Jackson, A., & Mentzer, N., & Zissimopoulos, A. N.

2015, June

Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Seattle, Washington


Background Effective decision making is a hallmark of experienced designers. The decision process is complicated by working in groups because multiple viewpoints need to be considered and each member may possess different information relevant to the decision. Subsequently, a structure to evaluate the decision-making process is needed.

Purpose/Hypothesis The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument to evaluate quality of group design decision making.

Design/Method The instrument development process presented here includes a definition of and organization for content relevant to group decision making, external review of the survey instrument, and two administrations used to establish the factorial validity of the instrument. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis was used to test the factor structure.

Results Evidence supports the reliability and initial validity of the 14-item decision-making instrument. Three reliable latent constructs are present which support effective decision making: Processing Information, Understanding Decisions, and Processing Alternatives (Cronbach’s α: .90, .84, and .88). A first-order factor structure produced a good fitting model, χ2 = 272.412, p < .001; RMSEA = .072; CFI = .983; GFI = .927. A second-order model also had good fit, χ2 = 275.034, p < .001; RMSEA = .072; CFI = .983; GFI = .927.

Conclusions The decision-making instrument appears to measure group decision-making processes and may be used by practitioners to guide instruction. Future research should continue to assess the validity of the instrument and may use a parsimonious second-order construct to do so.