This article provides new evidence on the relationship between design and innovation performance at thefirm level. In particular, we integrate previous analyses of the link between design investments and innov-ation by considering the extent to which firms put design at the center of their business activities.Moreover, we distinguish between the effect of design on innovation and its effect on the success of in-novation, as captured by firms’ innovative turnover. The use of the European Innobarometer survey, cov-ering a unique set of questions on the topic, allows us to test a set of hypotheses about these relationshipson a large sample of firms. The results show that a firm’s approach to design plays an important role inits propensity to innovate: the more central the role of design within a firm, the higher the likelihood itinnovates. The same holds true when considering the share of turnover from innovation. However, salesassociated with innovation do not increase linearly with design investments, as we find a positive effectonly for firms investing intensively in design. Overall it emerges that the centrality of design is stronglyassociated with firms’ innovation performance, while design investmentpersehasamorenuancedrole.
Montresor, S., Vezzani, A. (2019). Design centrality, design investments and innovation performance: an empirical analysis of European firms. INDUSTRIAL AND CORPORATE CHANGE [10.1093/icc/dtz046].