Developing a Design Thinking Mindset: Encouraging designerly ways in postgraduate business education

Springer Singapore
Publication Type:
Design Thinking in Higher Education - Interdisciplinary Encounters, 2020, 1, 1
Issue Date:
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CH 3_ DT mindset_Groeger_Schweitzer 18 Feb 2020_REVISED FINAL.docxAccepted version64.79 kB
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Building innovation capability is a topic of vital interest to many organisations. In search of ways to build such capabilities, practitioners and educators have turned to design thinking (DT). However, while knowledge of DT processes and familiarity with its tools can be achieved relatively quickly, few educational programs foster a DT mindset. This exploratory study examines the effect of an experiential DT learning environment on the development of a DT mindset. We analyse the extent to which key attributes of a DT mindset are understood, evaluated and assessed with regard to their practical value. We apply a student-centred approach and show that the general value and related challenges of learning a DT mindset are well understood. However, students perceive the importance and value of mindset attributes differently; in particular, their reflections provide a nuanced and interlinked view of different mindset attributes. We discuss the relevance of our findings and learning designs for imparting a DT mindset, and provide a framework for learning objectives and exemplary activities to teach and encourage designerly ways of thinking and doing in business education. We argue that a mindset that embodies DT can address deficits in business school education, better preparing students for future work.
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