Design Management Capability in Entrepreneurship: A Case Study of Xiaomi
Xihui Sylvia Liu, Alison Rieple


In recent years, entrepreneurship has become a popular topic and attracted many young people to start their own companies. In entrepreneurship, design is generally viewed as essential to innovation, replacing the conventional role of the engineer. Unlike traditional businesses, which generally take a longer time to become established in the more stable economic context of mass production, current start-ups have to face fierce competition and have a tendency to expand rapidly and accommodate the dynamic business environment. Consequently, design management is considered to be crucial to business growth, since it contributes to both competitive advantage and strategic flexibility. However, start-up companies are well-known for their high failure rate. This triggered our initial research question: what is the role of design in a start-up to support it in achieving success? A case study of Xiaomi, a well-known successful enterprise in China, is used to report on the new capabilities of entrepreneurial design management. These are further classified into three key topics in line with the three stages of entrepreneurial business development. Unlike the design management capabilities reported in previous studies, the new capabilities show the dynamic nature of entrepreneurial design management.

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