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Design Thinking Principles as Drivers for Maturation in the Early Phases of the Entrepreneurial Management Process

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The development of new products and services are increasingly based on the use of design thinking. In this paper, we propose that design thinking principles can furthermore be used by early-phase start-up companies to influence and mature the development of the firm through shaping both the mindsets of their new employees and the professional users engaged in the co-development process, as well as the maturation of the entrepreneurial management process. In the latter we refer to the early phases of the entrepreneurial process where the start-up progresses and eventually formulates a refined, powerful value proposition to client decision makers. We name this process of dual design-thinking application company-solution co-evolution. By analysing a three- year longitudinal study (2016-2019) of a digital start-up aiming to change patient communication at a regional hospital, we see that the design thinking principles primarily employed for maturing mindsets are 1) initiatives for properly understanding the problem/challenge, 2) engaging with users, both clinicians and patients and 3) early testing of prototype elements of the solution. Overall, we offer a new perspective on the relevance of design thinking for maturation of the early entrepreneurial management process. These insights should appeal to design thinking practitioners and researchers working in the intersection of design, innovation and entrepreneurship.
TitelProceedings of the Nordic Conference on Small Business Research and Entrepreneurship (NCSB 2022)
Antal sider27
ForlagECSB European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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