Designers’ roles in the founding team

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dc.contributor Aalto University en
dc.contributor Aalto-yliopisto fi
dc.contributor.advisor Naves Pinheiro, Patricia
dc.contributor.author Gerkens, Lisa
dc.date.accessioned 2017-07-04T07:14:32Z
dc.date.available 2017-07-04T07:14:32Z
dc.date.issued 2017
dc.identifier.uri https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/27174
dc.description.abstract Design has been a trend topic in popular publications and academia in the entrepreneurship scene for the past years. And while many beneficial capabilities are attributed to design there is little investigation into designers’ daily actions as part of a founding team specifically. “Designers’ Roles in the Founding Team” examines the roles designers hold as part of a founding team in startups. The objective of this work is to gain insights into the tasks and responsibilities designers take on a daily basis, and to subsequently determine their roles specifically in the context of a startup founder. For this thesis 15 company founders or c-level executives from five different companies were interviewed. All participating companies are operating since less than five years and are based in the Helsinki capital region. The interviews focus on the participants’ day to day tasks and their collaboration with their co-founders. The interviews included active tasks for the participants and resulted in several different data sets. The results offer a detailed view into the founding teams’ work and collaboration with each other. Two different roles of a designer as part of the founding team were found, the traditional designer, and the integrated designer: the two positions differ in responsibilities and can be distinguished by examining the designer’s involvement with the business development of the company. While designers of both roles are involved in design tasks it is the integrated designer who impacts his or her company’s business development. In addition, it was found that while design is praised for its holistic impact on the whole company, especially in non peer reviewed literature, within this group of interviewees design was mainly associated with traditional design capabilities related to creation and user work. To conclude, this work investigates design’s challenges within a company structure and its perceived capabilities. en
dc.format.extent 129 +6
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.title Designers’ roles in the founding team en
dc.type G2 Pro gradu, diplomityö fi
dc.contributor.school Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu fi
dc.contributor.school School of Arts, Design and Architecture en
dc.contributor.department Department of Design en
dc.contributor.department Muotoilun laitos fi
dc.subject.keyword designer founder en
dc.subject.keyword design entrepreneurship en
dc.subject.keyword founding team en
dc.subject.keyword designers roles en
dc.identifier.urn URN:NBN:fi:aalto-201707046169
dc.type.ontasot Master's thesis en
dc.type.ontasot Maisterin opinnäyte fi
dc.contributor.supervisor Person, Oscar
dc.programme Collaborative and Industrial Design en


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