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Improving Team Coordination: A Case for Behavior-Based Training

  • Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital


Integrated the findings of 3 field studies that focused on improving team coordination and performance (TCAP) in a military aviation setting. The 1st 2 studies investigated the effect of exposing 62 aviators to standardized, behavior based training for improving TCAP. In Study 3, the effect of increased intrateam familiarity (battle rostering) on TCAP was examined in 24 aviators drawn from the same unit trained in Study 2. In these studies, effect was measured in terms of attitudinal change, coordination behavior change, and team task performance change. General findings suggest that standardized, behavior-based training produces TCAP superior to that achieved through battle rostering. Findings also demonstrate that behavioral change is a more reliable marker of training impact than attitudinal change. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
... Klein (1995) Participants' feedback indicated positive perceptions of the usefulness of training, as well as positive changes in communication behaviors. Leedom & Simon (1995), Study 1 ...
... Results showed improvements in attitudes and behavior regarding team coordination, as well as in several indicators of team performance. Leedom & Simon (1995), Study 2 ...
... There were no changes in attitudes regarding team coordination but there were improvements in behavior regarding team coordination and team performance. Leedom & Simon (1995), Study 3 ...
Conference Paper
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This scoping review examined the extant published research on teamwork training interventions in order to provide a comprehensive map of this literature. Data from 183 primary articles (involving 187 total studies) that met eligibility criteria were retrieved and summarized with regard to year of publication, field of study, study design, team type, method of intervention, data analysis method, and criteria for evaluating effectiveness. Furthermore, 19 review papers were charted with regard to year of publication, type of review conducted, and data analysis method. In addition to providing a map of teamwork intervention research to date, this review also identifies notable research gaps as well as opportunities for future study that could advance the field beyond its current state (e.g., the need for more controlled intervention studies, examining teamwork training across a greater range of team contexts, testing for mediation to determine the mechanisms through which teamwork training enhance team effectiveness).
... Furthermore, leadership can be seen as one of seven coordination dimensions and refers to behaviours as directing the activities, monitoring and assessing the performance of team members, motivating members, and communicating task-relevant information (Bowers, Morgan, Salas, & Prince, 1993). This concept of establishing leadership as one of multiple coordination mechanisms is also supported by others (Kolbe, 2007a;Leedom & Simon, 1995;Stout, Salas, & Carson, 1994). ...
... Experiences from aviation settings demonstrate the importance of teamwork training (also known as crew resource management training) for team performance and safety improvements (e.g. Leedom & Simon, 1995;Risser, et al., 1999;Salas, Fowlkes, Stout, Milanovich, & Prince, 1999). The main objective of training is to reduce errors caused by a lack of teamwork or poor communication (Day, et al., 2004;Risser, et al., 1999). ...
... Finally, a thorough analysis was conducted to produce an evidence-based integrative framework to achieve optimal belonging through training. Adelman et al. (1998), Kring (2004), Siegel and Federman (1973) Coordination Focus on optimizing team processes through shared mental models to ensure flow and efficiency C: shared mental models Team decision making and performance L: team performance, team efficacy, attitudinal change Entin and Serfaty (1999), Green (1994), Leedom & Simon (1995) Goal setting Focus on setting goals as a team to optimize team processes and outcomes ...
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With the worldwide focus shifting toward important questions of what diversity means to society, organizations are attempting to keep up with employees’ needs to feel recognized and belong. Given that traditionally team and diversity trainings are provided separately, with different theoretical backgrounds and goals, they are often misaligned and ineffective. We review 339 empirical articles depicting a team, diversity, or emotional management training to extract themes and determine which methods are most effective. Although research has demonstrated the importance of belonging for providing positive workplace outcomes, we found that the traditional design of these trainings and lack of emotional management prevent a balance between team and diversity goals, preventing belonging. We propose an integrative training with emotional management to help teams foster optimal belonging, where members can unite together through their differences. Accordingly, our themes inform this training model that can inspire future research into more effective training.
... Before the official team coordination training programs, the aviation community realized the importance of this issue and it was investigated to provide better coordination among cabin crews. One approach was that certain cabin crews formed "fixed" or "battle-rostered" teams together (Leedom and Simon, 1995). Foushee et al. (1986) stated that better coordination would be achieved when they act together in the decisions and actions of commercial aviation teams. ...
... Competence-management systems could be beneficial (see, e.g., Hustad and Munkvold 2005;Draganidis and Mentzas 2006) for saving this knowledge and using it for compositional reasons. Moreover, to foster collaboration processes, organizations can use specific team-building activities (e.g., Ammeter and Dukerich 2002;Salas et al. 1999), team training (e.g., Leedom and Simon 1995;Bezrukova et al. 2012), and team rewards (Harrison et al. 2002). ...
