Design Thinking Metrics: Measuring the Impact of Design Thinking

PI: Claudia Nicolai, Ulrich Weinberg


This research project wants to investigate the overarching research questions: What is the impact of Design Thinking on individuals, teams, and organizations? How can this impact be assessed, measured andstrengthened based on a theoretical framework combining existing research

with expert interviews? How can this theoretical framework be used to measure the impact of Design Thinking and help for implementation for impact? In the first year, we have focused on Step 1 and developed a conceptual framework based on qualitative data. Now, as step 2, we want to take this theoretical framework and turn it into a proper measurement scale of DT metrics.

The focus of this year lies on scale development and, hence, the operationalization of the theoretically-developed concept, which has been the outcome of the previous project year. To this end, we want to follow established scale development procedures to develop, calibrate, and

then apply the scale to different organizations. The goal is to then quantify the identified relationships of our theoretical model through Structural Equation Modeling. The three questions guiding this project year will be:

(1) How does a measurement instrument and its metrics for measuring the impact of Design Thinking on individuals, teams, and organizations look like?

(2) What is the contribution of the different levels of impact to the overall DT success?

(3) What are boundary conditions for DT success, for instance within organizations or industries?


Martin Schwemmle, Selina Mayer