ITcon Vol. 21, pg. 177-187, http://www.itcon.org/2016/12

Process and structure: performance impacts on collaborative interdisciplinary team experiences

submitted:November 2015
revised:April 2016
published:July 2016
editor(s):Issa R.
authors:Tamera McCuen, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Haskell & Irene Lemon Construction Science Division, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK. USA;
tammy@ou.edu

Elizabeth Pober, Associate Professor
Interior Design Division, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA;
epober@ou.edu
summary:Does a team’s process or its structure have a greater impact on its performance? In a recent study investigating interdisciplinary student teams assembled for a design-build charette, results indicated that both process and structure influence team dynamics and by extension the end product. Teams with no prior experience working together were given two weeks to complete a proposal for the addition to an elementary school. Team members represented both the design and construction disciplines and were in their final semester of undergraduate studies. A Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued for the project requiring each team to submit a building information model as part of their proposal that was then presented to the owner. Students developed their proposals within a charette context, contributing their discipline specific knowledge and expertise early in the project. Working in a charette environment requires teams to form quickly and establish roles, responsibilities, and workflow if the team is to be successful. The findings reported in this paper indicate that students perceive team process to be slightly more important than team structure and thus agree that protocol, information sharing and standards impact collaboration. The results also indicate that the students neither agreed nor disagreed that information exchange has an impact on collaboration. The goals of the project were to improve student understanding of both team structure and process and how, when integrated early in the project, each could affect the final outcomes. The results reported in this paper indicate that students perceive team process to be slightly more important than team structure and thus agree that protocol, information sharing and standards impact collaboration. The results also indicate that the students neither agreed nor disagreed that information exchange has an impact on collaboration. Discussion about the importance of establishing a framework to support the team’s structure is included as a link between process and structure. Results from this study can be used to inform future curriculum development that supports student success in the 21st century as more design and construction programs seek to integrate collaborative interdisciplinary team experiences utilizing BIM.
keywords:interdisciplinary teams, BIM, design-build, charrette
full text: (PDF file, 0.587 MB)
citation:McCuen T, Pober E (2016). Process and structure: performance impacts on collaborative interdisciplinary team experiences, ITcon Vol. 21, Special issue 9th AiC BIM Academic Symposium & Job Task Analysis Review Conference, pg. 177-187, http://www.itcon.org/2016/12