The Role of Design Thinking in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy and Its Influence on Innovation

Varia
Par Bérangère L. Szostak, Yasmine Boughzala
Studies on the impact of design thinking in CSR strategy and its influence on innovation are not yet convergent. However, recent papers show that when design incorporates social, environmental, and economic dimensions, it leads to innovation that is respectful of the economic, social, and environmental issues within society. This article therefore explores the role of design thinking in CSR strategy and its influence on innovation through an empirical study of a French trail-running product manufacturer, Raidlight-Vertical, which jointly applies CSR and design thinking to innovate. We find that design thinking has a positive impact on a company’s CSR strategy in terms of innovation because of its openness, not only to the user community (trail runners), but also to other communities (both internal and external). The company must draw on input from all its key stakeholders in order to improve its innovation through design thinking. However, its success depends on the sensitivity of those stakeholders to innovations that respect environmental, social, and economic issues, and on their receptivity to design thinking.
JEL Codes: O310, O320
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