Action researcher to design innovation catalyst: Building design capability from within

Rebecca Price*, Cara Wrigley, Judy Matthews

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
75 Downloads (Pure)


Design as a creative way of framing and solving problems is considered an essential business capability in an innovation era. Organizations with design capability can improve the lives of their customers, stakeholders and employees by creating valuable products, services and experiences. Design-led innovation is a framework that assists organizations to develop design capability for creating a better future as well as profitability. However, implementing design-led innovation requires support. This article presents insights from an action research extended to design innovation catalyst. The catalyst’s aim was to facilitate implementation of design-led innovation in an Australian Airport Corporation to develop design capability. To date, this extended role of action researcher as design innovation catalyst has received limited attention. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to present insights from the experience of the action researcher as a design innovation catalyst. This paper contributes conceptual and practical insight into the research design, action research cycles and critical reflection of an action researcher operating as design innovation catalyst.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAction Research
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • airport
  • design capability
  • Design-led innovation
  • organization design
  • reflection


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