Creativity and teamwork in engineering student teams: Assessment of effort as an intervention

Sarah M. Asio, Jennifer A. Farris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

A collaborative approach and participative decision making are key ingredients for mitigating the challenges in today's workplace. Engineering graduates are constantly required to exhibit the ability to work in diverse teams, to generate new ideas and provide novel solutions to diverse problems. Engineering education becomes a vital institution for the preparation of qualified and talented workers who are able to develop competitive and cutting edge technologies, products and services. However, the time frame for a particular level of education may not be sufficient for acquisition of vital teamwork and creativity skills by an engineering student. In addition, institutions of higher learning can only directly influence engineering students' ability to acquire such skills while they are going through their college education but typically have no jurisdiction over graduates after they exit the system. This study seeks to investigate the relationship between team effort and team creativity and innovation as well as other technical and social system outcomes such as efficiency, effectiveness and satisfaction. The concept of group effort has not received much attention in both general and team innovation literature, often mentioned in connection with some other variable of interest but seldom treated as the research focus. However extant literature has suggested that effort is positively and significantly related to team performance, efficiency, and some measures of innovation and positively related to team satisfaction. This study sought to evaluate these propositions within an engineering education context, based on a pilot sample of 46 individuals within 14 teams. The results show that group effort is positively and significantly related to team creativity and innovation, but is not significantly related to team effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction. Routine measurement of group effort is then proposed as an intervention to enhance the acquisition of teamwork and creativity skills by engineering students, in combination with other curricular and pedagogical methods.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management 2013, ASEM 2013
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Management
Pages510-519
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781632660541
StatePublished - 2013
EventInternational Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management 2013, ASEM 2013 - Minneapolis, MN, United States
Duration: Oct 3 2013Oct 5 2013

Publication series

NameInternational Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management 2013, ASEM 2013

Conference

ConferenceInternational Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management 2013, ASEM 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMinneapolis, MN
Period10/3/1310/5/13

Keywords

  • Creativity
  • Effort
  • Engineering education
  • Engineering student teams
  • Innovation
  • Teamwork

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