The evolution of design management : a comparison of the UK, US, and Japan

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Although we use the same word “design management” to describe and define the strategy, organization, and implementation of managing design, the UK, US, and Japan demonstrate different approaches to it, because of their different cultures, national policies, and manufacturing histories. In the UK, starting from problem of managing design consultancy efficiently, design management sought to develop a separate category of management related to design. It endeavors to be independent from design and become a subcategory of management. In the US, originating from design service for industry, design management refers to the management of design issues for adding value to business development. Japan developed design management into a more practical approach. In Japan design was initially used as a way to control quality and cost in process management. Later the Japanese approach to design management, in which design management seeks to include design as a general part of process management, was formulated. These three approaches strongly influenced other countries. Through comparison of these three approaches, this paper shows how the context influences the content of design management. This will enable scholars to understand the development of national industry and design management practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-79
Number of pages18
JournalInternational journal of cultural and creative industries
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Design history
  • Design management
  • Design industry
  • Design policy
  • Design profession
  • Manufacture


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