Prior research has demonstrated how the average characteristics of a team impact team performance. Individual characteristics of team members and individual team member behavior have been largely ignored, especially in the context of engineering design. In this work, a behavioral study was conducted to uncover whether the most or least proficient member of a configuration design team had a larger impact on overall performance. It was found that a configuration design team is most dependent on the proficiency of its most proficient member and results suggest that replacing the most proficient member with an even more proficient member can be expected to have a more positive impact than replacing any other member with a higher proficiency member of the same change in proficiency. The most proficient member had a significant positive effect on how quickly the team reached performance thresholds and that the other members of the team were not found to have the same positive impact throughout the design study. Behavioral heuristics were found using hidden Markov modeling to capture the differences in behavior and design strategy between different proficiency members. Results show that high proficiency and low proficiency team members exhibit different behavior, with the most proficient member’s behavior leading to topologically simpler designs and other members adopting their designs, leading to the most proficient member driving the team design and team performance.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.