O N TEAMS 541
understand the discoveries. Subsequently, we dis- vidual- and team-level taskwork and teamwork
cuss eight discoveries and end with several key processes (Kozlowski & Klein, 2000). Conceptu-
issues that need attention as team research con- ally, teamwork is nested within team performance
tinues to develop over the coming decades. and is a set of interrelated cognitions, attitudes, and
behaviors contributing to the dynamic processes
TEAMS, TEAMWORK, AND of performance. Team cognition or team-level
TEAM PERFORMANCE: macrocognition is an example of this type of inter-
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS relationship between processes and has been the
focus of much recent research (Letsky, Warner,
Over recent decades, a "golden age" of inter- Fiore, & Smith, in press; Salas & Fiore, 2004). In
est in team research has emerged. A recent review general, team cognition research characterizes
of the literature revealed more than 130 models teams as information-processing units (Hinsz,
and frameworks of team performance or some Tindale, & Vollrath, 1997). Processes such as the
component thereof (Salas, Stagl, Burke, & Good- encoding, storage, and retrieval of information are
win, 2007). This breadth represents an ongoing thought to apply on the team as well as the indi-
balance between models at different levels of vidual level (Salas & Fiore, 2004). These pro-
granularity. Some are parsimonious and general- cesses occur internally in individuals; however, on
izable models of teamwork (Salas, Sims, & Burke, the team level, communication is viewed as a cen-
2005), and others are more contextualized team tral mechanism of information processing. In addi-
or task-specific frameworks (Xiao, Hunter, Mac- tion, team cognition can be viewed as an emergent
kenzie, Jefferies, & Horst, 1996) or models that phenomenon (Cooke, Gorman, & Rowe, in press;
focus on a specific team process or function (Entin Cooke, Gorman, & Winner, 2007). Finally, team
& Serfaty, 1999). Among these varying theoreti- effectiveness is an evaluation of the outcomes of
cal models are some core concepts that might be team performance processes relative to some set
considered common ground. These concepts of criteria (Hackman, 1987). The definitions of
include the input-process-output (I-P-0) frame- performance and effectiveness on the team level
work, which is the dominant approach underlying closely parallel the definitions of these terms on
these various models, as well as a consideration the individual level. That is, performance is the ac-
of the multilevel and dynamic nature of teams tivities engaged in while completing a task, and ef-
(i.e., for a more extensive discussion, see Ilgen, fectiveness involves an appraisal of the outcomes
Hollenbeck, Johnson, & Jundt, 2005; Salas et ofthat activity (Fitts & Posner, 1967; Motowildo,
al, 2007). 2003). With this groundwork in place, we turn to
a survey of the crowning achievements of the past
Teams are social entities composed of mem-
decades of team research.
bers with high task interdependency and shared
and valued common goals (Dyer, 1984). They are
usually organized hierarchically and sometimes DISCOVERIES AND DEVELOPMENTS
dispersed geographically; they must integrate,
synthesize, and share information; and they need What we offer next is a sample of the literature
to coordinate and cooperate as task demands shift presented as high-level themes that constitute
throughout a performance episode to accomplish important discoveries, especially as refiected in
their mission. During a performance episode, the pages of Human Factors. See Kozlowski and
team members engage in taskwork processes and Ilgen (2006), Salas et al. (2007), and Kozlowski
teamwork processes. Individual taskwork is de- and Bell (2003) for recent and comprehensive
fined as the components of a team member's reviews.
performance that do not require interdependent /. Shared cognition matters In team perfor-
interaction with other team members. In contrast, mance. Shared cognition is a critical driver of
teamwork is defined as the interdependent com- team performance (Salas & Fiore, 2004), espe-
ponents of performance required to effectively cially in shared mental models, team situation
coordinate the performance of multiple individ- awareness, and understanding communication as
uals. Team performance is conceptualized as a a fundamental component of how information is
multilevel process (and not a product) arising as processed at the team level. Shared cognition has
team members engage in managing their indi- been the theoretical basis for understanding how
542 June 2008 - Human Factors
teams adapt their performance processes under Winner, 2006). These holistic measures focus on
varying task conditions (Entin & Serfaty, 1999), the analysis of communications with recent
interpret environmental cues in a similar or efforts moving toward task-embedded, real-time
complementary manner (Naylor & Amazeen, measures of shared cognition (Cooke, Gorman,
2004; Salas, Prince, Baker, & Shrestha, 1995), & Kiekel, in press).
