Research Objective 2: To Infuse a Temporal Focus into the Study of Team Cognition

Infusing a temporal focus into the study of team cognition and team outcomes proved fruitful in better reflecting the time-based context of many organizational and military teams. Temporal TMMs were distinct from taskwork and teamwork categories and positively and uniquely contributed to team performance beyond these traditionally measured domains. In addition, temporal TMMs assessed later in a team’s development exerted stronger effects on team performance than those assessed earlier (Mohammed et al., 2015). Given the salience of time-based demands in work teams with these promising results, future research should expand the conceptualization of team cognition to represent who is going to do what, how, and when (Mohammed et al., 2015).

Research Objective 3: To Investigate the Effectiveness of Interventions Designed to Improve Team Cognition

Results provided encouraging evidence that storytelling and reflexivity interventions may help overcome the collaborative obstacles faced by team members in distributed environments, particularly when administered at the group level. Storytelling had a positive influence on team mental model similarity, but only for the analog story (Mohammed et al., 2014). The effectiveness of the analog story over the metaphorical/medical story in helping team members get on the same page highlights the importance of maintaining a close connection between the story and the target domain. In addition, the relationship between receiving the analog story and team mental model similarity was strengthened under higher information sharing (Mohammed et al., 2014).

In another study, analog storytelling also increased team mental model similarity over a nonstory format, which in turn, increased team performance (Tesler et al.,

2011) . However, storytelling was most useful when teams were additionally given an opportunity to discuss and come to a consensus on the story’s meaning while developing strategies to improve future performance (Tesler et al., 2011). In enhancing the positive effects of storytelling, guided team reflexivity provided the mechanism by which the story content could be fully processed.

In another experiment, guided team reflexivity had a significantly larger positive effect on team mental model similarity than guided individual reflexivity (Tesler et al.,

2012) . That is, allowing team members to communally reflect on their performance and strategies was more effective in getting members on the same page than individual reflection. Storytelling plus guided team reflexivity yielded the highest level of team mental model similarity out of all of the tested conditions (Tesler et al., 2012).

Individual reflexivity did not provide incremental benefits when combined with group reflexivity, and actually hurt outcomes when storytelling was also present (Tesler et al., 2012). Team mental model similarity mediated the relationship of guided reflexivity type (team versus individual) and performance. Based on these results, group reflexivity was preferable to individual reflexivity.

 
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