Abstract Purpose – This paper aims to investigate the phases of new product development within the design - driven innovation (DDI) process, the role of designers and collaborators in the process, and how this process relates to some quality principles. Design/methodology/approach – This study adopted a qualitative approach using Gioia methodology. In particular, four Italian manufacturing companies in the home appliances and furniture industry were selected and data mainly collected through direct interviews was analyzed through content analysis . Findings – The new product development related to DDI include s the following phases: the company brief, the designer research, the concept of the designer, the design, legal protection, prototyping, production and the market launch. Designers play a strategic role in the above phases of DDI , but other actors also cooperate and some quality principles affect positively on the process. This study proposes a model for a DDI process in the home appliances and furniture sector . Practical implications – This study makes recommendations to entrepreneurs and managers on how to innovate successfully and to effectively manage designers and collaborators to ensure competition. Social implications – This analysis highlights that design -based innovation contributes to improving the quality of life of consumers . Research limitations/implications – Although this exploratory study was conducted on only four companies, it advances the DDI research in relation to new product development . Originality/value – To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first qualitative study to examine the phases of new product development in DDI process, the actors involved, and relationship to quality principles for the Italian home appliances and furniture sector
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