Risky business: The driving factors of creative risk taking attitudes in engineering design industry

Xuan Zheng, Scarlett R. Miller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Designing breakthrough products comes at a great cost to the design industry due to the risk and uncertainties associated with creative ideas. However, without creative ideas, there is no potential for innovation. As such, companies need to appropriately embrace the risk associated with creative concepts in the fuzzy front end of the design process in order to build their value. While previous research has linked risk taking attitudes to creative idea generation and selection in engineering design education, there has been limited research focused on engineering design professionals' creative risk taking attitude and the corresponding driving factors. This is problematic because without this knowledge we do not know what factors inhibit or promote the flow of creative ideas in engineering design industry. In order to address this gap, a preliminary online survey was conducted with 46 design professionals from a global manufacturing company to understand the potential driving factors of creative risk taking, including educational training, job type (R&D, applied engineering, or management), and years of experience. The results suggest that there is a relationship between employee education level and years of experience and an engineering employee's willingness to take risks on creative ideas in the fuzzy front end of the design process. Interestingly, the results also show that those individuals primarily responsible for the development (R&D) and selection (management) of creative ideas tend to be more financially risk averse than individuals in traditional engineering positions. These results contribute to the prediction of professionals' design behaviors and have implications for the management of creative ideas in the early conceptual design stages of engineering design industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication29th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791858219
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
EventASME 2017 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2017 - Cleveland, United States
Duration: Aug 6 2017Aug 9 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference
Volume7

Other

OtherASME 2017 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2017
CountryUnited States
CityCleveland
Period8/6/178/9/17

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Modeling and Simulation

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  • Cite this

    Zheng, X., & Miller, S. R. (2017). Risky business: The driving factors of creative risk taking attitudes in engineering design industry. In 29th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology (Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference; Vol. 7). American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). https://doi.org/10.1115/DETC2017-67799