Mapping and Measuring Design Thinking in Organizational Environments (Stanford)

PI: Prof. Sheri Sheppard


As design thinking continues to grow more popular in organizational contexts it begins to face two pressing questions. How can it be done well? How do we know it works? Most organizations apply design thinking to drive their innovation efforts. These efforts require some indication of progress or success in order to continue. It is important for researchers to address these questions because organizations have invested in design thinking which, in turn, provides an environment for students of design schools to apply what they learn. If these environments vanish, so to will opportunities for our alumni. This project proposes to map ecologies of design thinking in organizations. These maps will capture how organizations use design thinking and for what purpose. The goal is to better understand what strategies have been more or less successful. Additionally, this project will investigate whether the amount of design thinking behaviors teams in real contexts demonstrate correlates with how creative their outputs are. Ultimately these two studies should deepen our understanding of design thinking and contribute to the continued application of its methods and mindsets.