Design Thinking and How It Will Change Management Education

Design Thinking and How It Will Change Management Education

An Interview and Discussion

Academy of Management, 2006 more...

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


What if business schools taught students to think like designers? In 2005, award-winning educator David Dunne interviewed Roger Martin – then dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management – about his idea to put “design thinking” at the center of business education. Design thinking and its focus on collaboration, empathy and integrative thinking no longer seems as radical a business idea today. Nonetheless, getAbstract recommends this interview and Dunne’s elaboration to those considering an MBA program, to those leading MBA programs and to business school recruiters.


Business education faces extensive criticism from current academic and business leaders. Many believe that its values and teaching methods are no longer relevant to today’s workforce and economy. “Design thinking” has the potential to address many of the criticisms of business education, such as lack of innovation and social responsibility.

Business students should learn to think like designers. They need to create fresh ideas through “abductive reasoning” – that is, thinking about “what could be” rather than “what should be and what is.” ...

About the Authors

Roger Martin is director of the Martin Prosperity Institute of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. David Dunne is co-director of the Rotman Teaching Effectiveness Center.

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