Date of Award

Fall 1994

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering


Engineering Management

Committee Director

Barry Clemson

Committee Member

Frederick Steier

Committee Member

Charles B. Keating

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.E555T54


The concept of mental models has received much attention within recent years, especially within the context of organizational learning. This research is based on and departs from the Organizational Learning Process as developed by Keating, Robinson, and Clemson (1994). That process, which is based on a verbal representation of mental models, does not call forth the kind of change that is desired in Organizational Learning. This research investigates if mental models can be represented in the form of system dynamics models and inquires if this representation is beneficial to the process of Organizational Learning.

The research was designed as a participatory action research. A five phase research process was conducted in a large engineering company that provides high-tech services for the US military. The participants were middle managers and the technical director of the organization.

Research findings present a revised process to represent mental models based on system dynamics and address the potential value of the process for Organizational Learning. Problems that were identified during the research project are pointed out and recommendations are made for future research.


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