Exploring the Fourth Order

Designing Organisational Infrastructure


  • Barend KLITSIE Delft University of Technology
  • Rebecca PRICE Delft University of Technology
  • Christine DE LILLE Delft University of Technology The Hague University of Applied Sciences




corporate infrastructure, fourth order design, action research, design process, innovation


Companies are organised to fulfil two distinctive functions: efficient and resilient exploitation of current business and parallel exploration of new possibilities. For the latter, companies require strong organisational infrastructure such as team compositions and functional structures to ensure exploration remains effective. This paper explores the potential for designing organisational infrastructure to be part of fourth order subject matter. In particular, it explores how organisational infrastructure could be designed in the context of an exploratory unit, operating in a large heritage airline. This paper leverages insights from a long-term action research project and finds that building trust and shared frames are crucial to designing infrastructure that affords the greater explorative agenda of an organisation.




How to Cite

KLITSIE , B. ., PRICE , R. ., & DE LILLE , C. . (2019). Exploring the Fourth Order: Designing Organisational Infrastructure. Conference Proceedings of the Academy for Design Innovation Management , 2(1), 761–776. https://doi.org/10.33114/adim.2019.07.227

Most read articles by the same author(s)