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Title: A behavioural and cognitive analysis of the design engineering job role : methodological developments and empirical findings
Author: Robinson, Mark Andrew
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis comprises six peer-reviewed academic journal papers I have authored, or co-authored, together with a supporting statement. The six papers report organizational psychology research, of a multi-disciplinary nature, that I conducted with design engineers in two engineering organizations. Three of the papers are methodological and three are empirical, reflecting the thesis's dual contribution. Methodologically, the thesis developed three innovative job analysis methods for analysing the behavioural and cognitive components of job roles - the · design engineer, here. The first, a multi-level work sampling method, collects data on work tasks from multiple perspectives, and does so hourly, for extended periods, from many participants, thereby yielding data suitable for inferential statistical analyses. The second, a three-phase future competency forecasting method, employs preliminary interviews with subject matter experts, a competency questionnaire, and critical incident technique interviews framed by the first two phases. The third, an agent-based model for simulating teamwork in realistic organizational scenarios, is underpinned by equations and behavioural rules derived from organizational research. Empirically, the linking themes of the thesis relate to the design engineering role, its cognitively demanding nature, its socially collaborative nature, and its constituent tasks and the time allocation among these. Specifically, the thesis developed a competency profile, demonstrating the criticality to the role of personal attributes and project management, alongside cognitive strategies and abilities, more traditional technical ability, and communication. It also examined the range of information behaviours integral to the role and the time allocation among these, including active and passive information acquisition, and searching for information from other people and non-human information resources. Finally, it examined the full range of work tasks design engineers perform and the time spent engaged in each, including social work and technical work, the combinations of these, and associated satisfaction ratings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available