Design-driven innovation: a systematic literature review

Heleen De Goey (School of Engineering, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden)
Per Hilletofth (Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, School of Engineering, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden)
Lars Eriksson (School of Engineering, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden)

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Publication date: 14 January 2019



The concept design-driven innovation focuses on innovating product meanings. It has been studied from a variety of perspectives and contexts since the early 2000s. However, a complete overview of the literature published in this area is currently missing. The purpose of this study is to provide a comprehensive understanding of how design-driven innovation contributes to value creation in product development.


In this systematic literature review, 57 papers and book chapters that cover design-driven innovation were identified and analyzed. An iterative coding process was followed to derive five facets of design-driven innovation that contribute to value creation.


Design-driven innovation creates value by focusing on the intangible values of products. The following five facets of design-driven innovation that contribute to value creation were identified: development of new product meanings, knowledge generation, actors and collaborations, capabilities and process. These facets and their interrelations are presented in a theoretical framework.

Practical implications

The main practical implication of this study is that it is now clear that the five facets of design-driven innovation are interrelated and reinforce each other. Therefore, companies need to approach design-driven innovation from a holistic perspective.


This paper contributes to theory by presenting the theoretical framework that provides an overview of available knowledge and that creates a context for future research.



De Goey, H., Hilletofth, P. and Eriksson, L. (2019), "Design-driven innovation: a systematic literature review", European Business Review, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 92-114.

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