and make compatible decisions and carry out 3. Team training promotes teamwork and
coordinated action (Mohammed & Dumville, enhances team performance. A series of studies
2001). The implications and applications of this in the military and aviation (and more recently in
line of research have been far-reaching. For ex- health care) has clearly shown that team training
ample, Entin and Serfaty (1999) have shown that works (Cannon-Bowers & Salas, 1998; Morgan,
team training that builds shared mental models of Coates, Kirby, & Alluisi, 1984). It works because
the situation, task environment, and interactions sets of teamwork competencies have been iden-
of team members increases a team's ability to tified and articulated in a manner that affords the
function effectively under high levels of stress. development of systematic programs of instruction
In addition, Wilson, Salas, Priest, and Andrews (Cannon-Bowers, Tannenbaum, Salas, & Volpe,
(2007) have provided groundwork for under- 1995). In addition, these competencies have been
standing how breakdowns in shared cognition coupled with methods of training delivery and
can lead to errors on the battlefield and other design suited to the nature of team perfonnance.
high-stress operational contexts. Specific failures For example, simulation-based training (SBT)
in communication and coordination behaviors as has proven to be a powerful training methodology
well as deficient cooperation (i.e., motivation or for team performance because it allows teams
desire to work as a team) derail the process of to engage in the dynamic social, cognitive, and
building a shared understanding of the situation behavioral processes of teamwork and receive
between team members, which leads to poor per- feedback and remediation based on team perfor-
formance and errors (Stout, Cannon-Bowers, mance (Gorman et al., 2007). In sum, well-designed
Salas, & Milanovich, 1999). team training is systematic, rooted in explicitly
2. Shared cognition can be measured. The defined team competencies, and theoretically
developments discussed earlier have been made based; it also employs measurement and feed-
possible by advances in the ability to measure back (Salas, Prince, et al., 1999).
shared cognition (Cooke, Salas, Cannon-Bowers, From very simple cross-training interventions
& Stout, 2000). In general, the available mea- designed to improve team members' understand-
surement approaches and tools frequently limit ing of each other's roles and consequently improve
the ability to test any given theory; therefore, coordination (Cannon-Bowers, Salas, Blickens-
additions to the measurement approaches for derfer, & Bowers, 1998; Volpe, Cannon-Bowers,
capturing shared cognition constitute a signifi- Salas, & Spector, 1996) to training approaches
cant development in team research in their own such as crew resource management (CRM), which
right. These efforts have resulted in techniques to directly train team skills such as assertiveness,
measure team knowledge in terms of an aggre- maintaining shared situation awareness, and
gate of individual knowledge or the "collection communication (Salas, Fowlkes, Stout, Milano-
of task- and team-related knowledge held by vich, & Prince, 1999), well-designed team training
teammates and their collective understanding of increases the quality of team processes and over-
the current situation" (Cooke et al., 2000, p. 154). all performance outcomes. In addition, Shebilske,
Langan-Eox, Code, and Langfield-Smith (2000) Jordan, Goettl, and Paulus (1998) have developed
have provided a comprehensive review of the methods for maintaining high levels of training
methods of elicitation, analysis, and representa- outcomes while minimizing the amount of time
tion of team mental models along with practical in training by mixing observational learning and
guidance for choosing a specific approach based practice-based learning during team training. So,
on trade-offs between methods. More holistic there are diverse methods of team training avail-
measures focus on the dynamic processes used able. Applying meta-analytic synthesis, Klein
by teams to filter and distribute information et al. (2007) have shown that across different
(Bowers, Jentsch, Salas, & Braun, 1998; Cooke, training methods, team training accounted for
Gorman, & Kiekel, in press; Gorman, Cooke, & approximately 20% (unweighted r = .456) of the
O N TEAMS 543
variance across knowledge, affective, behavioral, et al., 2005). Such models are of tremendous
and performance outcome variables, with different applied value for team training or complex oper-
training methods having stronger relationships ations but also of significant theoretical value as
with different types of outcome variables. tests of theories of individual contributions to
