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An Investigation of Design Methodology


  • Gerald Nadler

    (The University of Wisconsin)


A methodology other than that used for research may be more appropriate for designing and engineering projects. This paper compares the purposes and methodologies of research and of designing, and concludes that while their purposes are different, their current methodologies are the same. The research or scientific methodology--with analysis as its hallmark--is shown to restrict the effectiveness of a design solution. To achieve an effective design solution, a methodology distinctly different from the research methodology is required. This paper reports on research which attempted to delineate the actual strategies used by outstanding professionals in various fields. It was found that such experts, although in different fields, have strong similarities in the steps of the strategy each used. The applications of an empirical ten-step design strategy with function determination and ideal systems development as hallmarks have shown much better results than conventional strategies based on the research methodology. Additional research is suggested to verify these early conclusions and to make the stated design strategy more effective.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerald Nadler, 1967. "An Investigation of Design Methodology," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(10), pages 642-655, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:13:y:1967:i:10:p:b642-b655

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