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Characterizing engineering innovativeness through a modified Delphi Study

P. Reevces, S. Zappe, E. Kisenwether, J. Follmer, and J. Menold
2014, Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2014 IEEE

There is a growing interest in understanding innovative behavior in engineers. However, there are a limited number of empirical studies that describe innovative characteristics that are unique to engineers. In this research we are conducting a modified Delphi Study to examine the complex constructs associated with engineering innovativeness. The first round survey was developed based on data from a prior qualitative study. The participants in our Delphi study were a group of 102 recognized engineering innovators averaging over 25 years’ experience and drawn from academic, corporate, and entrepreneurial organizations. At the conclusion of the Delphi Study, participants will have completed three anonymous rounds of online surveys asking them to clarify and rank order characteristics of innovative engineers by phases of the innovation process. This paper discusses our methodology, initial round one Delphi Study results and the next steps in our research, which include the second and third round surveys. The findings will inform the development of surveys designed to measure innovativeness among engineering.