Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Systems Engineering


Mechanical, Industrial and Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Gretchen A. Macht


This research analyzes the communication patterns of teams, based on their team performance, in order to understand the relationship between team communication and team performance using fuzzy cognitive maps (FCMs). A two-pronged methodology was executed: (1) communication data processing by (a) classifying utterances into flow, (b) content, represented as speech acts, and (c) validation, and (2) analyzing the communication patterns using augmented FCMs. The strengths of the relationships among key communication concepts were estimated and compared between the ten teams’ FCMs both quantitatively and qualitatively. For the comparison all the FCMs were separated into low performing teams (LPTs) and high performing teams (HPTs) according to their performance score (project grade in this case). Quantitative analysis included the calculation of intraclass correlations (ICC), as well as the testing of equality in means and variances between the two groups. Qualitative analysis looked at the different maps to find patterns in the connections. The results from the ICC show that LPTs were definitely homogeneous, but while HPTs did not pass the threshold to be considered homogeneous, they were close enough and as such cannot truly be classified as heterogeneous. Results of the test in means and variances show that although none of the means could be considered significantly different, some of the variances were. This would indicate that while LPTs might have a particular communication pattern that leads to low performance, HPTs have several communication patterns that lead to high performance. Further analysis is needed in order to better understand FCMs in communication and the use of the different FCM metrics available to interpret them. Furthermore, a deeper look is needed into FCM comparison metrics to determine which metric(s) is/are best suited for the analysis team communication FCMs

Available for download on Saturday, July 27, 2019