Linking the Development of Teamwork and Communication Skills in Higher Education

  • Carlos DeveceEmail author
  • Marta Peris-Ortiz
  • José M. Merigó
  • Vicenta Fuster
Part of the Innovation, Technology, and Knowledge Management book series (ITKM)


The development of generic skills and competencies in higher education is paramount, according to the new educational philosophy fostered by the Bologna process. These competencies, abilities and skills include teamwork, oral and written communication, problem solving, analysis, critical evaluation, information literacy, and information analysis. They are developed throughout all courses and subjects, and are usually taught and evaluated independently, and lack any clear structure or coordination. In some cases, generic competencies are acquired gradually, from beginner to advanced level, on an ad hoc basis.

The present study was conducted under the premises that the development of generic competencies in higher education must have a progressive, linear approach, and that the level reached in certain abilities and skills influences the development of other high-level competencies. Specifically, this work explores the relationship between communication skills and the effectiveness of teamwork. The study was carried out among first- and third-year students of the Industrial Organization Engineering degree at the Universitat Politècnica de València. Results show that teamwork effectiveness depends strongly on members’ communication skills, and that focusing on teamwork in the first year may be ineffective if communication skills are not developed beforehand.



This paper has been financially supported by the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) through the project PIME A07/13, titled “Development and evaluation of UPV competence dimensions as facilitators of integration in the labor market”.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos Devece
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marta Peris-Ortiz
    • 2
  • José M. Merigó
    • 3
  • Vicenta Fuster
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Organización de EmpresasUniversitat Politècnica de ValènciaValenciaSpain
  2. 2.Universitat Politècnica de ValènciaValenciaSpain
  3. 3.Manchester UniversityManchesterUK

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