Below are the abstracts for the academic journal articles Dr. Tobin Porterfield and Bob Graham have contributed to.

Porterfield, T. and Graham, R. (2016). “A meta-analytical view of non-technical skills for business and engineering students.” Decision Sciences Institute, Austin, TX.

Academic programs often seek methods to integrate the technical skills and non-technical skills sought by employers. A literature review explores the diverse interpretations of non-technical skills in order to build a logical and comprehensive topology. The authors then test the topology using a robust dataset of online job advertisements.

Graham, R. and Sheff, P. “On the Job Training: Using Consulting Experiences to Enhance Students’ Employability: A Case Study”

One university implemented an approach to meet the ABET requirement that students are prepared to meet the needs of the engineering community. This paper describes how graduate students participate in a required, immersive, three-week, team-consulting course that marries development of technical management skills with practical application of non-technical (“soft”) skills. Decision Sciences Institute, Austin, TX.

Nesterkin, D., and Porterfield, T. (2016). “Conflict Management and Performance of Information Technology Development Teams.” Team Performance Management. 22(5/6) p. 242-256.

This research aims to investigate how team support and cohesion channel the effects of relationship conflict and its management on team productivity. Questionnaire data were sampled from students working in groups to design software systems for companies. Structural equation methodology was used to estimate the proposed model. The results indicate that the mediators (team support and cohesion) positively affect each other and team performance. The results support that the effects of conflict and conflict management on team performance are mediated by team support first and then indirectly through team cohesion.

Nesterkin, D., Porterfield, T., and Li, X. (2016). “Relationship Conflict, Conflict Management and Performance of IT Development Teams: The Mediating Role of Team Support and Team Cohesion.” Journal of Computer Information Systems. 56(3) pp. 1-10.

This study examines how team collaboration and goal setting mediate the effects of team relationship conflict and conflict management on team performance. Primary data were collected from students who worked in teams to design functional information systems (IS). The data were then analyzed using structural equations modeling (SEM). The mediators – team collaboration and goal setting – positively affected each other and performance. Full results support a partial mediation model in which 60% of the total effect of relationship conflict and 80% of the total effect of conflict management on team performance are carried through team collaboration and goal setting. This work is the first of its kind that theoretically posits and empirically tests a mechanism through which team conflict and its management relate to team performance.

Porterfield, T., Johnson, Q., Li, X., Graham, R., and Nesterkin, D. (2015). “Development and Assessment of Soft Skills in Business Schools: A Case Study.” Decision Sciences Institute, Seattle, WA.

Employers demand workers demonstrate technical and behavioral skills to succeed in the increasingly complex business world, where globalization, technology, and diversity, among other changes, create new and varied challenges. Undergraduate business programs are integrating instruction in these soft skill areas, including communication abilities, ethical understanding and reasoning abilities, analytic skills, use of information technology, leadership, and reflective thinking into courses. We describe one AACSB-accredited business school’s comprehensive approach toward development and implementation of an assessment process for behavioral skills. The methodology illustrates the process of developing program-level learning outcomes and appropriate assessment tools, and offers an effective strategy for other programs.

Tomasi, S., Parolia, N., Han, C., and Porterfield, T. (2015) “Exploring the Impact of Team Rapport and Empowerment on Information Processing and Project Performance in Outsourced System Development”. International Journal of Project & Organisation Management. 7(3) pp. 284-305.

Offshoring of information systems development (ISD) projects has become increasingly popular among companies seeking reduced project costs, increased productivity, and improved quality and schedule performance. However, offshore ISD project teams face tremendous challenges, including unclear responsibilities, lack of trust and information sharing and difficulty in creating collaborative solutions. Extant studies in the management of offshore project teams have failed to address empowerment and rapport as sources of project success. To fill this gap, this study uses a social capital perspective to develop a research model and estimates a path analytic model using data from surveys of 194 participants in offshore ISD project teams. We find that team building, rapport among team members and empowerment of team members all contribute to improved information processing, which in turn leads to improved project team performance.