Introducing the privacy aspect to systems thinking assessment method

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Systems thinking is a valuable skill that may be required for an individual to be promoted in the business arena to managerial or leading positions. Thus, assessing systems thinking skills is an essential transaction for decision makers in the organization as a preceding step to the promotion decision. One of the well-known and validated tools for this task is a questionnaire. However, because some of the questions invade the employee or candidate’s privacy, the answer may be biased. In this paper, we consider this potential bias, a phenomenon that is becoming more and more significant as privacy concerns and awareness continuously increase in the modern digital world. We propose a formal methodology to optimize the questionnaire based on the privacy sensitivity of each question, thereby providing a more reliable assessment. We conducted an empirical study (n = 142) and showed that a systems skills questionnaire can be enhanced. This research makes a significant contribution to improving the systems skills assessment process in particular, and lays the foundations for improving the evaluation of other skills or traits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number36
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Privacy
  • Questionnaire reliability
  • Skills evaluation
  • Systems engineers
  • Systems thinking


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