Design thinking and dynamic managerial capabilities: a quasi-experimental field study in the aviation industry

Kristiana Roth, Christiane Rau, Anne-Katrin Neyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent academic literature has suggested that design thinking training has a positive impact on dynamic managerial capabilities that are vital for firm performance. However, it is yet not clear how these effects are realized. We suggest that the positive impact of design thinking training on dynamic managerial capabilities can be attributed to changes in two aspects of managerial cognition: creative problem solving as a mental process and creative self-efficacy as a psychological belief. We test our hypotheses in a quasi-experimental pretest–posttest field study in the aviation industry among 100 mid- and lower-level managers and a 5-month time lag. The intervention is a 2-day design thinking training based on experiential learning. We find that design thinking training realizes its effects on dynamic managerial capabilities rather indirectly through creative problem solving and creative self-efficacy. Our study provides a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between design thinking and dynamic managerial capabilities and showcases the role changes in managerial cognition play in the dynamic capability development of mid- and lower-level managers. Furthermore, it contributes to the scarce empirical research on the effects of design thinking on individual-level effects. For practitioners, our research shows how organizations can benefit from design thinking training by boosting their managers abilities to spot and take advantage of new business opportunities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-818
Number of pages18
JournalR&D Management
Volume53
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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