4. Synthetic task environments (STEs) provide team performance.
context for research. A significant development 6. Factors that influence team performance
in team methodology has been the realization of have been identified. From issues of team com-
the importance of synthetic task environments. position (e.g., personality, cognitive ability, motiva-
Teams are complex, dynamic systems; conse- tion, cultural factors) and work structure (e.g., team
quently, team research requires a method for norms, communication structure, work assign-
observing teams under these conditions and not ments) to task characteristics (e.g., workload,
as static entities divorced from context. STEs are task type, interdependency), a host of factors in-
tasks used for research purposes and developed fluencing team performance have been identified
so that they systematically incorporate features (Baranski et al., 2007; Urban, Weaver, Bowers, &
of a real task (Martin, Lyon, & Schreiber, 1998). Rhodenizer, 1996; Waag & Halcomb, 1972). For
As such, STEs provide a valuable compromise example, Xiao and colleagues (1996) identified
between the complexity of the real world, which four task characteristics (multiple and concurrent
is an important influence on team performance tasks, uncertainty, changing plans, and high
and critical for establishing externally valid workload) that pose difficulties for trauma teams
results, and experimental control, which is nec- and discussed how team coordination training
essary to establish intemally valid results (Cooke and work design can be used to overcome these
& Shope, 2005). The widespread and fruitful use obstacles. For example, multiple and concurrent
of STEs in the team arena is documented in tasks pose challenges to effective teamwork in
Schiflett, Elliott, Salas, and Coovert (2004). that the team must reconcile conflicting goals and
5. Team performance can be modeled. A more task interference. Training in explicit communi-
recent development has been the application of cation skills and strategies can help the team
new linear and nonlinear modeling methods to members overcome these and other roadblocks
the scientific understanding of team perfor- to coordination. In addition, Driskell and Salas
mance. First, linear techniques such as hierar- (1992) highlight the importance of having team
chical linear modeling (HLM) have aided in members with a collective orientation, an impor-
understanding how performance compiles across tant team composition variable. Team members
multiple levels to yield team performance (Koz- who are high in collective orientation are more
lowski & Klein, 2000). Second, just as network likely to attend to the task inputs and needs of
and dynamical systems theories are influencing fellow team members during performance. This
thinking in a wide range of scientific disciplines, increased attention to fellow team members
including psychology, nonlinear models of team facilitates the processes of coordination and com-
performance are emerging as powerful quantita- munication and ultimately improves team per-
tive and qualitative tools (e.g., Gorman, 2006; formance outcomes.
Gorman, Cooke, Pedersen, et al., 2006; Gorman 7. Well-designed technology can improve
et al., 2007). Gorman, Cooke, Pedersen, et al. team performance. Whereas team performance
(2006) modeled team coordination using a dy- improvements have been achieved via the appli-
namical systems approach and found that newly cation of team training programs, the science of
composed teams exhibited more flexible pattems teams has led to the development and implemen-
of interaction and responded more effectively tation of technology to support team performance
than teams that had been together longer. These as well. This includes the development of displays
modeling results were used successfully to and tools to support shared situation awareness
design team training that mimicked the coordi- by, for example, providing individuals with rep-
nation dynamics of newly composed teams resentations of fellow team members' actions and
(Gorman et al., 2007). intentions as well as by tracking and displaying
Another relatively recent development is the complex task performance over time (Gutwin &
application of computational architectures such Greenberg, 2004). However, the mere insertion
as ACT-R to model synthetic teammates (Gluck of technology into a system does not guarantee
544 June 2008 - Human Factors
that it will augment team performance or even be 2. We need to study teams "in the wild. " Teams
used by the team. Just as training must be well are embedded in organizations and broader
designed to be effective, technology also must be sociotechnical systems. The nature of couplings
guided by a thorough understanding of team between the team and other components of the
needs and capabilities. Naikar, Pearce, Drumm, system undoubtedly affects team process and
and Sanderson (2003) provide a method based in outcome; however, there are few rigorous stud-
cognitive work analysis for concurrently design- ies of teams "in the wild," in their full situated
ing teams and technology for complex first-of-a- context. This type of research and concomitant
kind systems. methodology (e.g., Arthur, Edwards, Bell, Villado,
8. Thefieldbelongs to many disciplines. The & Bennett, 2005) can enable researchers and
formation and growth of organizations such as practitioners to provide higher-quality "context-
the Interdisciplinary Network for Group Re- specific" guidance to organizations that comple-
search (INGRoup) are indicative of the trend ments the extant theoretical models. In addition, an
toward the convergence of knowledge developed increased understanding of the factors that infiu-
within separate disciplinary traditions that are ence team performance "in the wild" can be used
often stove-piped. It is more apparent than ever to guide the development of future STEs, which
that psychologists and human factors researchers subsequently will provide increasingly refined
do not own team research. Researchers from the tools for testing theory. Pioneering work by re-
fields of computer science (Stahl, 2006), com- searchers such as Ed Hutchins (1990, 1995) and
munication (Hirokawa & Poole, 1996), organi- many others has provided a strong groundwork,
zational sciences (Carley, 1997), and engineering but much remains to be done.
