Applying DMM and DSM to Support the Quantitative Investigation of the Design Thinking
New theories and approaches need to be progressively characterized to achieve maturity and proper handling. The characterization of their fundamental elements is typically approached with qualitative methods. Those procedures may be arduous to perform when the target element to be characterized is numerically expressive. This work is part of a wider project that aims to compare elements of an emerging theory (design thinking) with the elements of a well-established theory (development process). This paper proposes a method for characterizing the fundamental elements of a given process-oriented element category of a theory or approach, mainly when fundamental elements are voluminous. The method proposed in this work is based on content analysis, which was combined with the application of design structure matrices (DSM) and domain-mapping matrices (DMM) in order to process information. The method was tested through experts’ analysis attempting to characterize the fundamental tasks of the design thinking approach.