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A 6 Hats Based Team Formation Strategy: Development And Comparison With An Mbti Based Approach

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



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Page Numbers

5.9.1 - 5.9.16



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Marty Bowe

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John Feland

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Brian Self

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Daniel Jensen

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2425

A 6-Hats Based Team Formation Strategy: Development and Comparison with an MBTI Based Approach

Dan Jensen, John Feland, Martin Bowe and Brian Self

Dept. of Engineering Mechanics United States Air Force Academy USAF Academy, CO 80840


Although various strategies for forming design teams have been documented in the literature, there continues to be a need to assess these established strategies as well as to propose new ones. In the present study the development of a new team formation strategy based on the “Six Thinking Hats” of Edward DeBono is described. An instrument for categorizing students according to their “Six Hats” preference for group interaction as well as the strategy for using this data to form design teams is presented. In order to determine the validity of this 6-Hats categorization instrument, the students provided feedback on the accuracy of their “6-Hats” preference for group interaction. This information indicates that the instrument used to assign a 6-Hats communication style works well; with 84% of the students reinforcing that their 6-Hats “type” is indeed one of their preferred styles of group communication. To further assess the 6- Hats method of design team formation, teams formed using this new method are compared with teams formed using a Myers Briggs based formation technique. As the two different team formation techniques have slightly different goals, this assessment incorporates both sets of goals as well as some generic measures of design team effectiveness. The results indicate that the teams formed using the 6-Hats based strategy more completely meet the 6-Hats goals than do the non-6-Hats based teams. Similarly, the MBTI based teams meet the MBTI based goals better than do the non-MBTI based teams. Also of interest is the fact that the teams which meet both the 6-Hats and the MBTI criteria for team formation report increased effectiveness in every category when compared with teams who meet either the 6-Hats or the MBTI criteria, but not both. More data is required to provide definitive, statistically significant results (this data is currently being taken), but the initial results indicate that this new team formation strategy has significant promise.

I. Overview

Various researchers [Wilde 1993, 1997, 1999, Trevistan 1998, 1999]have investigated different techniques for forming and assessing design teams. Although progress has been made in both the formation and assessment areas, there are still significant questions to be answered. The present work presents a new approach in both design team formation and the assessment of these

Bowe, M., & Feland, J., & Self, B., & Jensen, D. (2000, June), A 6 Hats Based Team Formation Strategy: Development And Comparison With An Mbti Based Approach Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8150

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