Product Design: a Review and Research Agenda for Management Studies


  • The authors would like to thank Kimberly Elsbach, Gianmario Verona, and three anonymous Reviewers for their helpful comments on previous versions of this manuscript. We are particularly grateful to Senior Editor Oswald Jones for his patient and constructive editorial guidance, and to Giada Di Stefano for her invaluable help in the early phase of our review.


This paper reviews research on product design in the broad domain of business studies. It highlights established and emerging perspectives and lines of inquiry, and organizes them around three core areas, corresponding to different stages of the design process (design activities, design choices, design results). Avenues for further research at the intersection of these bodies of research are identified and discussed, and the authors argue that management scholars possess conceptual and methodological tools suited to enriching research on design and effectively pursuing lines of investigation only partially addressed by other communities, such as the construction and deployment of design capabilities, or the organizational and institutional context of design activities.