Conceptualization of a T-Shaped engineering competency model in collaborative organizational settings: Problem and status in the Spanish aircraft industry

Bernardo A. Delicado, Alejandro Salado, Rafael Mompó

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


There are persistent factors associated with ineffective systems engineering practice inherent in interdisciplinary teams. In this context, technical silos seem to be prevalent. The concept of team-based competencies emerges as a paradigm to facilitate effective collaborative interactions between technical specialists during a system's development. In particular, the T-Shaped competency model, while addressing the individual member, embodies the paradigm of complementing competencies of team members. In this way, specialty engineers could see their profiles complemented with a relevant self-awareness of the potential systemic impact of their particular tasks. Literature suggests that such self-awareness could improve their capacities to cross disciplinary borders, to move easily between the detailed level and the bigger picture of the system, and to interact better with other branches of engineering. Hence, the T-Shaped competency model holds promise in improving the effectiveness of systems engineering team. This paper provides two main contributions. The first contribution is an articulation of the problem related to team competencies in engineering problems based on existing literature. The second contribution is an assessment of the status of the problem in a representative actual industrial setting in Spain. The assessment is performed through an empirical qualitative study conducted with practicing engineers in the context of the modern aerospace enterprise in Spain. The results of the assessment show strong agreement with the core principles and ideas outlined in existing literature, and delineate additional issues not previously identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)534-554
Number of pages21
JournalSystems Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • enterprise & environment
  • other application sectors
  • other systems engineering enablers
  • resource management
  • system integration
  • systems thinking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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