“Parts Without a Whole” is a section of an ongoing project. It is accompanied by a web resource with case studies on successful and failed design thinking initiatives  as  well  as  interviews  and other  knowledge  gained  on  the  fringe of  academia  and  practice.  This  additional  information  will  be  available  as  of July 2015 on the website:


Adresses of this study:

Current and prospective design thinking practitioners There are vastly disparate understandings of design thinking. Our aim is to quell the dispute on the ‘true nature’ of design thinking by initiating a more differentiated debate. This report can serve as a roadmap in helping its readers to localize themselves based on their understanding of design thinking.

Decision makers We present critical obstacles and some best practices of design thinking that may influence the failure or success of its introduction. We look at what other organizations have learned when rolling out design thinking initiatives.

Scholars and design thinking experts We have carried out basic empirical research on the adoption of design thinking by organizations. The results may be used for further investigations.

Anyone else interested in design thinking Our study will help readers gain an explorative overview of the often opposing positions within the current discourse in practice. The reader should get a better starting point to evaluate and make sense of the phenomenon.