Theory and Methodology for Forming Creative Design Teams in a Globally Distributed and Culturally Diverse Environment
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With increased globalization, Internet connectivity, and competitive economic conditions, global organizations are increasingly recognizing the importance of effective global collaborations. Hence, there is a need to extend the use of psychological teaming strategies for domestic team-formations to also accommodate teams that are globally distributed. Previous research efforts have investigated psychological factors for design creativity and effective global collaboration; however, few have addressed these factors concurrently. The focus of this dissertation is therefore on the formation of creative design teams in a globally distributed and culturally diverse environment. This dissertation provides a theoretical foundation for teaming methodologies for globally distributed and culturally diverse teams. It also presents a new global collaborative and creative design team formation method: the Global Design Team Formation (GDTF) method. This is a novel computational method that uses potential team members' psychological and cultural traits, in an attempt to form effective teams that are psychologically and culturally cohesive. The method is based upon and merges Jung's theory with the theoretical frameworks of (a) Teamology and (b) Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE), and it provides a quantitative representation scheme combining scores from the Meyers-Briggs Test Indicator (MBTI) and the Kogut and Singh index (KS index) using the GLOBE dataset. The GDTF method has been applied to three populations. The control group consisted of 42 three-person teams in a sophomore-level mechanical engineering design course at a US university, to validate the Teamology framework, which is based on Jung's and Belbin's theories. The GDTF method was then applied to two international teaming situations: a globally team-taught course on engineering design at the senior and graduate levels with 8 globally distributed teams across the US, Germany, Mexico, and China; and 23 dyadic teams of US undergraduate students performing automotive research with German graduate students in Germany. Results of this research shows that psychologically balanced and cohesive teams provide improved design creativity, and that this performance difference can be predicted using the team members' psychological traits. Statistical analysis indicates that creativity in engineering design depends on the presence of Te, Fe, Fi, and Si psychological traits, in decreasing order of importance, within the teams. The importance of these traits remains dominant in global teams, though global diversity negatively impacts team cohesiveness and hence their effectiveness, though not their creativity.
- Doctoral Dissertations