A Design Leader’s Role in Managing Paradoxical Identity Tensions Through Dual Identification
As the role of design grows in prominence in the workplace, managing designers such that they can effectively collaborate in multifunctional innovation teams becomes an important consideration. We draw on social identity and paradox research to extend insights on this topic. We suggest that, to operate effectively in the workplace, designers need to experience both similarity-with and distinctiveness-from other colleagues, and that these needs are paradoxical. We argue that tensions arising from these paradoxical needs can be managed through Dual Identification – a model which promotes dual identities, allowing the fulfilment of both needs of sameness and difference. We propose that design leaders can enable Dual Identification in designers through consistent language and associated visuals, and that this will allow designers to feel secure in their identity as both a designer, and as an innovation team member. We suggest that, ultimately, this security will translate to enhanced collaboration of designers in innovation teams.
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