Characteristics of Canadian Manufacturing Firms That Undertake Design Activities: An Empirical Analysis of Results of the Survey of Advanced Technology, 2007 - ARCHIVED
Articles and reports: 88F0006X2010003
Design activities are central to firm competitiveness and delivering value-added products. Research has shown that rapidly growing companies attach greater weight to design activities. Through design, firms may improve the user interface and create characteristics that allow them to distinguish their products from those of their competitors. Using the results of the Survey of Advanced Technology 2007, this paper examines the extent of use of design activities among Canadian firms, with a view to explaining factors fostering firms' engagement in design activities. It explores whether design activities are more likely to be carried out in some manufacturing industries than in others. The average size of firms undertaking design activities will also be explored. Characteristics of firms that are likely to spend a greater proportion of their expenditures on in-house design activities versus those who outsource larger percentage of their design work to other firms outside their organizational boundaries will be discussed. This paper will also explore whether firms that have high design intensity are more likely to be innovators. Another area of interest of this paper is the question of whether firms that undertake design activities are more likely to be exporters. Common success factors reported by those firms with high design intensity will also be discussed.