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Paper Details

Moving Design from Metaphor to Management Practice

Jeanne Liedtka, Bidhan Parmar

Journal Title:Journal of Organization Design

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 Schons 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, Schons ideas are starting to take hold. In this article, we explore Schons concept of the reflective practitioner and show how it can move beyond theory to implementation.