An increasing number of chief executives (CEs) understand the importance of design and show strong interest in design management. What specific traits or behavior factors are common to the CE who values design management? How do these core factors interact with one another to produce successful designs and design management? To answer these questions, researchers reviewed company literature and public press materials in order to identify the influential factors that would most help a CE toward successful designs and design management. The review found four: design awareness, good sense of design, support for design, and involvement in design. Next, a survey was carried out targeted at leading corporations based in Korea and overseas. (The survey was aimed at the senior designers of the companies, rather than the chief executives themselves, in the interests of objectivity as well as knowledge of the subject.) The research examined the extent of the chief executives’ design awareness and its influence on design and the correlation among the four factors mentioned above, as well as correlations between those factors and their effects on design tasks and output. Further, the research demonstrates that the inter-relationships among the influential factors themselves may have either a positive or a negative effect on corporate design management.