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Measuring Systems Engineering and Design Thinking Attitudes

  • Melissa T. Greene (a1), Richard Gonzalez (a1) and Panos Y. Papalambros (a1)

Abstract

Systems engineering and design thinking have been widely seen as distinctly different processes, systems engineering being more data-driven and analytical, and design thinking being more human- centred and creative. We use the term ‘design thinking’ to encompass the plurality of human-centered design processes that seek to unpack the core values behind design decisions. With the increased awareness that both systems engineering and design thinking need each other, the effects of a possibly persisting distinction on engineers’ attitudes toward these two processes are not well understood. In this paper, we describe the development and validation of a scale for measuring individual attitudes about systems engineering and design thinking. Thematic analysis of engineering and design literature is used to derive a Likert scale reflecting these attitudes. We use exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis to test and confirm this two-factor thematic representation, resulting in a 9-item Systems Engineering and Design Thinking Scale measure of attitudes.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

Corresponding author

Contact: Greene, Melissa Theresa, University of Michigan, Design Science, United States of America, greenemt@umich.edu

References

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