MANAGING RESOURCE SCARCITY IN SMALL ENTERPRISES´ DESIGN PROCESSES
DS 68-3: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 3: Design Organisation and Management, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
Editor: Culley, S.J.; Hicks, B.J.; McAloone, T.C.; Howard, T.J. & Cantemessa, M.
Author: Löfqvist, Lars Gunnar
Section: Design Organisation and Management
arce resources, which is the main factor hindering their innovation and design of new products. Despite this resource scarcity, some small enterprises do innovate and design new products. The research question is: how do small enterprises manage resource scarcity in their design processes? A multiple case study of three different small enterprises was used to answer the research question. The enterprises implement several approaches to use existing resources more efficiently or increase existing resources, such as reducing formality and including customers and users in the design processes, intertwining design processes, working concurrently on design and operational processes, adopting lead-user inventions, and only starting design processes when a current customer asks for or needs the potential new product. The efficiency of these approaches is found to be explained by common small enterprise characteristics. One conclusion from this study is that resource scarcity can be managed and small enterprises’ specific characteristics can facilitate innovation and design if these are recognized and used as strengths.