Purpose – The aim of this study was to empirically examine how much traditional attributes and green attributes characterize products within design-oriented firms. Further, we explored how these attributes relate to the perceived level of innovation of the firms. Design/methodology/approach – An exploratory research was carried out in 86 Italian manufacturing companies that are members of the Industrial Design Association. Using the questionnaire method, the entrepreneurs’ perceptions have been analyzed. Data have been treated with hierarchical cluster analysis. Findings – The analysis shows that environmental sustainability is the least important attribute of a design product and four clusters of highly design-oriented firms differ by design-product attributes. Further, the least green firms are also the least innovative in terms of incremental and general innovation. Research limitations/implications – The small size of the sample and the provenance of firms from a single country imply limited generalizability, and further research on the topic is recommended. Practical implications – Design-driven innovation based on traditional design attributes provides many competitive advantages to firms. However, given the growing concern about environmental challenges, investing in green attributes in design products allows for remaining competitive and more effective in innovation. Originality/value – This study, for the first time, reveals the heterogeneity among design-oriented firms, particularly regarding the presence and assortment of traditional design attributes, as well as the incorporation of environmentally friendly attributes in their products. Moreover, the study uncovers the relationship between varying levels of green attributes in the offerings and the perception of the firm’s innovativeness.

Traditional and environmentally friendly attributes in products of highly design-oriented firms: an exploratory study in the perception of Italian entrepreneurs

Conti, Emanuela
;
Musso, Fabio
2024

Abstract

Purpose – The aim of this study was to empirically examine how much traditional attributes and green attributes characterize products within design-oriented firms. Further, we explored how these attributes relate to the perceived level of innovation of the firms. Design/methodology/approach – An exploratory research was carried out in 86 Italian manufacturing companies that are members of the Industrial Design Association. Using the questionnaire method, the entrepreneurs’ perceptions have been analyzed. Data have been treated with hierarchical cluster analysis. Findings – The analysis shows that environmental sustainability is the least important attribute of a design product and four clusters of highly design-oriented firms differ by design-product attributes. Further, the least green firms are also the least innovative in terms of incremental and general innovation. Research limitations/implications – The small size of the sample and the provenance of firms from a single country imply limited generalizability, and further research on the topic is recommended. Practical implications – Design-driven innovation based on traditional design attributes provides many competitive advantages to firms. However, given the growing concern about environmental challenges, investing in green attributes in design products allows for remaining competitive and more effective in innovation. Originality/value – This study, for the first time, reveals the heterogeneity among design-oriented firms, particularly regarding the presence and assortment of traditional design attributes, as well as the incorporation of environmentally friendly attributes in their products. Moreover, the study uncovers the relationship between varying levels of green attributes in the offerings and the perception of the firm’s innovativeness.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2737151
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