Relationships Between Team Composition, Team Climate and Team Effectiveness in Engineering Teams

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Team effectiveness is an important performance measure. There is limited research on the mix of team composition and psychosocial factors influencing engineering team effectiveness. It is of interest to examine the significant input and process factors that contribute to engineering team effectiveness. The purpose of this research was to identify and understand some of the important factors influencing engineering team effectiveness. This research explored how team composition (gender, age, race, experience, educational diversity, and team size) and psychosocial factors (cognition and group climate) influence the effectiveness of engineering teams. A purposive sampling design, with a relevant Likert-scaled survey instrument was used to elicit the requisite data. A survey on performance of engineering teams was carried out on Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) companies and oil and gas refineries in the United States. Statistical correlations and regression analysis were conducted on the data to determine relationships between the dependent and independent variables, and to determine the impact of the identified team factors on team effectiveness. F-tests were used to determine if these factors were true predictors of team effectiveness. The results from the study showed that gender composition, age, experience, and the group climate’s Engaged variable positively impacted team effectiveness. On the other hand, the team size and the group climate’s Avoiding and Conflict variables had a negative impact. The engineering team’s racial composition, educational diversity and cognition did not have a significant impact on team effectiveness. The insight from the study opens new vistas for how engineering managers can improve effectiveness of their teams. Engineering managers could modulate the team composition variables at the point of recruitment into the team for maximum effectiveness, while also ensuring the work atmosphere is devoid of negative tendencies like tension and anger. The findings of the study also form a foundation for further research on engineering team effectiveness. The results of the study are useful to engineering managers as ingredients to improve team management. The potential benefits of having a less-risky engineering project include improved safety, lower costs, and a less-intrusive environmental impact. Other potential benefits of the research findings include: opportunities for better team conflict management, and refinement of engineering curricula by colleges and universities.

Embargo status: Restricted until 01/2027. To request the author grant access, click on the PDF link to the left.

Team Performance, Team Effectiveness, Engineering Teams