Mediating engineering design team performance through conscientiousness and cognitive style
Editor: Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan V, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, John Clarkson, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Sprehn, Kelly A.; Macht, Gretchen A.; Kremer, Gul E.; Nembhard, David A.
Institution: The Pennsylvania State University, United States of America
Within a design context, team dynamics affect final product design, speed of project completion, innovation, and quality level. Despite the criticality of team composition, the formation of teams based directly on scientific findings remains relatively rare. Psychology has highlighted individual personalities and intelligence as potential inputs for determining the level of team performance. Design teams, in particular, are often chosen ad hoc, with membership often based more on niche expertise than with regards to interpersonal interaction. In this paper, we examine the link between conscientiousness as an aspect of human psychology and engineering design team performance with several cognitive style variables as potential mediating variables. Through regression modeling explored in the context of structural equation modeling (SEM), our model demonstrates a possible negative relationship between the object cognitive style deviation and team performance. This supports research claiming cognitive diversity as a detriment to team success. Finally, we explore the idea that cognitive style could be a mediating variable between conscientiousness and team performance.