Date of Award

Summer 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering

Committee Director

Andres Sousa-Poza

Committee Member

Rafael Landaeta

Committee Member

Shannon Bowling

Committee Member

Morgan Henrie


Research that focuses on the emotional, mental, behavioral and cognitive capabilities of individuals has been abundant within disciplines such as psychology, sociology, and anthropology, among others. The main argument made in this dissertation, however, is that a different perspective is necessary in order to gain insight about individuals when facing the complex problems that are presented within engineering and management disciplines. This is done by developing the Philosophical Profile of the Individual (PPI) that uses epistemology, ontology and teleology as underlying dimensions of philosophical predispositions. The epistemology dimension considers whether an individual is an Empiricist or a Rationalist, the ontology dimension consists of the Substantive and Process predispositions, and the teleology dimension represents whether the individual is goal-oriented or not. By using these three dimensions, researchers may understand how an individual chooses to acquire knowledge about a certain problem, how an individual defines a problem and how the purpose towards a certain future is obtained.