Mapping and Measuring Impact of Design Thinking in Organizational Environments

PI: Prof. Sheri Sheppard, PhD, Prof. Bernard Roth, PhD


The ability to measure the impact of design thinking is important as this methodology spreads through traditional organizations that must demonstrate the success of their innovation initiatives. This proposal continues the development of creative measurement tools in two important areas. The first is investigating how a variety of trainings might lead to a measurable range of design thinking practice. The second is measuring design thinking in real world contexts.

We will study design thinking practice in a more controlled environment (Stanford d.school). We will compare students who have different amounts of design thinking training. Practice will be measured through three existing measures. Part of this work includes developing design thinking interventions allowing us to measure the potential impact of short lessons. Measuring in real world context is about creating tools needed to describe design thinking efforts implemented in organizations. Because each organization presents a different context, it is necessary to rigorously describe their environments. This will help the broader community of practitioners and researchers better compare and learn from the design thinking initiatives currently in organizations. The expected outcome of this proposal will be more refined tools and an understanding of how they are used in practice to measure impact.