Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Jaradat, Raed

Committee Member

Reeves, Kari

Committee Member

Ma, Junfeng

Committee Member

Keating, Charles

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Industrial and Systems Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering


The growth of technology and the proliferation of information made modern complex systems more fragile and vulnerable. As a result, competitive advantage is no longer achieved exclusively through strategic planning but by developing an influential cadre of technical people who can efficiently manage and navigate modern complex systems. The dissertation aims to provide educators, practitioners, and organizations with a model that helps to measure individuals’ systems thinking skills, complex problem solving, personality traits, and the impacting demographic factors such as managerial and work experience, current occupation type, organizational ownership structure, and education level. The intent is to study how these skills, traits, and demographic factors can impact an individual’s abilities in working effectively with modern complex systems. These skills and traits also enable individuals to display distinctive patterns of thoughts in developing solutions that address complex technical problems. The dissertation further provides strategies for the management and enhancement of technical individuals based on assessing their performance. The model consists of three established instruments: Systems Thinking Skills, Perceived Complex Problem-Solving (PCPS), and Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator. These instruments are applied at the individual level to identify strengths and weak areas of improving an organization. In particular, PCPS is a researcher-developed instrument that captures the complex problem-solving perception of individuals. The different samples of the population for the dissertation come from students and practitioners.