Risk management is a critical part of engineering practice in industry. Yet, the attitudes of engineers toward risk remain unknown and are not measured. This paper presents the development of a psychometric scale, the engineering-domain-specific risk-taking (E-DOSPERT) test, to measure engineers' risk aversion and risk seeking attitudes. Consistent with a similar psychometric scale to assess general risk attitudes, engineering risk attitude is not single domain and is not consistent across domains. Engineers have different risk attitudes toward five identified domains of engineering risk: processes, procedures and practices; engineering ethics; training; product functionality and design; and legal issues. Psychometric risk profiling with E-DOSPERT provides companies a standard to assess domain-specific engineering risk attitude within organizations and across organizations. It provides engineering educators a standard to assess the understanding of engineering students to the types of risks they would encounter in professional practice and their personal attitude toward responding to those risks. Appropriate interventions can then be implemented to shape risk attitudes as appropriate. Risk-based design decisions can also be shaped by a better understanding of engineer and customer risk attitude. Understanding engineers' risk attitudes is crucial in interpreting how individual engineers will respond to risk in their engineering activities and the numerous design decisions they make across the various domains of engineering risk found in professional practice.
On Measuring Engineering Risk Attitudes1
Contributed by the Design Automation Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received November 27, 2012; final manuscript received July 3, 2013; published online September 18, 2013. Assoc. Editor: David Gorsich.
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Van Bossuyt, D. L., Dong, A., Tumer, I. Y., and Carvalho, L. (September 18, 2013). "On Measuring Engineering Risk Attitudes." ASME. J. Mech. Des. December 2013; 135(12): 121001. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4025118
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