June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Engineering Leadership Development Division
26.1057.1 - 26.1057.16
Making Leaders; A Study of Leadership within the Making CommunityLeadership is a key quality for the engineer of the future. Proactiveness, confidence, motivation,communication, coaching (Ahn, 2014) will be important skills for engineers so that they caneffectively lead teams, adjust to change, and synthesize. In National Academy of Engineering’sThe Engineer of 2020 future engineers are expected to be in position to influence “in the makingof public policy and in the administration of government and industry.” The Maker communityoffers a broad spectrum of individuals engaged in informal engineering and tinkering activities.This study explores leadership using a theoretical framework of competing values includingrelating to people, managing processes, leading change, and producing results (Zafft, 2009). Thestudy relied upon artifact elicitation and critical incident interviews with 42 of these Makers atfour Maker Faires. The artifact elicitation interviews, based on photo elicitation (Harper, 2002),were conducted at the Maker Faires in front of the inventions, where the Makers were asked todescribe the invention and the process behind it. Critical incident interviews (Flanagan 1954)were follow-up interviews conducted via Skype to more deeply explore the Makers’ mindsetsand backgrounds. Under a theoretical framework of competing values and through parallelinductive-deductive analysis, emergent themes among our sample of Makers are that theyexpress leadership through: (1) cooperation – they work alongside other Makers for completingprojects as well as acquiring services outside of their expertise; (2) mentorship – they providefeedback for other Makers, local communities, and small groups; (3) large scale mentorship –they provide insight and lessons through online communities such as Instructables, in the form ofliterature, or other widespread methods; (4) entrepreneurship – they show leadership throughstartup projects or businesses.
Oplinger, J. L., & Lande, M., & Jordan, S. S. (2015, June), Leadership Characteristics within the Making Community Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24394
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