Decision design and re-ordering preferences: The case of an exploration project in a large firm

DS 87-7 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 7: Design Theory and Research Methodology, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Le Glatin, Mario; Le Masson, Pascal; Weil, Benoît
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: MINES ParisTech, France; 2: Zodiac Aerospace, France
Section: Design Theory and Research Methodology
Page(s): 081-090
ISBN: 978-1-904670-95-7
ISSN: 2220-4342


Decision theory has been long applied to project management for risk and uncertainty reduction. Among the foundations, the manager is considered following axioms describing his rationality; the most prominent ones being transitivity and independence. The order in preferences is not supposed be reversed yet unknown events of nature may perturb our understanding and may require designing new decisions going against decision theories, hence increasing uncertainty. In this paper we propose a model of decision making in the unknown whose hypotheses are tested on an industrial case in order to show that traditional decision making is not able to grasp the natural phenomenon of expansion and generativity as a manager senses the unknown in an innovation project. Bayesian Nets with Abraham Wald's foundations are used to sense the re-ordering preferences and the benefits of designing one's playground and being intransitive. The purpose is also to contribute to the idea that design theories, theories studying generative processes, by opposition to optimisation (decision theory) and ideation (creativity theory) can help extend the underlying logic of innovation management.

Keywords: Design theory, Decision making, Project management, Design management


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