Axioms of value

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Reber, Michael (1); Duffy, Alex (2); Hay, Laura (2)
Series: ICED
Institution: University of Strathclyde
Section: Innovation engineering
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


Extensive work exists on value in multiple domains. However, there are different interpretations, highlighting a lack of clarity about the fundamental characteristics. To address this, we present seven value axioms resulting from inductive research. The axioms may be viewed as general rules describing value in any context, therefore conveying the fundamental characteristics of the phenomenon. They reveal that value is: (1) connected to people; (2) an output of a cognitive process; (3) in requirement of a determination process; (4) a matter of a given situation; (5) determined by the interpretations of entities; and related to (6) entities and (7) criteria. The nature of value is of particular importance to the design community, given the emphasis on value in design and product development. In this context, a lack of clarity may be perceived in terms of when value appears, appropriate metrics, and how to add value. To provide explanations, there is a need for a theory of value in design. The presented axioms may provide the basis, as they are fundamental statements on the nature of value and not limited to a specific domain. We highlight theory requirements based on the axioms.

Keywords: Value, Design theory, Design management, New product development


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