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Daniel Lafond, Defence R&D Canada–Valcartier, Marie-Eve Jobidon, Defence R&D Canada–Toronto, Caroline Aubé, HEC Montréal, and Sébastien Tremblay, Université Laval, published “Evidence of Structure- Specific Teamwork Requirements and Implications for Team Design” in the October 2011 issue.
This article reports an experiment using the C3Fire microworld—a functional simulation of command and control in a complex and dynamic environment—in which 24 three-person teams were organized according to either a functional or multifunctional allocation of roles. We proposed a quantitative approach for estimating teamwork requirements and comparing them across team structures. Two multiple linear regression models were derived from the experimental data, one for each team structure. Both models provided excellent fits to the data. The regression coefficients revealed key similarities and some major differences across team structures. The two most important predictors were monitoring effectiveness and coordination effectiveness regardless of team structure. Communication frequency was a positive predictor of performance in the functional structure but a negative predictor in the multifunctional structure. In regard to communication content, the proportion of goal-oriented communications was found to be a positive predictor of team performance in functional teams and a weak negative predictor of team performance in multifunctional teams. Mental load was a useful predictor in functional teams but not in multifunctional teams. Results show that this method is useful for estimating teamwork requirements and support the claim that teamwork requirements can vary as a function of team structure.
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