Understanding best management practice for integrated high performance civil engineering and science teams.
New Developments in Structural Engineering and Construction.
ISEC-7 Seventh International Structural Engineering and Construction Conference 2013
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This case study based paper examines the complex and readily overlooked challenges of successfully managing and motivating mixed teams of engineering and science professionals. With a particular focus on high performance teams containing ‘virtuoso’ or subject matter experts. These are by definition of high intellect, driven largely by the pursuit of academic furtherance, not motivated solely by monetary gain. Resolving the technical challenge and the quest for a solution can bypass any natural reference to traditional lines of corporate responsibility. Research presented in this paper focuses upon a study of staff at AWE Plc, before a period of local restructuring. Findings indicate a long tradition of promoting technical specialists from within teams to key leadership positions has led to a degree of turmoil. Overall, only one manager exhibited behaviors commensurate with a modern management style of benevolent guardian. Many participants in the study were critical of other team members and in addition, particularly scathing of line management; focusing on a perception of lower intellectual ability. This paper can be used by the reader to reflect upon their own integrated team challenges, focusing towards operational improvement and conflict reduction.
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