Date of Award

2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Systems Engineering

Department

Mechanical, Industrial and Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Gretchen A. Macht

Abstract

As climate change in conjunction with the fourth wave of industrialization necessitates the world to move toward a sustainable future, research needs to focus on the intertwined connection between team work and sustainability. Currently, it is unknown whether teams that are successful at accomplishing sustainability-related tasks have different team composition than the teams who are not. This research explored the composition of teams performing sustainability-related tasks in regard to the individuals’ pro-environmental attitude, individuals’ self-reported pro-environmental behavior, individuals’ pro-environmental identity and team cohesion. Data was collected on real-world teams at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, which is a biennial, international competition to inspire collegiate students and faculty to design, build, and operate energy-efficient solar-powered homes. Established tools were used to measure individuals’ pro-environmental attitude (NEP scale), individuals’ self-reported pro-environmental behavior (PEB scale), individuals’ pro-environmental self-identity (PESID scale), and team cohesion (TC scale). Regression models suggest that neither pro-environmental attitude, nor pro-environmental behavior, nor pro-environmental self-identity were a significant predictor for team performance on a sustainability-related project. Team cohesion’s standard deviation was a significant predictor of team performance on a sustainability-related project; indicating that the convergence of individuals’ perceptions of the overall team working together toward achieving this particular project directly aligned with a successful outcome. Furthermore, a posteriori explorations identified a difference in team composition between sustainability-related project performance and overall team performance.

Available for download on Saturday, July 27, 2019

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