Chapter III -- Methodology
Evidence strongly suggests that there is a need for a design management function in business. Recognizing the need for more and better design work, a two-way education process must occur. Marketers must develop an understanding of the design process and designers must develop an understanding of the marketing process. It follows that higher education has an obligation to its "clients" (both students and business) to develop curricula that fill this need - an integrated curriculum of design and marketing in higher education.
Both business and design schools have been criticized for producing graduates who are too narrowly focused and technically oriented. Development of a design management curriculum would broaden students' problem-solving skills and enhance their understanding of the role they play in the overall process of marketing. Larry Keeley (1992), president of a large Chicago design planning firm, says that American business schools have focused on traditional subjects such as general management and finance and allowed other countries to lead the way in focusing on products and consumers. Keeley accuses American business school of being "out of step" with current needs. "The best business schools, like Harvard and Northwestern, have even admitted that they erred by not addressing design in their programs" (Keeley, 1992, p. 134). However, it might also be revealed that design schools are decidedly "out of step" as well.
The purpose of this study is to determine what progress, if any, higher education has made (in both design and marketing) in the emerging field of design management.
Included in this determination is the definition of a set of curriculum criteria (for both business and design) that should be used in the integrated education of designers and managers. Integrated design and management, for the purposes of this study, can be defined as whether business schools include design-related courses in their offerings, and whether design schools include marketing management courses in their offerings. It must be noted that this study compared curricula of undergraduate design programs with master's business programs. This reflects the level of specificity in the respective programs and is, generally speaking, the highest level of educational training that most of these students will undertake. Graduate design schools' curricula lack any standardization or accrediting body, tend to be an "extension of the undergraduate curricula, rather than distinct entities for inquiry and theoretical investigation" (de Forest, 1989, p. 44), are not considered particularly demanding, and are not considered a "good buy" by design students (Wefler & Associates, No. 27). In addition, the overwhelming majority of criticism regarding business and design curricula found in the review of the literature was leveled at the undergraduate design and the master's business programs, indicating that this is the appropriate level of focus for this study.
This research project does not intend to provide a broad-based empirical survey of the scope of design management in higher education. That would prove to be an exercise in futility. Clipson (1990b) surveyed more than 200 business and design schools in North America and found that not one brought together the education of business, design and engineering students, and none shared a common focus on problem solving and innovation. The main finding from Clipson's project was a lack of inter-professional education and experience at the training level. Clipson's project was used as the basis to develop an experimental course at the University of Michigan that brought together students from the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, the graphic design and industrial design programs in the School of Art, the School of Business Administration, and the College of Engineering in a ''real-world'' problem-solving situation. Clipson's survey looked specifically for classes with engineering, design and business students all in one room at one time, which is different from the integrated design management curriculum as described above. In addition, Clipson's data were three to four years old at the time of this study and much has been written and said since his project to point out the design management educational deficiency. Have business and design schools taken notice of the emerging design management trend and responded since Clipson's study?
Working under the presumption that part of what makes a school "the best" in a given area is leadership, flexibility and responsiveness to the current needs of students and business, and also under the presumption that these "best" schools are early-adopters of significant new curriculum trends, this study will look for an indication of the progress of the design management field. The aforementioned integrated design management curriculum criteria are the yardstick against which these "best" schools are measured to determine if they are effectively developing a design management curriculum.
Data were gathered from the most recent available course-offerings catalogs from six top-rated universities; three from business, and three from design. The criteria for selecting schools were determined by independent sources, which are generally used by students to "guide" their choice of college, as well as by industry to "guide" recruiters to the best students. While there is always a difference of opinion in what constitutes "the best," generally the same schools are continually listed at the top, although their rank order may vary somewhat from year to year. In business school rankings, favor was given to those schools listed as the best in marketing (as opposed to finance or accounting). As for design schools, while certain schools are known for their particular brand of design philosophy, the same selectivity as used for business schools is not necessary (or possible), because the design curriculum tends to be narrowly focused and there are far fewer schools from which to choose. Consideration is also given to location of schools (one business and one design school from the East, one each from the Midwest, and one each from the West Coast) to provide balanced geographic representation in the study. This may identify "trend setting" tendencies of schools in a particular region of the country.
