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An Investigation Of Gender Composition

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Women in Engineering: New Research

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.194.1 - 7.194.8



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Gul Okudan Kremer

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

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Session 1260

An Investigation of Gender Composition on Integrated Project Team Performance: Part III

Gül E. Okudan 1, Donald Horner2, Barbara Bogue 3 and Richard Devon 1

Department of Engineering Design and Graphics1 Engineering Leadership Development Program 2 Women in Engineering Program The Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA 16802

Abstract __ This study presents the quantitative results of the investigation that measures the effects of gender composition in integrated project teams and the proportion of women in an organization on two dependent variables: 1) team performance, and 2) team cohesion. The duration of the study was 16 weeks during which two design projects were completed. Tea m performance was measured using: 1) team quizzes, 2) design demonstrations, 3) peer evaluations, and 4) blind evaluation of team reports. Criteria for project performance included thoroughness of the project report, submission timeliness, compliance to p roject requirements, and utilization of engineering problem solving skills. Team performance is also assessed through the Team Performance Questionnaire.

Index Terms __ Integrated project teams, gender composition, and performance evaluation.

I. Introduction

Despite the widespread use of integrated project teams, they are not always effective [1]. This is true in both industrial and educational settings. One factor associated with team effectiveness is team composition [2]. Because of the increasing number of women joining the work force over the years; the gender effect on team performance has received attention. The results of previous studies have been conflicting because some researchers have found homogeneous teams to be more productive, whereas others have found the opposite to be true. Moreover, a recent study found the gender to be an insignificant variable for its effect on the performance of product design teams [3]. The duration of the design task included in this study was only 45 minutes.

The effect of the proportion of women in an organization has also been investigated, and found to be significant [4]-[6]. However, the effect of gender composition in teams and the effect of female/male ratio in organizations on the performance of product design teams have not been investigated simultaneously over an extensive period of time. This study fills that void. Furthermore, high performing team skills training is also included in the study as an independent

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition 1 Copyright © 2002, American Society from Engineering Education

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Okudan Kremer, G. (2002, June), An Investigation Of Gender Composition Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10206

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