Embedding “Design Thinking” in Business School Curriculum

By Ward Eagen, Kristen Aspevig, Wendy Cukier, Robert Bauer and Ojelanki Ngwenyama.

Published by The Arts Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

With the rise of ‘high experience’ products and services, businesses are striving to improve the ‘look and feel’ of products. There is increased recognition that new approaches are necessary for resolving tensions between aesthetic, economic and technological constraints for marketing, advertising or the packaging of services and products. In an effort to capitalize on this demand for innovation, businesses are embracing ‘design thinking’ as a strategy to harness and manage creativity; in response, programs that embrace this multi-epistemic mode are emerging at business schools.
This paper explores the pedagogical models used to teach design thinking in business programs. To date, few such approaches have been evaluated. We ask, how can design thinking skills be effectively taught? We consider the design thinking process, which draws on cognition, emotion, sensation, intuition, interrogation and other processes and skills to deal with problems that have incomplete, contradictory and changing requirements.
We present an approach to design thinking in teaching and learning based on multi-epistemic, Jungian and ecological models. Finally, we suggest that design thinking, rather than being taught as a course, can be embedded in curriculum and mainstreamed throughout institutions.

Keywords: Design Thinking, Pedagogy, Business Curriculum, Intuition, Process

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp.241-254. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1010.996KB).

Dr. Ward Eagen

Ryerson University, Canada

Ward M. Eagen Ph.D. (ABD) is a Senior Researcher in Design and Innovation, Institute of Innovation and Technology Management, Ryerson University. His research interest is design as a creative (Deleuze) social and moral (Taylor) process of the intuitive unfolding of a solution space from the problem place. Ward worked as an architect for ten years and has taught design from a number of perspectives including architecture, film, photography, web design, and new media in North America and Africa. Ward holds degrees in architecture, and philosophy, and is currently working on a Ph.D. in Design Science.

Dr. Kristen Aspevig

Research Analyst, Diversity Institute, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

Kristen Aspevig has a PhD in Communication and Culture Program from Ryerson and York Universities. She has a B.A. from McGill University in Religious Studies and an M.A. from Ryerson and York Universities. She has taught courses in Professional Communication and Cultural Studies at Ryerson University. She has also worked as a Media analyst in the private sector.

Dr. Wendy Cukier

Ryerson University, Canada

Wendy Cukier, MA, MBA, PhD, DU (Hon) LLD (Hon) M.S.C. is the Vice President of Research and Innovation at Ryerson University. Previously the Associate Dean of the Ted Rogers School of Management and a Professor in Information Technology Management, her interests are in emerging technologies, innovation and social entrepreneurship. Wendy was the founder of Ryerson’s Diversity Institute and is the Principal Investigator on a series of studies of diversity in leadership, in technology and in the media. She has published more than 200 articles and holds honorary doctorates from Laval University (Quebec City) and Concordia University (Montreal) and holds the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Cross, one of Canada’s highest civilians honours.

Dr. Robert Bauer

University of Toronto, Canada

Robert M. Bauer is Associate Professor of Organization and Innovation at Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria where his research focuses on creative and innovative processes in/between organizations with particular emphasis on (a) complexity and knowledge integ-ration (b) design thinking and creative epistemology, and (c) relationships between manage-ment and organization, arts and design. Robert is a registered psychotherapist working ex-tensively as a consultant and coach to top executive management.

Dr. Ojelanki Ngwenyama

School of Information Technology Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

Ojelanki Ngwenyama, PhD, D.Phil (hc), is Professor on Information Technology Management and Director of Institute for Innovation and Technology Management, Ryerson University, Toronto. In 2011 he was Andrew Mellon Foundation Visiting Mentorship Professor in the Faculty of Commerce, University of Cape Town, South Africa. Ojelanki has been a visiting professor with Department of Computer Science, University of Jyväskylä, Finland, since 1991; with the Department of Informatics, University of Pretoria, South Africa, since 1994, and with the Department Computer Science, University of Aalborg, Denmark, since 1998; and between 2006-2009 he was a visiting professor Aarhus University Business School, Denmark. Ojelanki is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Information Technology For Development, Information Systems Journal and Scandinavian Journal of Information System. Ojelanki has also served on the editorial boards of MIS Quarterly, Journal of the Association of Information Systems and Information Technology and People. He has also been an associate editor for the International Conference on Information Systems and European Conference of Information Systems. Ojelanki also served as General Chain, Program Chair and Organization Chair for IFIP WG 8.2 working conferences, an organization the he has been a member of since 1986. Ojelanki is currently chair-elect of the Association of Information Systems, Special Interest Group on IT and Global Development.


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