In his article, "Design Vs. Design Thinking", Business Week's Bruce Nussbaum offers some great insight into the current struggle between business schools, design schools, designers and business people around who actually defines "design thinking" and what "design thinking" actually is supposed to mean:
My own current thinking is that designers must play a critical role in the creation of this new field of design thinking. The whole core culture of design is essential to design thinking. In fact, I would argue that the rise of Web 2.0 and social networking reinforces the traditional design focus on empathy and integration – human factors, the user interface, culture. Web 2.0 technology is behind the boost to design in the corner office as businesses delve more deeply into the lives of their customers–who are demanding to be part of the process of creating and designing stuff. Social media reinforce their desire to participate.
But design thinking is such a new field that it's not clear whether design schools or business schools will develop the formal concepts and methodologies that turn it into a broad, deep and powerful tool of organizational change.
The fact is that design thinking (or whatever we wind up calling this new field) is being created at the borders of design, business, engineering and even marketing. And I don't know which institutions will take the lead in promoting it.