Business schools were selected from Barron's Guide to Graduate Business Schools (Miller, 1988). Barron's cited rankings based on several published studies. Generally the top schools are listed as Harvard, Stanford, Pennsylvania (Wharton), and Northwestern (Kellogg).
While no such guide currently exists for design schools, they were selected from a survey conducted by Design Firm Management (1980), a series of advisory reports published by Wefler & Associates, among owners and key executives of independent design firms throughout the United States. Design Firm Management notes that school reputations appear to be largely regional and that even the top-named schools had a modest percentage of recognition. However, Pratt Institute and Art Center College were recognized as clearly superior. Other top rated schools were Cooper Union, Parsons School of Design and Cranbrook Academy of Art.
Based on these surveys, and on geographic criteria, the following six schools were selected for examination: in business -- Harvard Business School, Northwestern (J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management) and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University; and design - Art Center College, the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), and Pratt Institute. Pratt Institute, Cooper Union, and Parsons School of Design are all located in New York City, and Pratt, being the most highly rated, was chosen to represent the East for design schools. Cranbrook Academy of Art, located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, was considered as the design school to represent the Midwest but was rejected because it is a studio-based program and does not offer classes in the traditional sense (Cranbrook Academy of Art, 1992). The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania was also considered to represent the East for business schools, but Harvard was given preference for its generally higher rating in marketing.
The Harvard Business School was founded in 1908 and is located in Boston. Harvard is renown not only for the quality of its program but also for innovating the case study method of teaching business, now widely accepted and in use at business schools across the country (Harvard Business School, 1992). Northwestern's J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, located in Evanston, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago) also was founded in 1908, and is considered one of the world's leading centers of management, education and research (Kellogg Graduate School of Management, 1991). The Stanford Graduate School of Business, located between San Francisco and the Silicon Valley area of northern California, was founded in 1925 and is recognized for its outstanding faculty and programs (Stanford Graduate School of Business, 1992).
Art Center College of Design features two campuses: one located in Pasadena, California; and the other in La Tour-de-Peliz, Switzerland. Art Center was founded in 1930 by Edward A. ''Tink'' Adams, a "young advertising man who saw opportunities for designers in publishing, advertising, and industrial design but found that no existing school was preparing designers for the business world" (Art Center College of Design, 1990. p. 10). The Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology was founded as the New Bauhaus in 1937 by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, who left the original Bauhaus after it was closed by the Nazi government in Germany because it was considered subversive (Kent, 1992). Pratt Institute School of Art and Design is located in New York City, and is highlighted by a faculty that features 18 Tiffany, Fulbright and Guggenheim award winners.
The course offerings catalogs from the above mentioned schools were analyzed and compared for content in relation to the integrated design management curriculum criteria described below.
Two studies provide the foundations of the integrated design management curriculum criteria. The first is Tinsley's (1981) "Marketing Courses Required for Marketing Majors," which discusses trends in both undergraduate and graduate business programs and makes recommendations for core curriculum requirements. While several other articles reviewed made general recommendations regarding business school curricula, Tinsley made specific recommendations regarding core courses. Tinsley recommends four basic subjects to be required for all undergraduate marketing majors: principles of marketing, buyer (consumer) behavior, marketing research and marketing management Since design is primarily about communicating, a marketing communications category encompassing advertising and public relations - should be added to Tinsley's recommendations for the purpose of this study. These subjects are the curriculum criteria by which design schools will be measured. If these five subjects are the building blocks of marketing education, they should also be the building blocks of marketing education for design students.
The second article is Callaway's (1990) "New Directions in Design and Management Education," which explores the means by which greater understanding between designers and managers might be developed, and specifically, higher education's role in this relationship. Callaway seconds Tinsley's (1981) recommendations for basic marketing courses for designers, observing that employers generally found design school graduates' technical skills adequate but found graduates lacking in business skills: people management, understanding of marketing and consumer behavior, and general ability to adapt to a corporate environment Callaway (1990) says, "The business oriented designer must be equipped with better business skills, better communication skills and the ability to operate in a corporate environment" (p. 419).
