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The Influence of Shared Mental Models on Team Process and Performance

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Abstract

The influence of teammates' shared mental models on team processes and performance was tested using 56 undergraduate dyads who "flew" a series of missions on a personal-computer-based flight-combat simulation. The authors both conceptually and empirically distinguished between teammates' task- and team-based mental models and indexed their convergence or "sharedness" using individually completed paired-comparisons matrices analyzed using a network-based algorithm. The results illustrated that both shared-team- and task-based mental models related positively to subsequent team process and performance. Furthermore, team processes fully mediated the relationship between mental model convergence and team effectiveness. Results are discussed in terms of the role of shared cognitions in team effectiveness and the applicability of different interventions designed to achieve such convergence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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John Mathieu
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor
Friar Chair in Leadership & Teams
Management Department, University of Connecticut
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... Sport officials established a shared understanding during each game regarding the group's objectives, processes to achieve those objectives, and meaning derived from being a group member (e.g. Mathieu et al., 2000). Since officiating teams demand interdependence and likely entail the group processes described above, it is critical to examine how members evaluate their groups and the resultant implications for members' performance, motivation, and commitment. ...
... These suggestions align with sport officials' perceptions of groups and group processes, as participants indicated debriefing contributed to improved role clarity and team performance. It is possible that such approaches increase the likelihood of sport officials attaining shared mental models-that is, a common understanding of expected behaviours and objectives-that enhance the group's performance (Mathieu et al., 2000;Sinval et al., 2020). ...
... Our findings support group processes among sport officials, which potentially influence performance and commitment. Looking toward next steps, researchers should examine how sport officials develop and implement shared mental models (Mathieu et al., 2000;Sinval et al., 2020) to improve performances in their transient environments. ...
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Since sport officials constitute instrumental groups, their perceptions of, and interactions with, group members likely influence their performance, satisfaction, and retention. This warrants investigation into sport officiating groups. Rationale/Purpose: (1) Examine the relationship between sport officials' cohesion, satisfaction, and performance; (2) Investigate sport officials' perceptions of cohesion across sports; and (3) Explore sport officials' perceptions of group processes. Design/Methodology/Approach: Using a cross-sectional design, participants (N = 228) completed a survey measuring perceptions of cohesion, performance, and satisfaction. Findings: Responses demonstrated consistent positive relationships between cohesion, performance, and satisfaction. Path analysis found that task cohesion predicted performance and satisfaction. Participants rated task cohesion higher than social cohesion, with American football highest and Association football lowest. Practical implications: Officiating organizations can use these results to reconsider assigning practices and develop strategies that improve cohesion, leading to increased performance and retention. Research contribution: Results highlight the need for sustained research to further understand how group processes influence sport officials and their performances. This study is novel as there is a dearth of research on how group dynamics influence sport officials' performances and retention.
... Bantel & Jackson, 1989;Amason et al., 2006;Hambrick, 2007;Talke et al., 2010;Boone & Hendriks, 2009), crossfunctional teams within organizations (e.g. Mohrman et al., 1995;Finegold & Wagner, 1998;Mathieu et al., 2000;Cronin and Weingart, 2007), employee teams more generally (Hambrick et al.,1998;Ely et al., 2012;Youtie et al., 2012), and founding teams (e.g. Ucbasaran et al., 2003;Huang et al., 2012;Kaiser & Muller, 2013;Visintin & Pittino, 2014;Kristinsson et al., 2016;Protogerou et al., 2017). ...
... On the one hand, a narrow knowledge stock of a founding team may restrain the potential for knowledge creation because there is not much team members can learn from each other. On the other hand, members of a founding team with too diverse knowledge backgrounds might find it difficult to learn from each other because of a missing common frame and shared mental models of reference to build on (Mathieu et al., 2000). The same inconclusiveness characterizes the growing number of contributions investigating the role of team diversity in driving innovation (Van der Vegt & Janssen, 2003;Talke et al., 2010;Østergaard et al., 2011;Huang et al., 2012;Shin et al., 2012;Tidd, 2014;Zhan et al., 2015;Kristinsson et al., 2016). ...
