Cross Cultural Issues on Globally Dispersed Design Team Performance: The PACE Project Experiences

Eduardo Gonzalez, David Guerra-Zubiaga, and Pedro Orta
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tecnologico de Monterrey ITESM, 64849 Monterrey, Mexico E-mail: egm@itesm.mx, david.guerra@itesm.mx, porta@itesm.mx

Manuel Contero
Department of Graphic Engineering, Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain
E-mail: mcontero@dig.upv.es

Abstract:
Virtual collaborative engineering and design in a flat world relies upon the ability of distributed teams to perform as an integrated unit. Present research analyses how geographical dispersion and cross-cultural issues influence team performance when working under a collaborative engineering strategy. Its main contribution is to establish a common set of effective design practices for practitioners of design involved in new product development. Educators and students from Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico, Virginia Tech & Howard University in the USA, Darmstadt University in Germany and Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China conducted this work. These universities are collaborating in the `Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education’ programme (PACE). The results come from design teams at ITESM and reflect a semester’s worth of work. The students were enrolled in the senior year of the mechanical and industrial design engineering programmes and had previous experience related to the use of communication tools and CAD systems. The Nominal Group Technique (NGT) was applied to obtain multiple inputs from all persons involved in the project.

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