The Effects of Organizational Structure on MBSE Adoption in Industry: Insights from Practitioners

Kaitlin Henderson, Alejandro Salado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite a general increase of use across the industry, Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) continues to be reported as difficult to adopt in organizations. Data related to adoption is largely taken from surveys asking respondents to share what they think are barriers or challenges to adopting MBSE. Consistently, organizational-related factors such as culture and structure are often one of the top reported barriers to adopting MBSE. Despite this, there has been little research exploring how these organizational factors actually affect MBSE adoption. This study attempts to address that void by comparing data on organizational structure characteristics with adoption and implementation metrics. A survey was created and distributed amongst the Systems Engineering community to collect this data. Characteristics of organizational structure that were measured as variables include: Size, Formalization, Centralization, Specialization, Vertical Differentiation, Flexibility, and Interconnectedness. All of these variables except for Specialization were found to have some level of significant correlation with adoption and/or implementation variables as perceived by the respondents. Flexibility and Interconnectedness especially had strong correlations with both adoption and implementation variables. This study serves as an exploratory report of this type of organizational-related data as it relates to MBSE, seeding future work that enables Engineering Managers to derive strategies to adopt and implement MBSE customized to their organization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-143
Number of pages27
JournalEMJ - Engineering Management Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024


  • MBSE
  • Systems Engineering
  • Technology Manage-ment
  • model-based systems engineering
  • organizational design
  • technology adoption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


Dive into the research topics of 'The Effects of Organizational Structure on MBSE Adoption in Industry: Insights from Practitioners'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this