Optimising the Contribution of Design to Innovation Performance in Indian SMEs - What roles for Culture, Tradition, Policy and Skills?

Bolton, Simon, Green, L and Kothari, B (2017) Optimising the Contribution of Design to Innovation Performance in Indian SMEs - What roles for Culture, Tradition, Policy and Skills? South Asian Popular Culture (RASP), 14 (3). pp. 199-217. ISSN 1474-6689 DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/14746689.2017.1294803

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The relationship between creativity, design and innovation has received increasing scrutiny in both academic and policy circles throughout the past decade. In a discussion triggered by the Cox report (2005), various strands of thinking and enquiry have emerged. Building from the long acknowledged link between investment in innovation and growth and competitiveness, several commentators (Brown, 2009) have alluded to the strategic role of design in organisational re-structuring and positioning. Others have investigated the theme of design methodologies and approaches and their transferability to non-design settings (Green, Cox and Bitard, 2012), and yet more have addressed the role of design in raising the performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (Moultrie, Clarkson and Probert, 2006). Whilst this research and theorising has achieved considerable impact on industrial policymaking and firm responses to globalising markets, it is notable that almost all has been undertaken in highly advanced European and North American economies. The proposed paper sets out to redress the balance with an investigation of the role of design and design practitioners in enhancing the performance of SMEs in the Indian context. Growth rates in the subcontinent have reached enviable proportions in recent years, and at least some of this success can be credited to the design policies and design support agencies that have targeted the improvement of innovation and new product development performance in the SME-based advanced manufacturing sector. The paper builds from a descriptive history of design support policy in India (notably via the visionary inception in the 1950s of the National Institute of Design), and moves to examine – via analysis of interview data with key design actors and case studies of successful innovating manufacturers – the ways in which design 3 / 6 methods, approaches, tools and inputs can promote performance and increase competitive advantage. The paper will test the cross-applicability of design/creativity theories developed in non-South-Asian contexts, and identify the particularities of the contribution of Indian design expertise in generating success for indigenous manufacturing businesses.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Article ID: RSAP 1294803
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Business and Management
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Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2017 15:25
URI: http://repository.edgehill.ac.uk/id/eprint/8725

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