University of Twente Student Theses


Design in business : a framework for the use of participatory tools in the digital transofrmation of SMEs

Ritter, A.I. (2021) Design in business : a framework for the use of participatory tools in the digital transofrmation of SMEs.

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Abstract:Purpose: The objective of this research is to develop a framework that shows how design thinking can be a tool in supporting SMEs with integrating new technology. Methodology: This research was conducted through design and based on the main design stages (a) empathizing, (b)defining, (c)ideating, (d) prototyping and testing. The data collection included desk research as well as creative and ideation sessions. The framework was developed based on the insights gained in the previous steps. Findings: This research has shown that digitalization is an organization-wide change that affects many different aspects of businesses and many different stakeholders. All the different groups of stakeholders should be represented in designing fitting digital solutions. The best results can be achieved by having them actively participate in the design process. Added Value: The framework and research provided more insights into the perspective of companies going through digital transformation. Besides that, it suggests design practices as tools to empathize with the stakeholders and involve them in the solution-finding process. The framework showcases how design thinking and participatory design can be used in. The research demonstrates the relevance of participatory practices for supporting internal change management. Limitations: In general it should be noted that this research was conducted as a graduation project with a set time frame. Therefore it was not always possible to adhere to design project standards to their full extent when it came to testing the prototype. Keywords: design thinking, digitalization, industry 4.0, participatory design, empathizing, ideation, reframing, research through design Paper Type: Practical research through design
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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