leads to new insights for national strategies for an innovation-driven economy. Innovation, as defined by Schumpeter (1934), is “new combinations”, and also – in the language of economics – “the setting up of a new production function.” Schumpeter's concept of innovation includes technical, marketing and organizational activities. According to Solow (1957), technology-based innovation accounts for more than 80% of long term economic growth and has been the emphasis of most studies on “innovation”. Technology innovation refers to the introduction of a new product, improvement in quality, and a new method of production, etc. (Hagedoorn, 1996). Innovation comes after invention and is invention that has successfully diffused in use, achieving real economic and social impact. Both invention and innovation emerge through a design process. Design is defined herein as a human process that uses knowledge to produce novel objects that are appreciated by or are useful to other humans. Inventions are creatively designed by humans with new mechanisms and/or new functions. The most recognizable inventions historically, such as the steam turbine, the electric generator, the light bulb, the car and the computer, were all “designed” and are thus “design output”. However, not all design efforts will necessarily result in invention, as some efforts result in less novelty than judged necessary for the label of invention. In a similar sense, not all inventions (despite their useful novelty) have sufficient benefits or are communicated in a way to result in adequate efforts to achieve diffusion and thus become an innovation. The relationship between innovation, invention and design output is shown in Fig. 1. Design activities create the possibilities for invention and innovation, but do not guarantee them. The design output may be inventions or not, and in turn inventions may become innovations or not.However, innovation scholars on occasion overlook the design process, largely because the design process is difficult-to-anticipate and even difficult to recognize objectively. In contrast, the term “design” is used more often than “innovation” and “invention” by technologically-based practitioners, simply because design is the specific action which humans pursuing innovation actually perform. Thus, when one thinks about enhancing innovation, promoting design activities is more actionable than the narrative focus of innovation. In turn, design capability enables continual delivery of new products, services, and solutions, so is important as a strategic asset for a firm, region or nation to build up in order to compete in a knowledge-based global economy. Mastering it will give firms or regions sustainable competitive advantage (more detailed explanations are in Section 2.3). Therefore, focusing on promoting design activities and building up national design capability as explicit national strategies allows one to be more specific about what can be done for innovation. When considering “design”, many studies combine various kinds of design in questionable ways; for example combining engineering design with industrial or aesthetic design (Candi and Saemundsson, 2008) and sometimes combining what “CAD (Computer Aided Design) technicians” do with engineering design (Walsh, 1996). This ambiguity has limited the potential for effective actions to be taken. Following a survey and synthesis of the broader deign research literature in Section 2, we link design to an economic context as is necessary for innovation, and doing so allows “technology-based design” to appear fundamentally most valuable for driving and sustaining economic growth. We use “technology-based design” instead of an equivalent term “engineering design” (Dym et al., 2005) in order to explicitly emphasize the intensive use of scientific and technological knowledge and techniques in such processes. On that basis, we further use “technology-based design” as the analytical lens to examine national attempts to move towards an innovation-driven economy. We particularly examine Singapore, assisted with a comparison with Taiwan, Korea and Finland. All four of these countries have been heavily involved in moving into higher value-added activities and thus improving their design capability. The emphasis on Singapore arises because it is the only country, to our best knowledge, whose national strategy has explicitly emphasized the promotion of “design”-related activities for sustaining the nation's economic growth. We conducted on-site semi-structured interviews at a number of organizations that participate in design-related initiatives in Singapore, in spring 2011, and report the interview results in this paper. Our analysis at the national level has important similarities to national innovation studies (Lundvall, 1992, Nelson, 1993 and Freeman, 1995), which emphasize the active roles played by specific institutions (companies, universities, government agencies, intermediary organizations, etc.) and government policies, and their interaction in nurturing innovations in specific countries (see Dosi, 1988 and Nelson, 1993 for comprehensive reviews of the perspectives in the national innovation system literature). In this paper, we also examine the incentives and behaviors of different kinds of institutions and their interactions in a national system. In addition to that, we believe that emphasizing knowledge development in technology-based design in the examination supplements what national innovation system studies have been able to conclude. The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 reviews design research broadly and then design in an economic context which narrows the emphasis to technology-based design. Section 3 discusses potential metrics to assess national design capability. Section 4 uses such metrics to compare Singapore and three other three countries quantitatively, and Section 5 further examines Singapore's national design strategy using interview data. The final section concludes and discusses directions for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The literature on developing a knowledge-based economy has primarily focused on innovation as the analytical lens, whereas design is a valuable additional focus because it helps identify actions when one thinks about fostering innovation as an outcome of successful design. However, prior design research has offered few insights and guidance for innovation policies and national economic growth strategies. The limitation is largely due to the lack of focus (design is often viewed too broadly to guide specific actions) and the lack of research analyzing design in an economic context. To fill this gap between design research and economic policy, we analyzed the design research literature in an economic context. This analysis first identified that the cumulative nature of technology-based design has important strategic value for sustaining long-term economic growth. Economic growth will be sustained when a country's future success can accumulatively build on its prior achievements and expertise. Only technology-based design, as opposed to the non-technical designs (e.g., aesthetic design, industrial design, etc.), directly bring the advantages of “accumulation”. This finding is sufficient to allow us to argue that, countries (such as Singapore, China) striving to sustain knowledge-based economic growth should focus their innovation policies on technology-based design and building national capabilities for such design. Our argument – grounded on design research – is quite significant both in a scholarly and in a policy sense. Making use of the lens of technology-based design, we assess and compare the design capabilities in four similar countries. Overall, our macro-level quantitative analysis indicates that each of these countries is on a significantly different path for its evolution of design capability and that, none of these countries is without concerns about their progress to a sustainable knowledge economy. More detailed examination of Singapore found that, while Singapore has the most comprehensive top-down strategy for pursuing design that we are aware of globally, the current activities (programs and incentives) seem to have over-emphasized non-technical designs (e.g., look-and-feel and industrial designs) relative to technology-based designs. These conclusions agree with the Singaporean government's use of design as a strategic lever to pursue knowledge-driven economic growth, but also reveal shortfalls which indicates possible directions for strategic adjustment–some of which may well be underway as discussed in Section 5.5. From an academic viewpoint, improvement of the assessment of design capability would be a viable way to proceed further. The metrics used in the present assessment do not differentiate themselves much from those used to examine national innovation capacity, although the technologically-significant publication rate and decomposition of patent sources have – to our knowledge – not been utilized previously. This may be partially due to the good availability of data on design outcomes (some of which become invention and innovation), and the lack of data on the macro characteristics of the processes of design. Thus, continued development of useful data sources in general is also seen as important even at this stage. Not to mention the data on the characteristics of design process, the examination of R&D spending can also be improved if data is available for further breakdowns by industries or some other characteristic with technical specificity. However, the data sources as of now do not support such decompositions. The difference in patenting and publication patterns may be due to difference in types of design capability or in technological domains. For example, large-scale technical systems design may not involve patenting as much as material or product design. Publications may also be of more importance in some technologically-based design, such as materials and software, than in others like electro-mechanical design. Thus, a valuable further examination might be to compare publications by disciplines, and patents by technological domains. Another valuable arena for further research would be to explore the mechanisms potentially important for the emergence and growth of national design capability. For instance, potential hypotheses can be related to the nurturing of design clusters and design ecosystem. Better understanding in this regard would guide the strategic endeavors of governments and firms in building design capabilities.