SErvice design and organisational change - a context-driven framework



This text presents the results of a three-step research study that explored ways in which Service Design can support organizations when implementing cultural change and innovation.

The first step was an integrative literature review of academic studies, journals, and other resources that identified 200+ issues faced by organizations relating to organizational change efforts.

Based on that, the second step, supported by in-depth interviews with 3 corporate cultural change managers pertaining to different organizations, resulted in a survey that was sent to 8 other professionals possessing a similar role. This allowed us to focus and narrow those issues down to five key issues.

In the third step, 13 service designers worldwide were consulted in order to obtain their input on these identified issues and how they would approach in solving them. The original goal was to describe a framework which could aid organizations in approaching cultural change and innovation from a service design perspective.

Based on the results obtained, it seems that in order to overcome the issues faced, organizations first need to understand the context from which those issues stem. The method of solving the problems, on which the original focus was on, seems to not be as decisive as the importance of obtaining an effective understanding of the context they are based on. With this insight, the five core issues were framed from three different contexts in order to help organizations better identify and understand where their problems stem from.

As a contribution to the service design community and for corporations facing organizational change, this text describes a four-step sensemaking framework (Context, Research, Sequence, and Deliverables) to enable corporate cultural managers and service designers to act towards effectively directing organizational change efforts.

Team Members - Murphy Basore, Shreya Dhawan, Qianwen Dong, Andrew Moore and Ada Sin.


"The article is part of Touchpoint Vol. 8 No. 3 – Business as Unusual. Touchpoint, the Journal of Service Design is published by the Service Design Network and is available to purchase in print and PDF format at "