This research addresses effective ways of managing corporate design function through appropriate sets of organizationalconditions, which in turn determine the types of design functions. The three types of design functions-Leader, Collaborator, and Implementer - were established through cluster - analysis of survey data, with further in-depth analysis to identify the determinants of the types. Qualitative post-survey interviews were conducted to discover the underlying reasons for insightful phenomena. The research established that different levels of design excellence were associated with different types of design functions, and that the general consumer, as an end user, was a significant determinant of the types. The findings suggest that a given type can also be the result of a strategic choice as well as a company's capability for design. The scope of the design activities and leadership style were found to be important factors in organizational conditions for the company's capability to achieve design excellence.