Correlation between team composition and team performance in virtual student product development teams

DS 87-9 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 9: Design Education, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Vukasinovic, Nikola; Cok, Vanja; Zavbi, Roman
Series: ICED
Institution: University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Section: Design Education
Page(s): 139-148
ISBN: 978-1-904670-97-1
ISSN: 2220-4342


This paper is presenting an experiment which was performed to investigate the correlation between team composition and team performance in specific case of virtual student teams working on industrial assignments of new product development. The experiment is based on Belbin's team role framework with the hypothesis that balanced teams perform better than unbalanced teams. The paper also briefly introduces the EGPR course and student virtual teams, which served as the objects of the experiment. The experimental results show no correlation between team composition and team performance, which is in line with some other studies. Many researchers argue that team composition indices used in various studies might not be appropriately defined. EGPR course has some specifics which have to be taken into account when evaluating this study: it has student product development teams, although the EGPR projects are characterized by high level of authenticity, the teams are partially virtual and partially co-located, international and coached by experienced university staff. All these characteristics might influence the correlation.

Keywords: Design education, Design learning, Collaborative design, Belbin's framework, Team performance


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