Problems associated with the limited success of traditional engineering leadership development are the absence of embedded real-life industry case studies in leadership development and incorrect applications of leadership strategies in the various contexts. Though recommended programs for enhancing leadership development exist, they lack an examined framework, especially when it comes to leadership development of undergraduate engineering students. In this research effort, the impact of a framework using 3D virtual world simulation and the 4-D Leadership System to enhance the leadership abilities of undergraduate engineering students at the individual and team levels based on industrial leadership case studies was investigated. The 3D virtual world simulation was used to provide experiential learning by replacing human beings with avatars that could be managed or dramatized by real people. This framework was examined and validated by a randomized pretest-posttest control group design. Paired and two-sample t-tests revealed a significant development in the average team leadership skills of the experimental group, but no significant change occurred in the control group teams. There was a reduction in the mean of individuals' tests which indicated there was a small enhancement in an individual's leadership skills; however, the change was small and not statistically significant. Also, the administration of the 3D virtual world leadership simulation on the undergraduate engineering students had a significant effect on a team's average leadership skills. There was a small, but insignificant effect of the 3D virtual world simulation for individuals. The findings of the study supported simulation as having potential to strengthen the leadership development of undergraduate engineering students, thereby preparing them to meet industry's demands for engineering leadership.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Industrial Engineering and Management Systems
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Almalki, Hamed, "A Holistic Framework for Effective Engineering Leadership Development Using 3D Virtual World Simulation" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5091.