Design management is a relatively new concept compared with either design practice or management science. There have been various approaches which have tried to conceptualize design management issues, but most of these have considered design management in an organizational perspective, in isolation from the context in which the design profession is practised - the design industry - and thus are unlikely to capture the emerging issues driven by design industry trends. This suggests a need for a design management model that conceptualizes design management practice in addressing the issues of concern to various stakeholders within the sector.
This paper develops a conceptual framework by positioning design management within the design industry's knowledge supply chain. It defines design management as the management of the interface between design practice and other industry forces. The proposed conceptual framework is evaluated by comparing it with existing theoretical concepts and models. It concludes by identifying roles missing from classical design management theory, and suggesting region-specific design management remits, which recognize how the emerging role for design managers is likely to differ.