To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Design-driven innovation, quality, and customer value in manufacturing companies

Emanuela Conti (Department of Economic, Social and Political Studies, Università degli studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, Urbino, Italy)
Massimiliano Vesci (Department of Management and Innovation Systems, Università degli Studi di Salerno, Fisciano, Italy)
Chiara Crudele (Facolta di Economia Scienze Politiche Sociali e della Comunicazione, Universita degli Studi di Salerno, Fisciano, Italy)
Tonino Pencarelli (University of Urbino, Urbino, Italy)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 18 September 2019

Issue publication date: 18 November 2019




The purpose of this paper is to present an empirical study which examines the relationships among design-driven innovation, quality and customer value in manufacturing companies.


A research project was carried out in 193 Italian manufacturing companies, using the questionnaire method. An exploratory research study was conducted with hierarchical cluster analysis and regression analysis.


The analysis shows the existence of four clusters of manufacturing companies which differ by firm size, expenditure in innovation and type of innovation. Furthermore, the elements of a quality product and a design product have a significant impact on customer value, and the importance of these elements changes within the different cluster.

Research limitations/implications

The small size of the sample and the geographic origin of companies imply limited generalizability and further research on the topic is recommended.

Practical implications

The study suggests that companies should simultaneously pursue quality and innovation to increase customer value. To achieve high levels of innovation, and thus increase their quality standards, manufacturing companies should consider the importance of the elements related to design which have impact on customer value.


Focusing on the relationship between design-driven innovation and quality which has not yet been investigated, the present study reveals many common elements of product design and quality product and their positive influence on the perception of customer value.



Conti, E., Vesci, M., Crudele, C. and Pencarelli, T. (2019), "Design-driven innovation, quality, and customer value in manufacturing companies", The TQM Journal, Vol. 31 No. 6, pp. 968-986.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles