1st Edition

Design Economies and the Changing World Economy Innovation, Production and Competitiveness

By John Bryson, Grete Rusten Copyright 2011
    264 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    264 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Design is central to every service or good produced, sold and consumed. Manufacturing and service companies located in high cost locations increasingly find it difficult to compete with producers located in countries such as India and China. Companies in high-cost locations either have to shift production abroad or create competitive advantage through design, innovation, brand and the geographic distribution of tasks rather than price.

    Design Economies and the Changing World Economy provides the first comprehensive account of the relationship between innovation, design, corporate competitiveness and place. Design economies are explored through an analysis of corporate strategies, the relationship between product and designer, copying and imitation including nefarious learning, design and competitiveness, and design-centred regional policies.  The design process plays a critical role in corporate competitiveness as it functions at the intersection between production and consumption and the interface between consumer behaviour and the development and design of products. This book focuses on firms, individuals, as well as national policy, drawing attention to the development of corporate and nation based design strategies that are intended to enhance competitive advantage. Increasingly products are designed in one location and made in another.  This separation of design from the place of production highlights the continued development of the international division of labour as tasks are distributed in different places, but blended together to produce design-intensive branded products.

    This book provides a distinctive analysis of the ways in which companies located in developed market economies compete on the basis of design, brand and the geographic distribution of tasks. The text contains case studies of major manufacturing and service companies and will be of valuable interest to students and researchers interested in Geography, Economics and Planning.

    1. Designer Economies  2. Economies of ‘Design’, Signs and Space: Management, Marketing, Design and Production  3. Nefarious Learning: Imitation versus Inimitability and Differentiation by Design  4. Design Histories: Anonymous Design, Hidden Innovation and Professional Design  5. Corporate Strategy and Designing Competitiveness  6. Design, Corporate Competitiveness and Regional Economic Development  7. Varieties of Capitalism – From Global Production Networks to Production Projects and Distributed Tasks  8. Creating and Shaping Things: Placing and Spacing Product Design  9. Designing Capitalism: Distributed Tasks and Divisions of Expertise and Labour


    John R. Bryson is Professor of Enterprise and Economic Geography and Head of the Society, Economy and Environment Research Group at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham, UK.

    Grete Rusten is a Professor at the Department of Geography University of Bergen, Norway, and Honorary Research Fellow, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK.