The objective of this study was to determine the relationship among some intrapersonal factors including individual professional competency, interdisplinary ability, social skills, and team cohesion. Results showed that each of these factors could influence the innovation competency of students enrolled in design programs. To scrutinize effects of these factors on innovation competency, this study examined their correlations with innovation competency and their internal structure in order to comprehensively understand influential processes and paths for innovation competency enhancement in design education. The validated questionnaire was delivered to 296 students enrolled in design programs of universities in Taiwan. SPSS 18.0 and AMOS statistics were used to analyze collected data. To address research questions of this study, t-test, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), Pearson correlation analysis, Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) were performed. The following crucial conclusions were reached: (1) Students enrolled in design programs generally possessed high levels of professional competency, interdisplinary ability, social skills capability, team cohesion, thinking style, and innovation competency; (2) There were significant and positive relationships among these factors. This implies that these intrapersonal factors are highly relied on each other because they co-exist and interact with each other. Thus, any change in one factor would create chain effects; and (3) These highly correlated intrapersonal factors can be developed in real environment through understanding their interactive, hierarchical, and consecutive processes rather than through focusing on effects of a single factor. These conclusions could provide several suggestions for professionals, managers, and, more importantly, school educators in relevant fields. Two suggestions are provided for future high quality and comprehensive research to further understand and improve strategies needed for design education.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.