Digitization of the Design Thinking Process Solving Problems with Geographically Dispersed Teams

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10288)


In a globalized world, collaboration within geographically dispersed team members is becoming more important due to the possibilities given by information systems and the increase in productivity of knowledge workers. Design Thinking is a creative innovation method that is originally performed to enable participants to collaborate successfully in analog workshops. By referring to this initial situation, we hypothesize that a virtual Design Thinking platform can be at least as effective for generating creative innovations as an analog one, if the platform and the underlying processes are designed in an adequate way that enables collaboration and communication.

The key question in this research is, consequently, how a virtual Design Thinking platform should be designed to enable effective real-time communication and collaboration like in regular face-to-face Design Thinking workshops.

As the guiding approach for our methodology, we apply a Design Science Research approach. In the first section of this paper, we introduce the problem statement as well as a detailed motivation of our research project. Following, we present latest research on telework, virtual collaboration, and Design Thinking as the underlying foundation for our propositions. In section three, we introduce our methodological research approach, introducing our artifact – a virtual Design Thinking platform – and finally presenting our case study and survey results. Subsequently, we discuss the findings vis-à-vis recent research findings and draw conclusions. We can reveal that our virtual Design Thinking platform is applicable for virtual collaboration and team members can produce a valuable, creative and innovative solution in less time than working face-to-face.


Design Thinking Innovation Virtual teams Collaboration 



This paper is part of a project called DETHIS – Design Thinking for Industrial Services, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF); Grant # 02K14A140.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jacobs University BremenBremenGermany
  2. 2.Braunschweig University of TechnologyBrunswickGermany

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