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Organizations today operate in an increasingly complex and turbulent world in which unexpected events are omnipresent. Thus, they need to develop resilience capabilities to manage unexpected disruptions, maintain high performance, and even thrive and grow. In research, there are preliminary indications that diversity could play an important role in the development of resilience in organizations. However, although there are numerous studies on both resilience and diversity, the connection between the two constructs remains largely unexplored. Our paper aims to narrow this research gap by answering the following questions: What role does diversity play in the development of organizational resilience? What does this mean for resilience-enhancing diversity management? To answer these questions, we link existing research on elements of organizational resilience and outcomes of diversity in organizations. By developing a theoretical framework, formulating propositions, and discussing implications for further research, this paper provides a foundation for future empirical research. Moreover, it offers useful insights into the successful management of organizational resilience.
The scientific interest (SI) for a given field can be ascertained by quantifying the volume of published research. We quantified the SI in surgical education to clarify the extent of worldwide efforts on this crucial factor required to improve health-care systems. A set of Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) was defined for the PubMed search. The number of Pubmed Indexed Papers (nPIP) relevant to the SI was extracted from database conception to December 2016 and their distribution and evolution by country were analyzed at 10-year intervals. Population Adjusted Index (PAI) and Medical School Adjusted Index (MSAI) analyses were performed for countries with the nPIP > 30. We identified 51,713 articles written in 33 different languages related to surgical education; 87.6% of these were written in English. General surgery was the leading surgical specialty. The overall nPIP doubled every 10 years from 1987 (from 6009 to 13,501, to 26,272) but stabilized at 3707, 3800 and 3433 in the past 3 years, respectively. The PAI and MSAI analyses showed that the USA, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, Australia and Ireland are top producers of published research in surgical education, constituting a combined 62.88% of the nPIP. Our quantification of the change in SI in surgical education and training gives a clear picture of evolution, efforts and leadership worldwide over time. This picture mirrors an international academic society that should encourage all those involved in surgical education to improve efforts in educational research.
Objective The research objective of the current study was to examine and compare the non-technical skills utilized by search and rescue and offshore transport helicopter pilots. Background Non-technical skills encompass the interpersonal and cognitive skills necessary for safe and efficient team performance in high-risk environments. There is a lack of research investigating non-technical skill use during helicopter flight or assessing differences in skills according to mission parameters. Method The current study comprised 28 semi-structured qualitative interviews based upon the critical incident technique (16 offshore transport pilots, 12 search and rescue pilots). Interviews were thematically coded to identify, and compare, non-technical skills. Results All key non-technical skills were reported across both pilot groups. Differences were identified at the element level of skills across the groups (e.g., while both groups reported utilizing situational awareness, elemental sub-components were based upon different attentional factors). A category for cognitive readiness was identified specific to search and rescue—this category encapsulated the elements necessary for a swift, effective response to emergencies. Conclusion The results indicate helicopter pilots’ non-technical skills vary according to mission parameters, suggesting specific flight goals require different nuances of non-technical skills for mission achievement. We suggest that non-technical skills training should be tailored to the mission focus of helicopter pilots in order to further error mitigation strategies, enrich training relevance, and enhance effectiveness.
Evaluates a team performance measurement methodology that has application to the military. The development of the methodology was driven by team performance measurement requirements that encompassed theoretical, psychometric, and operational issues. It is a form of structured observation in which (1) task events are introduced to provide opportunities for teams to demonstrate specific team-related behaviors; (2) acceptable team responses to each of the events are determined a priori by utilizing team task analyses, subject-matter experts, and so forth; and (3) the appropriate responses to events are scored as either present or absent. The strength of this approach is that it is operationally relevant, minimizes judgments required by observer scorers, and permits controlled observation of teams across a variety of specific team behaviors. In the application described reliable and sensitive performance scores were obtained from 6 military aircrews. The implications of the results for the measurement of team performance are discussed.
[presents] the approaches to improving crew coordination, their present status, and unresolved issues / [describes] the specific behavior approach to aircrew coordination training as a promising method to augment other training currently in use / [discusses] the requirements and difficulties of evaluating coordination training (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Special training seminars in cockpit resource management (CRM) are designed to enhance crew effectiveness in multicrew air-transport cockpits. In terms of CRM, crew effectiveness is defined by teamwork rather than technical proficiency. These seminars are designed to promote factual learning, alter aviator attitudes, and motivate aviators to make use of what they have learned. However, measures of attitude change resulting from CRM seminars have been the most common seminar evaluation technique. The current investigation explores a broader range of attitude change parameters with specific emphasis on the stability of change between recurrent visits to the training center. This allows for a comparison of training program strengths in terms of seminar ability to effect lasting change.
Distinctions are drawn between personality traits and attitudes. The stability of the personality and the malleability of attitudes are stressed. These concepts are related to pilot performance, especially in the areas of crew coordination and cockpit resource management. Airline pilots were administered a Cockpit Management Attitudes questionnaire; empirical data from that survey are reported and implications of the data for training in crew coordination are discussed.
The U.S. Naval aircrew coordination training program
  • R A Alkov
Introduction to MAC CRM training
  • D Brown
Crew factors in flight operations: 111. The operational sign 8cance of exposure to short-haul air transport operations (NASA TM 88322)
  • H C Foushee
  • J K Lauber
  • M M Baetge
  • D B Comb
Aircrew coordination training and evaluation for Army rotary wing aircrews: Summary of research forfiscal year 1990
  • D K Leedom