Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Industrial and Systems Engineering

Committee Chair

Dawn R. Utley

Committee Member

James J. Swain

Committee Member

Sampson E. Gholston

Committee Member

Sherri L. Messimer

Committee Member

Eric C. Sholes

Committee Member

Stephanie B. Reitmeier

Subject(s)

Group work in research., Research teams., Teams in the workplace., Organizational behavior.

Abstract

For more than sixty years, following the extraordinary scientific and engineering accomplishments achieved during World War II, organizational unit research has been at the forefront of organizational research. What was once referred to as teams of scientists or engineers that delivered the atomic bomb, nuclear power, jet engines, space exploration, micro-computers, cellular communications and the internet has led to the modern incarnation of what are referred to as teams or working groups. The objective of this research was to investigate relationships between organizational functioning (teams and working groups) and organizational unit performance. To investigate these potential relationships, organizational functioning and performance data were collected from a United States government scientific and engineering organization using a web-based survey. Statistical analysis, using structural equation modeling, was conducted using sample data to determine if empirical evidence supported the existence of relationships between organizational functioning and performance. Results from the analysis indicated statistical significant relationship between a specific organizational function and performance while another relationship between another organizational function and performance could not be supported statistically. The statistically significant relationship provides empirical evidence to support previously accepted anecdotal organizational theory. In summary, statistical analysis indicated a positive, statistically significant (0.05 level) relationship between organizational functioning and performance while another relationship could not be supported statistically, based on empirical data. Engineering managers and organizational designers can focus valuable resources, such as funding, personnel and training, toward improving or maintaining the organizational functioning with a positive relationship. These leaders could potentially reduce investments of time or money into the organizational functioning that was not supported by statistical evidence.

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