Date of Award

8-2014

Embargo Period

10-28-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor(s)

Susan Finger

Abstract

Collaborative groups are important both in the learning environment of engineering education and, in the real world, the business of engineering design. Selecting appropriate individuals to form an effective group and monitoring a group’s progress are important aspects of successful task performance. This exploratory study looked at using the concepts of cognitive social structures, structural balance, and centrality from social network analysis as well as the measures of emotional intelligence. The concepts were used to analyze potential team members to examine if an individual's ability to perceive emotion in others and the self and to use, understand, and manage those emotions are a factor in a group’s performance. The students from a capstone design course in computer engineering were used as volunteer subjects. They were formed into groups and assigned a design exercise to determine whether and which of the above mentioned tools would be effective in both selecting teams and predicting the quality of the resultant design. The results were inconclusive with the exception of an individual's ability to accurately perceive emotions. The instruments that were successful were the Self-Monitoring scale and the accuracy scores derived from cognitive social structures and Level IV of network levels of analysis.

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