Professor Violina Rindova presents findings from a theory-building study of Alessi, the Italian manufacturer of household goods.
Alessi's products are designed by approximately 200 famous architects and industrial designers from around the world, including Philippe Starck, Michael Graves, Frank Gehry, Richard Sapper and Ettore Sottsass. According to the company, more than 600 of its products are a part of the permanent collections of design and modern art museums around the world. Alessi is an unusual case that enables the development of new theory about new and rare phenomena by providing a setting where the phenomenon of interest can be observed. Rindova's analysis shows that Alessi engaged in a complex learning process using concepts from four distinct fields to transform the way it thought about its products and customers.