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Communication in Joint Activity: Investigating Teams’ Communication Pattern in a Dynamic Decision Making Environment
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The complexity in the world is continuously increasing. Teams are faced with imperfect information in uncertain, dynamic, and time critical environments as they strive to make the right decisions, not just as individuals, but as a team. In this joint activity the members choreograph their actions and synchronize their behavior through the use of communication. Communication is the predominant form of interaction within teams – it is not only a window into team cognition – it is an externalized cognitive process at a team level (Letsky, Warner, Fiore & Smith, 2008).

In an earlier study, non-professional participants were trained in teams of three to become high-performing within the C3Fire microworld (Baroutsi, Berggren, Nählinder and Johansson, 2013). In this microworld the team members are faced with the dynamic decision problem of fighting a forest fire. They have interdependent roles, requiring them to coordinate and strategize on a team level, making C3Fire a suitable platform for investigating dynamic decision making in teams. These six trained teams were compared to six untrained teams in a final experiment through a variety of measures, showing that the trained teams differed significantly in terms of both performance and in other important team aspects (Baroutsi, Berggren, Johansson, Nählinder, Granlund, Turcotte, & Tremblay, 2014; Berggren, Baroutsi, Johansson, Turcotte, & Tremblay, 2014; Berggren, Johansson, Baroutsi, & Dahlbäck, 2014; Berggren, Johansson, Svensson, Baroutsi, & Dahlbäck, 2014; Baroutsi, Berggren, Johansson, manuscript). These differences were thought to have an impact on the communication shared among the team members. Hence, the purpose of the present report was to investigate how the communication pattern was affected by these differences.

The communication was analyzed using a coding scheme that categorized the content of the teams’ utterances. No difference was found in terms of communication frequency between the two types of teams. However, the trained and untrained teams did differ in communication content. The trained teams communicated more frequently about the context and the situation, while the untrained teams communicated more about the activities of the team. This can be interpreted as a deficiency in common ground, directability, and interpredictability (Klein, Feltovich & Bradshaw, 2005) among the untrained teams. Also, the communication content explained 88.3 % of the variance in performance. 

Abstract [sv]

I en värld av ständigt ökande komplexitet, som karaktäriseras av ofullständig information och dynamiska, tidskritiska miljöer, strävar människor efter att fatta rätt beslut – inte som individer – utan även som ett team. I denna gemensamma aktivitet behöver medlemmarna synkronisera sina handlingar, vilket utförs med hjälp av kommunikation. Kommunikationen är den dominerande formen av interaktion inom ett team, och är även en externalisering av teamets kognitiva processer (Letsky, Warner, Fiore & Smith, 2008).

I en tidigare studie har oerfarna deltagare tränats i team om tre, för att bli högpresterande inom mikrovärlden C3Fire (Baroutsi, Berggren, Nählinder och Johansson, 2013). I denna mikrovärld står teammedlemmarna inför ett dynamiskt beslutsproblem - att bekämpa en skogsbrand. Rollerna i teamet är ömsesidigt beroende av varandra, vilket kräver att de samordnar och lägger upp strategier på en teamnivå för att på ett framgångsrikt sätt kunna lösa uppgiften. Dessa sex tränade team jämfördes sedan med sex otränade team i ett experiment. Flera mått användes för att bedöma teamen (CARS, DATMA, Shared Priorities, m.fl.), vilket visade att de tränade teamen skilde sig både avseende prestation, men även inom andra viktiga teamaspekter (Baroutsi, Berggren, Johansson, Nählinder, Granlund, Turcotte, & Tremblay, 2014; Berggren, Baroutsi, Johansson, Turcotte, & Tremblay, 2014; Berggren, Johansson, Baroutsi, & Dahlbäck, 2014; Berggren, Johansson, Svensson, Baroutsi, & Dahlbäck, 2014; Baroutsi, Berggren, Johansson, manuskript). Syftet med denna rapport är att undersöka hur kommunikationsmönstret påverkas av dessa skillnader.

Kommunikationen analyserades med hjälp av ett kodningsschema där innehållet i teamens uttalanden kategoriseras. De två olika typerna av team uppvisade ingen skillnad i antalet uttalanden, men skillnader fanns för olika kommunikationskategorier. De tränade teamen kommunicerade oftare angående sammanhanget och situationen, medan de otränade teamen oftare kommunicerade om de aktiviteter som pågick. Detta kan tolkas som en brist i den gemensamma förståelsen, styrbarheten och förutsägbarheten mellan teamets medlemmar (Klein, Feltovich & Bradshaw, 2005) hos de otränade teamen. Kommunikationsinnehållet förklarade 88,3 % av variationen i prestationen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 71 p.
Keyword [en]
joint activity, communication, communication pattern, C3Fire, microworld, common ground, team, team effectiveness
Keyword [sv]
gemensamma aktivitieter, kommunikation, kommunikationsmönster, C3Fire, microvärld, gemensam förståelse, team, team effektivitet
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-112244ISRN: LIU-IDA/KOGVET-A--14/012--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-112244DiVA: diva2:764428
External cooperation
Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut
Subject / course
Cognitive science programme
Supervisors
Examiners
Projects
The Swedish Armed Forces research and development (R&D) project AVALO
Available from: 2014-11-19 Created: 2014-11-19 Last updated: 2014-11-19Bibliographically approved

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