Teaching Design Thinking in Business Schools

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Incorporating design thinking in the business curriculum can provide students and instructors with a framework for dealing with unstructured problems and for managing the innovation process. However, many business students, like many business professionals, experience confusion and frustrations when engaging in design thinking projects for the first time. This paper provides guidance for faculty who are considering incorporating design thinking projects into their business classes. For such projects, the complex, iterative process of design thinking is structured to include six phases: problem finding, observation, visualization and sense making, ideation, prototyping and testing, and the design of a business model enacting the innovation. Guidance is provided to the instructor for managing the activities and challenges faced in each of these phases. The Appendix summarizes this information in a practical format for the instructor.