Research

Creating Value from “Design Thinking”

At a time when manufacturing and services are being outsourced, margins narrowed and the threat of commoditization a concern, organizations and their management need to foster what Assistant Professor Siobhán O´Mahony calls “design thinking” among their rank and file to maintain a competitive advantage. This spring, O’Mahony taught a new elective course, “Design and Business,” that explored the ways in which companies can create and articulate aesthetic value and apply design principles to create sustainable competitive advantage, address technical and customer challenges, produce enjoyable experiences and enhance customer loyalty. Cases and class examples included companies well known for their ability to create aesthetic value such as: Alessi, Starbucks, Apple, OXO Kitchen Tools, Porsche, Herman Miller, Target and Nike. Working in teams, the students considered design innovations for a product or service that has a negative environmental impact or one that could address the needs of 90% of the developing world. Using prototyping tools and researching customer needs, the students’ new product concepts included a solar toolbox, a solar stove, a composting service and even a solar cremation service. Guest speakers also shared how their companies apply design thinking concepts. Alumna Sungene Ryang ’04, who works in the Consumer Experience Design at IDEO, discussed how design thinking is embedded in the firm’s organizational culture. Strachan Forgan and Richard Tepp of Sasaki & Associates, the architectural firm that designed the School’s new building, Gallagher Hall, demonstrated their client-focused and multi-disciplinary approach to visualizing design and concepts for what is expected to be the first LEED®-certified Gold building at UC Davis. According to O´Mahony, managers don’t have to be trained as designers to practice design thinking. Her students learned to reframe problems by thinking deeply about the latent needs of consumers and by applying design concepts holistically to products and services with an eye toward business, aesthetic and environmental concerns.

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News Release

UC Davis Part-Time MBA Ranked in Nation’s Top 9%
Fourth Consecutive Year among U.S News & World Report's Premier Programs

(Davis, CA) — The UC Davis Part-Time MBA program offered in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area is ranked among the top 9% in the U.S., according to U.S. News & World Report’s latest graduate business school rankings.

At No. 29, this is the fourth consecutive year the UC Davis Part-Time MBA program is among the top AACSB International-accredited part-time MBA programs surveyed. This year, there were 323 part-time MBA programs surveyed.

News Release

UC Davis Full-Time MBA Ranked among Nation’s Premier Programs for 20th Consecutive Year
MBA Programs among Top 10% in U.S.
Record Salary and Bonus

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(Davis, CA) — The UC Davis Graduate School of Management’s Full-Time MBA program is ranked among the premier business schools in the nation for the 20th consecutive year, according to U.S. News & World Report’s latest graduate business school rankings released today.

U.S. News’ latest ranking places the Full-Time MBA program at No. 48, placing it among the top 10% of the 464 Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International’s accredited full-time MBA programs surveyed.

Key statistics from the School’s Full-Time MBA ranking include:

News Release

UC Davis Graduate School of Management partners with Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Labs to drive technologies from lab to market

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(Davis, Calif.) – With a joint goal of speeding the transfer of new technologies from the laboratory to the commercial marketplace, the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories have announced a new partnership for researchers to develop their entrepreneurial skills.

Spotlight Story

Vickie Sherman MBA 13 Finds Her Passion, Her Career—and Herself

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What opportunities, decisions, events have shaped your professional life?

My career path has been a climb across a jungle gym rather than a tangent up a corporate ladder. As a child, I used to thumb through the three-inch JCPenney catalogue, picking out the professional women who I would grow to be. I wanted to rule the world from a corner office in a suit and heels. I wanted to shed my humble origins and become Corporate Barbie.

Spotlight Story

MBA Student Consultants Make an IMPACT
Projects Put Business Needs Front and Center

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Agilent Technologies’ Electronic Measurement Group is a $3.6 billion business that over the past decade has seen a dramatic shift in its customer base from U.S., and Western European customers to predominantly Asia-based customers. Today, the majority of the division’s revenues are generated outside of the U.S., with an increasing concentration in China.