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Using Competing Values Framework to Map the Development of Leadership Skills as Capstone Design Students Transition to the Workplace

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Engineering Leadership Skills Development Across the Undergraduate-to-Workforce Transition

Tagged Division

Engineering Leadership Development

Page Count

18

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35456

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35456

Download Count

171

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Paper Authors

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Tahsin Mahmud Chowdhury Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Tahsin Mahmud Chowdhury is a PhD student at Virginia Tech in the department of Engineering Education. Tahsin holds a bachelors degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and has worked as a manufacturing professional at a Fortune 500 company. As an Engineering Education researcher, he is interested in enhancing professional competencies for engineering workforce development in academia and beyond. He is actively engaged in different projects at the department focusing on teamwork and leadership competencies in engineering.

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Daniel Knight University of Colorado, Boulder

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Daniel W. Knight is the Program Assessment and Research Associate at Design Center (DC) Colorado in CU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering at the College of Engineering and Applied Science. He holds a B.A. in psychology from Louisiana State University, an M.S. degree in industrial/organizational psychology and a Ph.D. degree in education, both from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Knight’s research interests are in the areas of K-12, program evaluation and teamwork practices in engineering education. His current duties include assessment, team development, outreach and education research for DC Colorado's hands-on initiatives.

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Daria A. Kotys-Schwartz University of Colorado, Boulder

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Daria Kotys-Schwartz is the Director of the Idea Forge—a flexible, cross-disciplinary design space at University of Colorado Boulder. She is also the Design Center Colorado Director of Undergraduate Programs and a Teaching Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She received B.S. and M.S degrees in mechanical engineering 
from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder. Kotys-Schwartz has focused her research in engineering student learning, retention, and student identity development within the context of engineering design. She is currently investigating the impact of cultural norms in an engineering classroom context, performing comparative studies between engineering education and professional design practices, examining holistic approaches to student retention, and exploring informal learning in engineering education.

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Julie Dyke Ford New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

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Dr. Julie Ford is Professor of Technical Communication (housed in the Mechanical Engineering department) at New Mexico Tech where she coordinates and teaches in the junior/senior design clinic as well as teaches graduate-level engineering communication courses. Her research involves engineering communication, technical communication pedagogy, and knowledge transfer. She has published and presented widely including work in the Journal of Engineering Education, the Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, Technical Communication and Technical Communication Quarterly. Julie has a PhD in Rhetoric and Professional Communication from New Mexico State University, an MA in English with Technical Writing Emphasis from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and a BA in English from Elon University.

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Homero Murzi Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3849-2947

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Homero Murzi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He holds degrees in Industrial Engineering (BS, MS), Master of Business Administration (MBA) and in Engineering Education (PhD). Homero has 15 years of international experience working in industry and academia. His research focuses on contemporary and inclusive pedagogical practices, industry-driven competency development in engineering, and understanding the barriers that Latinx and Native Americans have in engineering. Homero has been recognized as a Diggs scholar, a Graduate Academy for Teaching Excellence fellow, a Diversity scholar, a Fulbright scholar and was inducted in the Bouchet Honor Society.

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Abstract

According to the Engineer of 2020 report, one of the most important attributes that should support the success of engineering graduates when entering the workforce is leadership skills. There are several types of leadership concepts that have been linked to experiences students have in capstone design courses. In capstone courses, engineering students actively engage in real-world design problems and communicate their understanding in different teams, allowing them to develop skills and confidence which are essential in building leadership capabilities while transitioning to workplaces. However, there are few studies that have investigated the change in students’ leadership behaviors once they have transitioned into a workplace For this study, we draw from the Competing Values Framework (CVF) to answer the research question: How do leadership behaviors change among engineering students while working in teams in at three different points in time: during capstone course, three and six months in their workplace?

The participants in this study are drawn from a larger study of capstone design courses from four different universities across the United States. There were 62 participants recruited from Capstone courses from these universities. The full data set for the study includes interviews of the participants conducted at the end of their capstone course, survey responses for the first three months of their employment in engineering workplaces and semi-structured interviews conducted after three, six and 12 months in their workplace. The interviews focused on participants’ experiences regarding their challenges, accomplishments and strategies used in different environments (capstone and work). For this study, the data were analyzed using the four leadership profiles in the Competing Values Framework, which are known as the collaborate, control, create, and compete profiles. Key patterns across the participants’ qualitative responses on their leadership experiences in different environments were identified.

Results suggest that the leadership behaviors of the participants do change during the transition. Most of the leadership experiences from the participants in both capstone and the workplace were in the ‘collaborate’ and ‘control’ profiles which involve leadership behaviors including acting as facilitators, mentors and managing processes. However, participants during the capstone course described more experience related to the ‘create’ profile in comparison to the workplace where participants described more leadership behaviors including acting as innovators and negotiators. For example, participants in capstone course were involved as innovators bringing new ideas to the projects in their senior design team, led several changes in the project while working alongside industry clients and advisors, and were also actively involved in negotiations with clients and advisors during their project phase. As participants had more workplace experience in 6 months, they reported to have been given more leadership responsibilities by their supervisors that map to all of the CVF profiles. In addition, participants indicated that their leadership experiences from capstone helped them overcome challenges while leading projects during the 3 and 6 months in the workplace. The conclusions demonstrate that leadership behaviors change over time and the profile shifts according to the leadership responsibilities carried out in the team. The create profile is more dominant in the capstone course while collaborate and control profiles are common in all phases and compete profile arises after six months on the job.

Chowdhury, T. M., & Knight, D., & Kotys-Schwartz, D. A., & Ford, J. D., & Murzi, H. (2020, June), Using Competing Values Framework to Map the Development of Leadership Skills as Capstone Design Students Transition to the Workplace Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35456

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