Date of Award



© 2020 Sukhwant S. Jhaj

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Marylin Newell

Second Advisor

Gizelle Luevano

Third Advisor

Michael Flower


This research project examined how an organization facing significant challenges could design projects vital to strategic renewal by using design thinking to deploy the idea of the design value chain. This study validated an existing design thinking framework, using a service design process at a postsecondary institution as the site for the study, thereby addressing an important gap in empirical research on the use of design thinking to improve faculty and staff (employee) engagement in the design of work, workplace, and workplace tools to enhance institutional service quality and enact strategic renewal at a postsecondary institution. This project used a case-study approach, drawing on publicly available artifacts from the redesign of academic and career advising at Portland State University, a single postsecondary site that used design-thinking techniques and employee engagement in the design of services. Materials were analyzed using document analysis and time-series analysis. The research findings suggest that employee engagement in design of services can be structured using a design methodology organized into six steps: (a) project initiation, (b) understanding user need, (c) reframing the problem, (d) visualizing change, (e) experimentation, and (f) design. This work is significant as it validates the use of design thinking both as a theoretical framework and a process to be deployed by non-designers in the design of student services.


Ed.D. Dissertation

Available for download on Wednesday, April 29, 2026