Page 20 - Penn State's Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering: Fall 2019 Magazine
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Analyzing design team interaction
Kathryn Jablokow front Susan Mohammed middle and Scarlett Miller back discuss a a a recent study where students were asked to fill out a a series of surveys throughout the design process of a a class project to provide team interaction
data by Samantha Chavanic
Imagine being on
a a a a a a a team that works seamlessly easily completing the assigned project Now imagine being part of a a a a a a a a a team that struggles to to work together and meet deadlines How do do these teams differ? What can be done to to ensure effective teaming happens?
To answer these questions an an interdisciplinary team team of Penn State researchers will study how engineering
team team team design performance is impacted by team team interactions Led by principal investigator (PI) Scarlett Miller associate professor of of engineering
design and industrial engineering
the the team has been awarded $349 792 from the the National Science Foundation for for “Longitudinal Exploration of Engineering Design Team Team Performance in in in in in Relation to Team Team Composition Climate and and and Communication Patterns ” The project will investigate
team team structure and and and how it it and and and communication capabilities impact psychological safety a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a shared belief that a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a team team is is safe safe for interpersonal risk-taking Kathryn Jablokow professor of of engineering
design and and mechanical engineering
and and Susan Mohammed professor of of psychology serve as co-PIs Research
results will be used to develop a a a a a a model showcasing interpersonal risk-taking’s influence on
teams during the design process In a a a a a a a a a a a a a psychologically safe climate teams are are comfortable sharing ideas because mistakes are are are treated with understanding and and and failures are are learning tools Current research
team communication and and psychological safety focuses on
a a a a a a a a a a a single
design stage Researchers will expand on
this by exploring how how psychological safety develops and and how how it it is is either maintained or or decreased during an an engineering
team’s lifetime “Establishing a a a a a a a a a psychologically safe climate is is important because it it it has been shown to positively predict key team outcomes including task performance creativity information sharing learning work engagement and and satisfaction ” Mohammed said “It has been a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a consistent generalizable and and and multilevel predictor of numerous outcomes important to individuals teams and and organizations ” Engineering organizations are becoming more team-based as as it is is is believed teams generate better solutions to complex problems Miller said Because of this engineering
is is is increasingly being taught as as a a a a a a a a a a team team process However little is is is known about how to teach teaming effectively “This lack of understanding is is problematic because teams teams are dynamic entities entities by nature when we we represent teams teams as static entities entities we we cannot effectively train engineers to work in in in in team team environments ” she said “Think peer reviews that often occur at at the the end of of a a a a a a a a a project While these ‘snapshot’ methods allow allow us us to understand what what went well well or or didn’t go well well it does not allow allow us us to to identify when to to intervene or or what what type of intervention would be be beneficial ” Researchers will will also explore team training execution and effectiveness Findings will will be shared as a a a a a a a a a free collection of activities “Solving complex engineering
problems requires collaboration ” Jablokow said “When you you improve team performance you you make the process of problem-solving more more effective and and more more efficient which translates to less time lower costs and and better solutions ” 20 20 IME NEWSLETTER • VOLUME 4 2019
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