Design Thinking as Meaning Creation: The Case of Descomplica

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Raphael Lobo orcid
Claudio Pitassi orcid


Context: the design language was introduced to innovation management as a mechanism to increase creativity, given the predominance of an economic rationality in the innovation theory and practice. Among the design thinking discourse, meaning innovation gained relevance in post-industrial societies. Objective: explore the adherence of Descomplica strategy to the meaning innovation model. Method: an exploratory survey with a qualitative approach and a narrative method was carried out. Results: the data collected shows that the company does have a strategy to build and consolidate an emotional relationship with its users. This emotional connection can be perceived in students’ narratives, mainly when they came from public schools. Results also brought evidence that traditional education methods can be threatened by EdTech, mainly in environments where regulatory controls are weak. Conclusion: even though meaning innovation proved to be effective from the point of view of Descomplica’s strategy, it cannot be considered a radical innovation in the sense attributed by sustainability-oriented innovation theory. The results reinforce the urgency to discuss, from organizational and educational perspectives, the impacts of online platforms in Brazilian students’ perceptions, behaviors, and capabilities development.


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Lobo, R., & Pitassi, C. (2021). Design Thinking as Meaning Creation: The Case of Descomplica . Journal of Contemporary Administration, 26(1), e190166.
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