Title page for ETD etd-11152011-200605

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Cobert, Matthew John
Author's Email Address mcobert@vt.edu
URN etd-11152011-200605
Title Assessing Global Competence and Teamology for Collaborative Engineering
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Bohn, Jan Helge Committee Chair
Huxtable, Scott T. Committee Member
Williams, Christopher B. Committee Member
  • Teamology
  • Global Competence
  • Globalization
  • Education Abroad
  • Assessment
Date of Defense 2011-10-07
Availability unrestricted
There is a need to make measureable improvements to the global competency of engineering students that will enable them to work more effectively with overseas colleagues. However, there are few assessment tools that offer clear guidance on which types of global exposure (coursework, virtual collaboration, or education abroad) provide substantial benefit. Additionally, with the increasing reliance on teams to solve problems in both industry and academia, there is a need to ensure high-performance and inventiveness. This thesis addresses these two challenges by 1) developing a new assessment tool for gauging global competency and evaluating a commercially-available tool, and 2) validating and simplifying Wilde‘s teamology method for assembling better teams. The newly developed Global Competence Survey (GCS) is a quick and effective tool that is able to delineate between student groups based upon duration of education abroad. In its current form, the GCS works by assessing student knowledge of key facts about USA and Germany, and their ability to recognize cultural images. This first attempt shows statistically significant differences between domestic, three-month abroad, and year-long abroad students in these critical areas. Additionally, the teamology method was confirmed empirically by analyzing the performance of two-person global research teams assembled using traditional selection criteria. This analysis shows that teams with greater personality diversity exhibit far higher performance and stronger cohesion. When coupled with functional role requirements, teamology provides an opportunity to dramatically enhance the team performance and cohesion of an available talent pool.
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