(McComb, 2007), to name but a few, make im- 3. We need a better understanding of dynamic
portant contributions to the scientific under- assembly ofadaptive teams. Modem military and
standing of teams. This diversity of perspectives civilian organizations are adopting rapidly recon-
has enabled a robust understanding of team per- figurable organizational structures to maintain
formance to evolve. responsiveness to changing environments (e.g.,
Alberts, 2007). This entails flat organizational
A LOOK AHEAD FOR TEAM RESEARCH configurations with a collaborative technology
infrastructure, enabling spatially and temporally
We now attempt to provide a glimpse of the distributed personnel to be assembled dynami-
road ahead - the future of team research. Al- cally to meet the changing needs of the or-
though the science behind our understanding of ganization. The literature shows that merely
teams and team perfonnance is strong, there is connecting people with collaborative technology
much left to accomplish. The future holds many is not sufficient to guarantee effective team per-
challenges and opportunities. Again, our cover- formance (Stagl et al., 2007). Work is needed to
age is selective rather than comprehensive. understand these modem teaming parameters in
1. We need better measurement. Although a manner capable of guiding technology and
there have been great strides in the measurement training. In addition to a better understanding of
of team behavior (Brannick, Prince, Prince, & distributed or virtual teams, meeting this chal-
Salas, 1995) and cognition (Cooke et al., 2000; lenge will require more work in mixed human/
Cooke, Salas, Kiekel, & Bell, 2004), there remains agent teams as well.
a need for more robust, reliable, valid, and diag- 4. We need an increased emphasis on team
nostic measurement approaches. For example, cognition. Although much is known about the
the pursuit of dynamic and adaptive systems that moderators of behavioral coordination in action
are sensitive to team-level performance requires or performing teams (i.e., what can generally be
unobtrusive and real-time measures of team per- considered mle-based performance), relatively
formance that can be practically implemented, speaking, far less is understood about complex
especially in thefield.Although steps have been cognitive tasks performed by teams (i.e., tasks re-
taken toward this goal, including work with em- quiring cognitive coordination, such as problem
bedded measurement (Cooke, Gorman, & Kiekel, solving, negotiation, and planning). With in-
in press; Zachary, Bilazarian, Bums, & Cannon- creasing automation of tasks requiring monitor-
Bowers, 1997), much remains to be done. ing, coordination, and complex decision making
546 June 2008 - Human Factors
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Eduardo Salas is a Pegasus Professor of Psychology and
Motowildo, S. J. (2003). Job performance. In W, C. Borman, D. R. Ilgen, university trustee chair at the University of Central
& R. J. Klimoski (Eds.), Comprehensive handbook of psychology: Florida. He was editor of Human Factors from 2000 to
O N TEAMS 547
2004 and associate editor from 2004 to 2008, He is now Michael A, Rosen is a doctoral candidate in the Applied
associate editor of the Journal of Applied Psychology. He Experimental and Human Factors Psychology program
received a Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychol- at the University of Central Florida and a graduate
ogy from Old Dominion University in 1984, research associate at the Institute for Simulation and
Training, where he won the student researcher of the
Nancy J. Cooke is a professor of applied psychology at
year award in 2006, He received his M.A. in English from
Arizona State University Polytechnic and is the science
the University of Central Florida in 2005,
director of the Cognitive Engineering Research In-
stitute. She has been editor oí Human Factors since 2005.
She received a Ph.D, in cognitive psychology from New Date received: November 5, 2007
Mexico State University in 1987, Date accepted: March 30, 2008