Schmidt, Susanne R. (2010-08). Globally Distributed Engineering Teams in Computational Fluid Dynamics and in Product Development. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon

abstract

  • Globally distributed engineering teams are a reality in globally operating companies. However, research on teams is often done by psychologists, with a focus on general team building and working processes, and seldom on engineering teams and the challenges and benefits that are specific to them. In this thesis, experimental research on two globally distributed engineering teams is presented. First, one instance of globally distributed teams in computational fluid dynamics is scrutinized. Second, experimental research on idea generation methods used in globally distributed teams during the conceptual design phase of the product development process is presented. An experimental study simulating the global distribution of a three person Computational Fluid Dynamics team shows that successful sequential processing of a problem is possible given technological support by different internet based technologies. Three succeeding studies researched the influence of space and time during idea generation for an engineering problem, leading to the conclusion in the final study that idea generation in distributed engineering teams is a valid option. It is shown that the idea generation method has a significant effect on the number of ideas generated per team member. Further, the quality, novelty, and variety are each significantly influenced by both the idea generation method chosen and the team member's location, but in different ways by the same level of each factor. Concluding, both experiments in distributed engineering teams show these teams have unused potential that can be utilized using appropriate process, procedures and tools.
  • Globally distributed engineering teams are a reality in globally operating companies.
    However, research on teams is often done by psychologists, with a focus on general
    team building and working processes, and seldom on engineering teams and the
    challenges and benefits that are specific to them. In this thesis, experimental research
    on two globally distributed engineering teams is presented. First, one instance of
    globally distributed teams in computational fluid dynamics is scrutinized. Second,
    experimental research on idea generation methods used in globally distributed teams
    during the conceptual design phase of the product development process is presented.
    An experimental study simulating the global distribution of a three person
    Computational Fluid Dynamics team shows that successful sequential processing of a
    problem is possible given technological support by different internet based
    technologies.
    Three succeeding studies researched the influence of space and time during idea
    generation for an engineering problem, leading to the conclusion in the final study that
    idea generation in distributed engineering teams is a valid option. It is shown that the
    idea generation method has a significant effect on the number of ideas generated per
    team member. Further, the quality, novelty, and variety are each significantly influenced
    by both the idea generation method chosen and the team member's location, but in
    different ways by the same level of each factor. Concluding, both experiments in distributed engineering teams show these teams have
    unused potential that can be utilized using appropriate process, procedures and tools.

publication date

  • August 2010