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Effectively Using Quantitative Indices Of Conative Ability To Guide Teams

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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

Teaching Teaming Skills Through Design

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.463.1 - 7.463.9



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Paper Authors

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Reid Bailey

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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 2525 Effectively Using Quantitative Indices of Conative Ability to Guide Teams Reid Bailey Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering University of Arizona

ABSTRACT The success of an engineering design project is reliant upon individuals working effectively in teams. Due to this importance, quantitative indices of interpersonal behaviors are frequently used to form teams with a diverse set of qualities. In this paper, the focus is not on forming teams with indices but instead on the effects of informing individuals of their interpersonal behavioral tendencies as characterized by a quantitative metric, the Kolbe A Index. The Kolbe A Index is used to assess each student’s instinctive tendency to use certain approaches in handling a problem (i.e., their conative ability). It is hypothesized that merely knowing ones instinctive tendencies as measured by the Kolbe Index will improve team performance, regardless of team composition. The results indicate that something more than merely knowing ones Kolbe Index, such as stronger coaching and support for use of the index, is needed to improve team performance. The students involved in this study are all in a first-year engineering class at the University of Arizona that involves three projects over the course of one term. Quantitative results are gained from performance indices for each of the three projects. In addition, student surveys are used to gain further insight concerning the hypothesis. Throughout this paper, the emphasis is on building effective teams in general more than specifically building effective first-year engineering student design teams.

MOTIVATION The success of an engineering design project is largely dependent upon individuals working effectively together as a team. In addition to technical skills required for a project, a critical part of forming successful teams is matching interpersonal styles of the individual team members. Because information on interpersonal styles is often difficult to obtain, different indicators have been developed and used to form teams. Prominent examples of such indicators are the Myers- Briggs Type Indicator1, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter2, and the Kolbe Index. In this paper, the focus is on using the Kolbe Index, which measures an individuals instincts and drive. The Kolbe Index has been used to successfully form teams with the fundamental idea being that a successful team is 1) composed of people with diverse Kolbe Indices and 2) balanced (so that one type of person cannot dominate team activities). There are many times, however, when team composition is based on other issues such as technical competence in the areas needed for a project and personnel availability. In such cases where the Kolbe Index is not the dominant Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Bailey, R. (2002, June), Effectively Using Quantitative Indices Of Conative Ability To Guide Teams Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10400

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