• industrial design;
  • Norway;
  • case study research;
  • product;
  • sourcing strategy;
  • value chain;
  • design process


This paper explores the ways in which industrial design services are organized, produced and consumed by Norwegian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This includes exploring the geographies of this performance in terms of how consumers and producers of design expertise organize their activities. In addition, the paper identifies seven different ways in which client firms utilize industrial design to develop or retain competitive advantage. The paper combines empirical data with the development of a theoretical contribution to the fields of product creation, enterprise competitiveness and the globalization of production. It draws on case studies of Norwegian firms of designers, as well as client firms.