Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Educational Research and Methods
Due to the complexity and scale of many engineering problems, engineers often work in interdisciplinary project teams. In outstanding performing teams, every voice is heard and every point of view is taken into consideration. These teams synthesize all members’ resources and weave them into a creative solution; ultimately, members share the leadership. However, most teams are average or mediocre in their performance and therefore need improved skills for teamwork. As an extension of team performance, contemporary workplaces generally require all STEM graduates to be well equipped with teamwork and leadership skills. The main purpose of this paper is to untangle the construct of shared leadership and identify its different dimensions in those engineering student teams operating without formal leaders. We also seek to find the pattern of how the different dimensions of shared leadership emerge during teamwork processes. More research on shared leadership is necessary to better understand the way different types of leadership behaviors intertwine to determine the quality of the team’s process. The concept of shared leadership has only recently become popular in research and is still evolving. Shared leadership acknowledges the interdependent nature of leadership through collective achievement, shared responsibility, and the importance of teamwork. For our study, we recruited research participants from a 48-hour intensive interdisciplinary team design competition called _____ (AI), which is held by the College of Engineering at ______ University three weekends per semester. From our previous pilot study of student teams in the College of Education, we found shared leadership was a critical factor for performance of teams with no formal leaders. Aggies Invent will provide us with more data of STEM student teams. Those teams work together many more hours than the pilot teams and develop solutions to real world problems contributed by sponsors from business, industry, and not-for-profit organizations. An in-depth analysis of patterns of shared leadership within these teams should provide important insights into the ways that team dynamics drives performance. For our study, we chose a research method new to the study of project teams: Capturing and analyzing data through video and audio recordings. This research method not only considers the products of team effectiveness, but also examines processes behind it. This method will present a more complete analysis of the complex nature of team members’ interactions and teamwork than a study which chooses just one method of analysis, such as surveys. Using video and audio analysis also allows for the close examination of team members’ patterns and behaviors – a micro level picture of team dynamics. No studies of the complete engineering student project team design process that used video analysis to study interactions were found in the published literature.
Natarajarathinam, M., & Xie, L., & Beyerlein, M., & Boehm, R., & Zarestky, J. (2018, June), WIP: Emergence of Shared Leadership Dynamics during Engineering Student Design Projects Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31249
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