Leading with Legitimacy in Government Design Labs

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dc.contributor Aalto University en
dc.contributor Aalto-yliopisto fi
dc.contributor.advisor Kodeih, Farah
dc.contributor.author Swan, Kristin
dc.date.accessioned 2018-09-10T09:31:07Z
dc.date.available 2018-09-10T09:31:07Z
dc.date.issued 2018
dc.identifier.uri https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/33980
dc.description.abstract Design thinking has increasingly become the business buzzword of the 21st century. Adopted from designers’ ways of working, thinking, and creating, design thinking is a user-centered approach to innovation. While some designers argue that it is nothing more than a buzzword, it is nonetheless creating some serious buzz in not just the private sector, but increasingly in government as well. The application of design thinking in government is still quite new. Globally, governments are adopting design in very different ways, at different levels in government, and with differing focus areas and scopes of work. One thing is consistent though - design thinking is being applied in the public sector in order to help governments innovate, incorporate new technology, and respond to their citizens’ increasing service expectations. There is no one-size-fits-all “How to” guide for establishing design in government. Design teams in the private and public sectors alike, face similar challenges in introducing new designerly ways of working into their organizations. One fundamental challenge these labs face is establishing legitimacy of design thinking in the public sector, especially when their values differ so drastically from those of the organizations trying to adopt it. This thesis examines the introduction of one such design lab, Inland Design, within the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri). This research aims to study what practices helped or hindered legitimacy-making of design thinking inside Migri during its early stages. The research draws from a combination of literature disciplines including design thinking, public sector innovation, and organizational legitimacy literature. Specifically organizational legitimacy is used as a lens to view the emerging phenomenon of design thinking inside the public sector. This research was conducted during an intensive five month period from January 2018 to June 2018 within Inland Design. The researcher took the role of action researcher, working inside the team to initiate, facilitate, and develop the organizational strategy with the team. This work took the form of strategic action interventions to respond to the emerging needs of the organization that arose. Data for this research is the result of thorough analysis of the results of action interventions, participant observation and field notes, and semi-structured interviews of key stakeholders in the Inland Design organization. Inland Design is the first and only in-house design lab in the Finnish government at this time, and thus has a great opportunity to lead the way for design in government, and help shape the landscape for future government design labs that follow, not just in Finland but around the world. This thesis provides a rare and unique opportunity to examine the introduction and implementation of Inland Design in the Finnish public sector, as well as insight into the challenges of legitimization of such initiatives, and the practices that both help and hinder their success. From the existing research, it seems legitimacy is often an afterthought for government design teams. This thesis aims to enable government design labs like Inland to lead with legitimacy, fast forward through the legitimization challenges, and more quickly help support public servants and society, by design. en
dc.format.extent 135 + 12
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.title Leading with Legitimacy in Government Design Labs en
dc.type G2 Pro gradu, diplomityö fi
dc.contributor.school Kauppakorkeakoulu fi
dc.contributor.school School of Business en
dc.contributor.department Johtamisen laitos fi
dc.subject.keyword design thinking en
dc.subject.keyword public sector innovation en
dc.subject.keyword organizational legitimacy en
dc.subject.keyword action research en
dc.identifier.urn URN:NBN:fi:aalto-201809105091
dc.type.ontasot Master's thesis en
dc.type.ontasot Maisterin opinnäyte fi
dc.programme Strategy en
dc.location P1 I fi
local.aalto.electroniconly yes
local.aalto.openaccess yes


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