What Behaviors and Characteristics do Engineering Student Competition Team Members Associate with Leadership?

Abstract
Engineering student competition teams (ECT) are promoted as incubators for the development of leadership, 1, 2 yet we know little about how leadership actually develops within these teams. A case study of two teams at a public university in the central U. S. was performed, with the objective of exploring leadership development at the individual and team levels. Implicit in the concept of team leadership development is the development of individuals as leaders. This paper discusses the behaviors and characteristics that students participating on those teams associate with leaders and leadership. Team members strongly associated five categories of behavior with leadership: Ideal Behavior, Individual Consideration, Project Management, Technical Competence, and Communication. Other leadership behaviors, including Collaboration, Training & Mentoring, Problem-Solving, Motivating Others, Delegation, and Boundary-Spanning, were less consistently recognized, and some behaviors were valued more highly within one team than the other. When asked to define leadership, most team members ascribed to a mainstream view. A few team members revealed a more mature understanding of the nonpositional and collectivistic aspects of leadership.

Available from: ASEE Archive

Wolfinbarger, K. G. and R. L. Shehab (2015). What Behaviors and Characteristics do Engineering Student Competition Team Members Associate with Leadership? Proceedings of ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, WA, American Society for Engineering Education. DOI: 10.18260/p.25054

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