... Scholars have underlined that when diversity is the result of the combination of team members with different knowledge background, it benefits the development of innovations, since it is associated with increased levels of information, cognitive diversity and greater variance in decision-making alternatives and overall more constructive task conflicts that facilitate strategic decisions to focus on innovation fields (Dahlin et al., 2005;Talke et al., 2010;Kristinsson, 2016). Even if some scholars have underlined the risks of having too diverse knowledge backgrounds and experiences in a team, which might generate problems of information exchange, communication and eventually undermine the performance of the projects/businesses (Mathieu et al., 2000;Cronin and Weingart, 2007), most of the existing works agree that on the fact that teams that are more diverse tend to be more creative and to engage in explorative strategic behaviour as compared with teams with shared common experiences (Mohrman et al., 1995;Finegold and Wagner, 1998;Beckman, 2006). Knowledge diversity helps the recognition of opportunities, the identification of potential barriers to innovation and a more fruitful discussion of all the differ-ent aspects related to the implementation of innovations -technology, market and firm-specific factors (Talke et al., 2010). ...
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This paper studies the relationship between founding team knowledge diversity and firms’ innovative performance. We posit that knowledge diversity entails two dimensions: a team dimension and an individual dimension. In particular, we argue that founding team knowledge diversity can derive both from the presence of founders with different knowledge backgrounds, and from the presence of similar jack-of-all-trades (JOTs). We suggest that knowledge diversity is positively associated with innovation, especially when diversity comes from founders with different knowledge backgrounds, instead of coming from many JOTs. Furthermore, it matters more for firms whose knowledge base is oriented towards technical and scientific applications, as opposed to firms with a generalist, business-oriented knowledge base. We provide support to these propositions relying on a study of 1,800 newly established firms in Europe.
... If utterances do not increase, coaches should explain the notion of images and ideas about tactics, strategies, feelings, senses, and tacit knowledge to players. In such situations, the team may not have basic schema, shared mental model, or shared cognition related to a game plan (Mathieu et al., 2000;Zhou and Wang, 2010). Pentland (2010) asserted that human behaviors can be predicted easily if honest signals are used. ...
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In ball games, individuals collaborate to enhance their team's performance by sharing images and ideas that have not been verbalized. One of a coach's roles is to ascertain whether players share a common understanding of their team's images so as to devise tactics. Accordingly, this study aimed to verify the hypothesis that sharing images such as tacit knowledge that has not been verbalized occurs in collective interaction when utterances increase substantially during problem-solving. The participants were 13 male university handball players whose teams were championship contenders in Japan. A mixed methods research design was employed. Scenes in which two groups engaged in problem-solving were recorded and data of each participant's utterances were obtained. The utterances were analyzed quantitatively by employing Smirnoff-Grubbs and the time periods including those with a substantial number of utterances were identified. What happened during the identified time periods verified as outliers including the high frequency utterances were analyzed qualitatively by employing consensual qualitative analysis. Finally, the results of the consensual qualitative analysis were used to examine statistically to determine whether specific events occurred during times of extreme high frequency utterances. The exact binomial test was used to determine the 95% confidence interval of the population ratio and the effect size (g) of the mother ratio (0.05) to determine whether non-verbalized images such as tacit knowledge were being shared among members. Of the 26 time periods, 22 were supported the hypothesis. Of the time periods with extremely high utterances, the population ratio of the time periods supporting the hypothesis was 0.846 (CI = 0.681–1.00, g = 0.80). The results revealed that tacit image sharing occurred when there were a substantial number of utterances. This study demonstrated the possibility that sharing images that have not been verbalized occurs in collective interaction when there is a hotspot of utterances.
... First, many organizations nowadays have a team-approach when it comes to dealing with complex tasks (Mathieu et al, 2017). Teams allow members to share workload, monitor the work behaviors of other members, and develop and contribute expertise on subtasks (Mathieu et al, 2000). Second, in our fast-changing business environment, where many disruptions take place, work teams often face adversity (King, Newman, & Luthans, 2015). ...
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Responding to Richter’s call (1983, 317) “to know far more about the tourism policy making process”, this paper seeks to introduce the assumptions, concepts and research methodologies of the Narrative Policy Framework (Jones & McBeth, 2010; Jones et al., 2014, McBeth et al., 2014; Shanahan et al., 2018) and apply them in tourism research in order to investigate the black box of tourism planning and policy processes (Hall, 2008, 15).
... Over the last decades, attention has turned to the theory of shared mental models (SMMs; Cannon-Bowers et al. 1993) as an important advocate for the latter position. A great profusion of research over the last three decades has shown that this theoretical position can explain the increased effectiveness of expert teams (e.g., Mathieu et al. 2000;Espevik et al. 2006;Westli et al. 2010, Johnsen et al. 2017. A mental model is thought of as organized knowledge structures which describe, explain, and predict the status of a system (Langan-Fox et al. 2000;Smith-Jentsch et al. 2001). ...
