Service design thinking method for educational leaders

Mari Suoheimo, Kaarina Määttä

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

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Leading educational work can be a challenge as it includes guiding many different stakeholder groups. This study presents the service design process used to develop a service mobile application aimed at supporting the work of school principals in Finnish Lapland. Design thinking and Double Diamond are co-creative processes used by service designers to approach problems. In these processes, users play a central role in co-designing the service together with the service designers and other relevant stakeholders. This chapter describes the design thinking and Double Diamond methods in more detail and suggests how they can be utilised in the field of educational leadership by using participatory approaches to deal with complex social issues. While design thinking has been implemented widely in management education, it has rarely been applied to educational leadership. However, schools can be viewed as services where several interactions take place and where value is co-created. This study investigates how service design thinking can be applied in educational leadership. The data are based on focus groups and a research diary with field notes. A detailed literature review on how service design has been utilised in educational leadership is also included.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLeadership in Educational Contexts in Finland
Subtitle of host publicationTheoretical and Empirical Perspectives
EditorsRaisa Ahtiainen, Eija Hanhimäki, Jaana Leinonen, Mika Risku, Ann-Sofie Smeds-Nylund
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-37604-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-37603-0, 978-3-031-37606-1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2023
MoEC publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Publication series

SeriesEducational Governance Research


  • service design
  • co-design
  • design thinking and double diamond
  • Educational Leadership
  • social complexities

Field of science

  • Teacher Education


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