- British Academy of Management
- Bristol Business School, University of the West of England
Success in the globalized and competitive markets or those emerging in the future depends on the leadership that strategically integrates design thinking in decision-making process. Business leaders are therefore increasingly applying design principles to re-create designed-centered innovative environment to gain competitive advantages for their businesses. While innovative designs are considered as one of the fundamental sources of competitive advantage, the role of leadership in creating innovative design process is however relatively unexplored. This study develops the measures to empirically reflect the design leadership concept and examines the relationship between design leadership, design process and team outcomes. A survey questionnaire was administered to 159 R&D teams in Japan and Australia. The results show that design leadership tends to exert positive impact on design process that in turn improves team performance and enhance team satisfaction. The role of design process, therefore, mediates the relationship between design leadership and team outcomes.