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Based on the impact of the theoretical big five of teamwork model proposed by Salas et al. (2005), the present study aimed at investigating the model within an operational police simulation. One hundred and sixty-seven frontline police officers participated in the study. Based on path analyses, a reduced model excluding trust and leadership obtained a good fit with the data. The results provided some support for the model by confirming six out of 10 proposed direct effects and four out of seven indirect pathways. Shared mental models directly affected team adaptability, and backup behavior affects adaptability and team effectiveness. Team orientation affects mutual performance monitoring and backup behavior, and finally, reciprocal monitoring affects backup behavior. Monitoring influenced both team effectiveness and adaptability through backup behavior. Two paths from team orientation towards effectiveness were found. One flowing through monitoring and another through back-up behavior. Our study expands former knowledge of the big five theory by empirically testing the totality of the model and identifying important pathways.
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Health care–associated infections (HAIs), such as central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), are associated with patient mortality and high costs to the health care system. These are largely preventable by practices such as prompt removal of central lines and Foley catheters. While seemingly straightforward, these practices require effective teamwork between physicians and nurses to be enacted successfully. Understanding the dynamics of interprofessional teamwork in the HAI prevention context requires further examination. We interviewed 420 participants (physicians, nursing, others) across 18 hospitals about interprofessional collaboration in this context. We propose an Input-Mediator-Output-Input (IMOI) model of interprofessional teamwork in the context of HAI prevention, suggesting that various organizational processes and structures facilitate specific teamwork attitudes, behaviors, and cognitions, which subsequently lead to HAI prevention outcomes including timeliness of line and Foley removal, ensuring sterile technique, and hand hygiene. We then propose strategies to improve interprofessional teamwork around HAI prevention.
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1 Introduction The lack of physical activity and an increase in sedentary behavior poses far-reaching health risks in our society [1]. Technological developments can provide possibilities for increasing physical activity in the daily routine of individuals. However the impact of these wearables on physical activity is small. A personalized approach is absent in most consumer available wearables because limited non-technological expertise is consulted and the user is often not properly involved in the design process [2]. These wearables, which follow a "one size fits all" approach, are no longer used after a few months [3,4]. To provide this problem with a better answer, technological aspects will have to integrate with individual, social and environmental aspects [5]. Therefor an interdisciplinary approach could have an important role in the development of wearable technology in enhancing physical activity. Interdisciplinary collaboration seems straightforward but is not obvious and requires special attention [6]. Often members of interdisciplinary teams have different methods of research, have different definitions and might have a mental model in which they fully or partially disregard other disciplines. This leads to sub-optimal outcomes [6-8]. We developed a board game, as research prototype, named COMMONS [9], that logs data within the game, to gain insight into the dynamic process of collaboration.
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Consensus is a general agreement that is agreed by all or almost all parties involved in decision making. In research on strategic consensus, this consensus is usually operationalized by measuring the extent to which managers have a common understanding of means and ends, or of strategic priorities. All these definitions and operationalizations focus on shared understanding. However, in several other studies consensus is not only a shared understanding, but also a commitment. Several strategic consensus studies looking at leadership in top management consider strategic consensus and strategic commitment as two dimensions of strategic consensus. Strategic consensus as a positive influence on strategic commitment has so far been established only for top management but should be applied to teams throughout the organization. Consensus was negatively correlated with performance. The difference in results was due to different definitions (operationalization) and different types of research conducted. Operationalization of consensus as a shared understanding of strategic priorities showed a consistently positive effect of consensus on performance.
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The military is growing increasingly dependent on the ability of individuals to coalesce quickly into effective teams. Consequently, there is a need for scientists to develop an understanding of the processes that influence team performance so that appropriate training can be developed. The authors describe the progress that has been made toward this goal. A historical perspective is provided for each of 4 critical factors in team performance: theoretical development, critical team processes, measurement, and training. A review of what has been learned from military team research in each of these areas since J. Dyer's (1984) review and directions for future research are presented. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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According to research on the performance-cue effect in work ratings, knowledge that a group performed well or poorly can trigger raters' implicit theories, resulting in inaccurate judgments of the group's behavior. Unfortunately, because information concerning group performance has always been provided by the experimenter, it has been impossible to tell whether the performance-cue effect reflects the influence of participants' implicit theories or is simply an attempt to conform to the experimenter's belief. To test these 2 explanations, participants observed a work group without having received performance information and then completed evaluative and behavioral ratings of the group. Allowing participants to evaluate the group free of any externally provided performance information enabled participants to form independently generated impressions; thus, the demand characteristic problem was eliminated. Results indicated the performance-cue effect is not an artifact and that it is likely due to a systematic response bias. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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