The influence of team mental models and team planning on team performance
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Since Cannon-Bowers, Salas, and Converse (1993) introduced the concept of mental models (MMs) to team performance research, theory and research have supported the idea that common cognitions among team members facilitate team performance. One of the processes that contributes to MM similarity is team planning. In this study, the influence of two planning approaches on MM similarity and team performance are compared for teams that have engaged in different teamwork and taskwork experiences. The purpose of the present study was threefold. First, I investigated the influence of team members' experience on their pre-planning teamwork and taskwork MM similarity. Second, I assessed the influence of pre-planning teamwork and taskwork MM similarity and two planning approaches on post-planning MM similarity. Third, I examined the influence of post-planning teamwork and taskwork MM similarity on team performance. I tested these relationships with 172 three-person ad hoc teams performing a problem-solving execution task in a lab setting. I employed a 2 (type of planning: casebased versus generative) x 3 (type of experience: teamwork, taskwork, combined teamwork and taskwork) fully crossed randomized between-subjects factorial design. Although none of the hypotheses were supported, experience significantly interacted with pre-planning taskwork and pre-planning teamwork MM similarity to influence post-planning MM similarity. Also, team performance was significantly influenced by post-planning teamwork MM similarity for teams assigned to the casebased planning and teamwork experience conditions. Speculations as to why the hypotheses were not supported and suggestions for future research examining the influence of experience and planning on MM similarity and team performance are provided.
Leiva Neuenschwander, Pedro Ignacio (2006). The influence of team mental models and team planning on team performance. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from