As never before, turbulent business environments, scarcity of resources, hyper-competition and globalization have put significant competitive pressures on many businesses. Rapid specialized technology developments and increased global access to geographically unlimited markets allow consumers seemingly to have infinite choices for the best satisfaction of their needs in choosing desired products. Providing value to customers becomes vital to any organization to sustain the business in future. As a main task of design through design thinking is to seek value to customers, fosters management thinking from chaotic fluctuations in external turbulence and enables sustainable order in actions. This is why awareness of extended design application is becoming crucial hot topic nowadays among academics and practitioners.
The aim of this paper is to analyze awareness of design application and design thinking in Latvia, to highlight potentials of these innovative management methods and tools to build new organizational capabilities and sustain competitiveness in the challenging business conditions, to improve the welfare of society and create better environment for living.
Research was conducted to find out the stage of design application in broader sense leading to design thinking and design driven innovations was carried out in Latvia. 374 responses were collected from randomly selected companies in Latvia and as a results, due to national and regional specifics based on development level of micro and macro factors influencing entire innovation ecosystem, majority of business managers still focus on short-term business decisions and cost-reduction with limited awareness of design broader usage as a powerful innovation method for product development, improvement of business processes and renewal of business models.
Research findings prove the necessity to change thinking model of business management in order to develop the skills and capabilities to recognize emerging new driving forces of innovation unfolded through design thinking to ensure continuous value generation, order in external chaos and sustainable competitiveness.