Team Composition and Team Performance: An Experiment Using Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)
Grant recipient: Jan Kietzmann, Beedie School of Business
Project team: Ian McCarthy, Beedie School of Business, and Jeannette Paschen, research assistant
Timeframe: June to September 2018
Course addressed: BUS 200 – Business Fundamentals
Description: Teamwork is important for almost all organizations today. The key premise behind structuring work into teams is that team members possess complementary skills, knowledge, attitudes, and other characteristics which will result in better achievement of organizational goals. A key goal of the Beedie School of Business is to equip students with knowledge, skills and experience from which they will benefit a) when they apply for work and b) once they enter the workforce. Effectively working in teams is one of these valuable skills.
Thus, a number of undergraduate courses at Beedie include a team component where student groups collaboratively work together on a course deliverable. What is less understood is how student team composition with respect on personality impacts team performance. The aim of this project is to understand the relationship between team composition in terms of personality and strengths and team performance. I plan to use two different assessments for personality and strengths: First, the Big-Five personality traits, one of the most popular frameworks to measure personality (McCrae & Costa, 1989; McCrae & John, 1992) and second, the Strengths Deployment Inventory (SDI). To help understand the relationship between personality/strengths and team performance, I plan to implement an experiment in an undergraduate course at Beedie in the summer 2018.
- What is our current understanding in the literature about the relationship between team composition (strengths, personality) and team performance?
- How can we operationalize team composition in terms of the Big Five personality traits?
- What are commonly used scales to measure self-perceived team performance? Given this information, how can we best design a survey to capture student perception of the team’s performance?
- What is each student’s personality profile in terms of the Big Five Personality traits?
- Are there differences in how students perceive their team's performance based on what type of team they worked in (i.e. their team's personality trait profile)?
- Do students perform differently based on their team’s personality profile score?
Knowledge sharing: I plan to share the results informally with colleagues at SFU Beedie. A key goal of the Beedie School of Business is to equip students with knowledge, skills and experience from which they will benefit a) when they apply for work and b) once they enter the workforce and effectively working in teams is one of these valuable skills. I believe that fellow educators would benefit from hearing about this project, how team personality correlates (or not) with team performance, and how it introduces AI, one of the most significant technological advancements today, to the classroom. I would like to present the findings generated with the help of this TLDG at a conference, e.g., at one that has a MIS/Management and /or educational track and/or aim to achieve a journal publication.