Design Management: A Comparative Analysis of the Professional Status of the Occupation in the UK

By Sotiris T. Lalaounis, Bruce M. Wood and Dorothy Evans.

Published by The Design Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Organisations have acknowledged the importance of design as a strategic tool and therefore have recognised the need to effectively manage it. This has led to the development of the Design Management occupation, which while some believe is a mature and established profession others question its current status. Due to their certain similarity and proximity to Design Management, the professional status of two other UK occupations: Marketing and Public Relations (PR), is assessed along with that of Design Management, using Wilensky’s process of professionalisation. The paper also tests the hypothesis that Wilensky’s process should be treated as a set of criteria rather than a process, hence the sequence in which these stages occur does not affect the professional development of an occupation. Looking at the development of Marketing and PR in the UK, this hypothesis is validated because both occupations have achieved full professional status, albeit achieving these criteria in a different sequence. While both Marketing and PR can be characterised ‘established professions’, Design Management in the UK is currently a ‘semi-profession’. Based on a comparative analysis, the paper offers two implications for the Design Management occupation in the UK, firstly, the need to define the occupation’s body of knowledge and secondly the need for the establishment of a UK-based professional association.

Keywords: Design Management, Marketing, Public Relations, Professionalisation

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp.639-666. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.310MB).

Dr. Sotiris T. Lalaounis

Teaching Fellow, Department of Management, University of Exeter Business School, UK

Dr Sotiris T Lalaounis is a Teaching Fellow in Marketing with the Department of Management at the University of Exeter Business School. Dr Lalaounis was previously a part-time Lecturer with the Centre for Creative Industries at Glasgow Caledonian University where he taught at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and was also involved with a research project funded by the Scottish Funding Council under its Innovation Voucher Scheme. Prior to returning to academia, he held account management positions in marketing & design consultancies in Glasgow, managing marketing communications accounts for major clients including DELL (EMEA), Scottish & Southern Energy and Village Hotels (part of the De Vere Group). Dr Lalaounis holds a BA (Hons) in Marketing from the University of Strathclyde, an MSc in Public Relations from the University of Stirling, an MSc in Design & Digital Media from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD from the Centre for Creative Industries at Glasgow Caledonian University, which was awarded in May 2008. His PhD thesis investigated business development issues in the Creative Industries, with a focus on marketing & design consultancies, and was sponsored by the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry, through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between the Centre for Creative Industries and a Glasgow-based marketing & design consultancy, for which he was the Associate. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

Prof. Bruce M. Wood

Director, Centre for Creative Industries, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK

Professor Bruce M. Wood is Professor of Design Innovation and Director of the Centre for Creative Industries at Glasgow Caledonian University. He is a qualified designer with 17 years of experience in the industry on national and international scale. Founder of the Centre for Creative Industries in 2002, he has created postgraduate programmes in Product Design & Development, Digital Media and more recently, Design Practice & Management. He leads on the areas of Design Management and Sustainable Design on this programme. He has supervised numerous Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) projects and his current research activities include economic development through the use of Creative Industries as a driver for new products and services. Prior to joining Glasgow Caledonian University, he directed a number of large-scale design-led economic development projects resulting in the development of over 200 products. His PhD thesis entitled ‘Design as an Economic Development Enabler’, considered in-depth the role that design can play in economic development at a company, regional, national and international level.

Dr. Dorothy Evans

Design Researcher, Centre for Creative Industries, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK

Dr. Dorothy Evans is a Lecturer and Researcher at the Centre for Creative Industries at Glasgow Caledonian University where she lectures on the MA/PgD Design Practice & Management programme. She is an experienced project manager and has worked in product development, marketing and business development in a number of organisations. She has extensive experience in managing complex product design, multi-technology projects through to successful completion. She has experience in creating exhibition and support materials, organising suppliers and managing clients with regard to staging high-quality exhibition and dissemination experiences on national and international level. She has also been pivotal in establishing and managing a network of designers and creative organisations across a widespread geographical region. She holds an MA in Design Management (Staffordshire University) and a PhD from the Centre for Creative Industries at Glasgow Caledonian University. Her PhD thesis examined ‘Value-Added Design: Perception vs. Reality’. Her current research activities include establishing a database for the Creative Industries in Scotland.

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