Team based assignments, team activities and team presentations are integral to most business school programs for one reason: business requires graduates to be more than individual contributors; it requires graduates with management competencies such as team skills.
“In today’s organizations, groups or teams make virtually all of the important strategic business decisions,” according to Associate Professor of Management at DePaul University in Chicago, Dr. Erich Dierdorff, a consultant on teamwork to both corporate and government clients.
“Teamwork is critical in business but it is labeled a ‘soft skill’, mainly because it is difficult to measure,” he said. “A candidate’s technical ability can be tested, their communication skills noted in an interview, but team skills generally have to be observed.”
Dr. Dierdorff, along with DePaul colleague Dr. Bob Rubin, has partnered with Capsim Business Simulations to create a tool that not only measures team performance but also helps students diagnose and improve on their teamwork competencies.
Capsim’s TeamMATE provides clear measurement of team effectiveness during the business simulation experience. It further provides specific data on an individual student’s teamwork skills in a realistic business environment.
“TeamMATE blends the high-impact learning in a simulation with an integrated teamwork training tool,” Dr. Dierdorff said. “The tool is based on more than three decades of empirical research into team effectiveness and designed to make improving team effectiveness a measurable learning outcome.”
TeamMATE is a self-directed learning module. Instructors can incorporate it into a business simulation course using either Capstone or Foundation Business Simulations without having to master team theory themselves. TeamMATE includes an online interface, embedded videos, peer-evaluation surveys, and a Teamwork Toolkit to help students improve their interactions and behaviors. The Toolkit is a resource students can use throughout their career.
TeamMATE allows students to:
- MONITOR their own, their peers’ and their team’s behaviors at critical points in the simulation using an online survey tool.
- ANALYZE the results, presented in clear charts that compare both individual-level and team-level results.
- TRAIN themselves in areas such as time management, handling internal conflict, or dealing with a ‘difficult’ team member by providing practical solutions that can be used throughout the simulation – and their entire career, and
- EVALUATE their behavioral performance against the financial results achieved in their simulated company.
Instructor resources for TeamMATE include a complete introductory lecture with PowerPoint presentation, suggested classroom exercises, and supplementary readings.
TeamMATE is a rigorously tested teaching tool, based on 30 years of research into team dynamics, that works whether the teacher chooses to play a major, or a minor role in teamwork instruction.