Design Thinking and Organizational Development: twin concepts enabling a reintroduction of democratic values in organizational change

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


Design Thinking is a rather new concept for increasing innovation capabilities in organizations. Organizational Development is a concept from the 1950s aiming at modernizing organizations through participatory methods. As organizations struggle with constant change and to become more innovative we will compare and discuss design thinking and organizational development and explore what we can learn from these concepts that have many similar aspects. Design is
argued to be moving into new territories, changing its focus towards the ideas that organizes a system or environment (Buchanan, 2001). At the same time there are clear resemblances to new organizational development not the least regarding participatory methods (Eneberg, 2012). In this paper we describe the ontological and epistemological development of organizational theory, change, and development with the aim to discuss the role of design thinking as an enabling
concept in the revitalization of organizational development that includes a reintroduction of democratic values in organizational change.


  • Magnus Eneberg
  • Lisbeth Svengren Holm
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics


  • organizational change, organizational development, ambiguity, enabling design
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication[Host publication title missing]
PublisherEAD - European Academy of Design
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch
Event10th European Academy of Design Conference - Crafting the Future - Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 2013 Apr 172013 Apr 19


Conference10th European Academy of Design Conference - Crafting the Future

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