Design Thinking in Leading European Companies—Organizational and Spatial Issues

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Juergen Seifried
Carola S. Wasserbaech


In the last decade, design thinking has been discussed as a new paradigm for dealing with complex business problems. The implementation of design thinking is linked with substantial changes in the organizational culture, and becomes visible in new approaches to designing office and learning spaces. To analyze proponents’ perspectives on the implementation process, we adapted Schein’s (1990, 2017) approach of different layers of an organizational culture. In general, two layers in an organization are addressed, namely visible artifacts and behaviors, as well as basic principles to think about approaches to deal with business problems (mindset). In total, eight semi-structured expert interviews were conducted with proponents to learn more about the implementation of design thinking and the architecture of related office spaces. The findings suggest that design thinking addresses both aspects—the provision and inner design of physical space as well as a change of mindset.

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