Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M. Eng.


Industrial Engineering

Degree Program

JB Speed School of Engineering

Committee Chair

Saleem, Jason

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Gerber, Erin

Committee Member

Gerber, Erin

Committee Member

Thompson, Angela

Author's Keywords

Flow; CET; Autonomy; Motivation


Most modern workplace settings are laden with operating procedures aimed at standardizing action in the name of efficiency. The cost of this standardization is the autonomy of the operator. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi stated the problem concisely in his 1975 work Beyond Boredom and Anxiety “… [M]ost of the institutions that take up our time…are organized around the assumption that serious work is grim and unpleasant. Because of this assumption, most of our time is spent doing unpleasant things”. An experiment was created to study and better understand how to redress this harmful situation. Sixteen subjects were given a SolidWorks computer-aided design task with varying levels of design instruction. The subjects then completed the Flow Short Scale and Computer System Usability Questionnaire to measure their perceived flow experience and their perceived usability of the system. No significant difference was found between the flow or usability between design prescriptions using a two-sample t-test. Several correlational relationships were present between the scales using a Spearman’s rank-order coefficient. With a larger sample size, more significant relationships may appear between the levels of design prescription. The implications of the correlational relationship suggest that operator perceived flow could be used as a marker for a healthy and sustainable system.