Shared Leadership in Capstone Design Teams: Social Network Analysis
Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)
Civil and Mechanical Engineering
Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
Multiple national-level reports encourage engineering faculty to help undergraduate engineers develop a basic level of leadership knowledge to enable leadership growth upon graduation. Recent engineering leadership literature suggests that traditional, vertical leadership models are incompatible with engineers’ core identities and may be less appropriate than shared leadership models for knowledge work like that found in student design teams. This study examines the extent to which leadership is shared within undergraduate, senior-level mechanical engineering capstone design teams and classifies teams based on their level of leadership sharing. Results indicate that leadership is more shared than vertical within capstone design teams, and a quadrant classification of shared leadership may be appropriate for describing leadership processes therein. The results develop a student design team leadership taxonomy and suggest that shared leadership models may be more consistent student design experiences than historical, vertical leadership models.
Novoselich, Brian and Knight, David B., "Shared Leadership in Capstone Design Teams: Social Network Analysis" (2018). West Point Research Papers. 181.
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