Callaway (1990) recommends the following nine subjects as necessary for design management students: the economic and business context of design, the nature of designer's work, design and product strategies, design policy making, researching design and product requirements, managing design projects, elements of design work, evaluating design results, and legal and quasi-legal aspects of design. Callaway's recommendations are somewhat industrial (product) design specific. To provide a broader perspective that accounts for all design disciplines, similar categories were combined, reducing Callaway's nine subjects to five: "legal and quasi-legal aspects of design" will be combined with "economic and business context of design;" "elements of design work" will be combined with "nature of designers' work;" and "evaluating design results," "design policy making," and "product requirements" will be combined with "design and product strategies." "Researching design" and "managing design projects" will remain as separate subjects.
A matrix has been designed that places subjects (integrated design management criteria) on the vertical axis, divided into design and marketing sections. Schools are arranged along the horizontal axis of the matrix, again divided into design and marketing sections (Seebelow). This creates four quadrants in the matrix (clockwise, starting from upper-left): quadrant 1, design schools and design subjects; quadrant 2, marketing schools and design subjects; quadrant 3, marketing schools and marketing subjects; and quadrant 4, design schools and marketing subjects.
Descriptions of courses from the catalogs of each of the six schools were analyzed. For each school, an "x" has been entered on the matrix for courses that are required, and a "0" has been entered for elective courses, according to descriptions that fit the subject categories on the vertical axis.
While everything possible has been done to ensure objectivity in the methodology and results of this study, several factors must be considered before drawing a conclusion. The first factor to be considered is a sampling bias. It was stated previously that this would not be a broad-based empirical study because evidence from Clipson's (1990b) study indicated that gathering enough data to produce a random sampling would be fruitless. Nonetheless, examining six schools' catalogs to represent two entire educational systems is limiting and could be potentially misleading.
Second, a coder bias may exist. Very few courses described in the catalogs ''fit'' the precise categories used in the matrix per se. If a strict content analysis method were used, where the categories had to be matched exactly in the titles of the courses or their descriptions, then very few matches would have been found in any quadrant. This difficulty was resolved by requiring that course descriptions include the words used in the category descriptions. In cases where descriptions were ambiguous, or where only course titles were offered, course content was confirmed by a telephone interview with a representative from the school. In the future, this problem could be reduced by utilizing additional coders. A minimum of one course description "match" was required for inclusion in the findings matrix; however, in some instances more than one course would qualify for a category.
Third, a bias based on the descriptions in the course offerings catalogs may exist. While it is likely that the course content is similar to the descriptions provided, variations in actual content probably exist from instructor to instructor and class to class. It must also be recognized that these catalogs are sent to prospective students as a type of ''promotional" brochure, and may reflect creative course descriptions provided by the schools.
Last, the distinction should be made regarding the variety of programs offered within each school. In the case of design schools, Ann de Forest (1986) notes that "Not only do schools differ widely in philosophy and emphasis, even the degrees granted vary from institution to institution" (p. 15). For the purposes of this study, the subjects required for all similar and relevant majors were combined, but separate degree programs were not. An exception was made for Art Center College, which awards a Bachelor of Fine Arts to students in advertising, graphic and packaging design, and a Bachelor of Science to students in environmental, product and transportation design. The exception was made to establish parity between Art Center and the other two design schools, which offer only one undergraduate design degree encompassing all majors.
Despite these limitations, this study fulfills its purpose of identifying trends of integrating design and marketing in higher education.
The first hypothesis to be examined is whether expert thought and evidence suggest that design and marketing should be integrated to create a design management curriculum. A review of the literature will offer evidence to support or reject the opinion that design management courses should be offered to business students as part of their curriculum and that marketing courses should be offered to design students.
H1: Design and marketing courses should be integrated into one program to create a design management curriculum in higher education.
The second hypothesis for this study is that higher education is not currently
integrating design and management education. This will be indicated if all of the entries on the "Comparison matrix: design and marketing classes offered in 1992 at leading business and design schools" (Figure 2) are found in quadrants 1 and 3.
H2:Design schools will be found to be teaching only design, and business schools will be found to be teaching only business in context of a design management curriculum. These results will be evident if all entries are found in quadrants 1 and 3 of the matrix, indicating that higher education is not currently integrating design and management curricula. Evidence of integration of design and management education will appear as entries in quadrants 2 and 4.
INSERT DESIGNMARKETING FIGURE 1 HERE