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COMMUNICATION MODALITY AND AFTER ACTION REVIEW PERFORMANCE IN A DISTRIBUTED IMMERSIVE VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

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Date Issued:
2004
Abstract/Description:
Virtual teams, in which geographically separate individuals interact via a technology bridge to perform collective activities, are becoming commonplace in the military, business, and education. Despite numerous benefits, virtual teams often lack face-to-face (FTF) interaction which may alter communication processes and subsequently affect team factors necessary for successful performance. Previous research indicated local teams, with members at the same physical location, outperformed distributed teams, with members at different locations, in a series of military-style missions in an immersive virtual environment (VE). The present study replicated and extended this effort by measuring how communication modality affects three team factors often cited as facilitating performance: shared mental models (SMMs), cohesion (task and interpersonal), and trust (cognitive and emotional). Local teams were expected to again perform better than distributed teams and exhibit greater SMM similarity, cohesion, and trust. Furthermore, a brief team communication training (TCT) program was administered to half of the teams on the premise training would improve distributed team performance. Thirty two, 2-person teams were distributed into four experimental conditions (n = 8) based on location (local vs. distributed) and training (TCT vs. no-TCT) and then conducted five VE missions. Each mission required the team to search a 10-room building for hazardous materials and opposing forces while protecting neutral bystanders. Results showed local teams again performed better than distributed teams on overall mission performance, however the difference was less robust than anticipated. Analyses of the three team factors revealed a main effect of location as local teams reported higher levels of cognitive trust and more agreement on one of 10 SMM measures than distributed teams. A similar difference was found for the main effect of TCT with trained teams exhibiting higher cognitive trust than no-TCT teams. Results support that distributed teams operating in a common virtual setting experience performance deficits when compared to their physically co-located counterparts. Future research is needed to address the role of cognitive trust for virtual teams, the time required to develop detectable levels of emotional trust and cohesion, and how social presence between team members influences performance.
Title: COMMUNICATION MODALITY AND AFTER ACTION REVIEW PERFORMANCE IN A DISTRIBUTED IMMERSIVE VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT.
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Name(s): Kring, Jason P., Author
Salas, Eduardo, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2004
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Virtual teams, in which geographically separate individuals interact via a technology bridge to perform collective activities, are becoming commonplace in the military, business, and education. Despite numerous benefits, virtual teams often lack face-to-face (FTF) interaction which may alter communication processes and subsequently affect team factors necessary for successful performance. Previous research indicated local teams, with members at the same physical location, outperformed distributed teams, with members at different locations, in a series of military-style missions in an immersive virtual environment (VE). The present study replicated and extended this effort by measuring how communication modality affects three team factors often cited as facilitating performance: shared mental models (SMMs), cohesion (task and interpersonal), and trust (cognitive and emotional). Local teams were expected to again perform better than distributed teams and exhibit greater SMM similarity, cohesion, and trust. Furthermore, a brief team communication training (TCT) program was administered to half of the teams on the premise training would improve distributed team performance. Thirty two, 2-person teams were distributed into four experimental conditions (n = 8) based on location (local vs. distributed) and training (TCT vs. no-TCT) and then conducted five VE missions. Each mission required the team to search a 10-room building for hazardous materials and opposing forces while protecting neutral bystanders. Results showed local teams again performed better than distributed teams on overall mission performance, however the difference was less robust than anticipated. Analyses of the three team factors revealed a main effect of location as local teams reported higher levels of cognitive trust and more agreement on one of 10 SMM measures than distributed teams. A similar difference was found for the main effect of TCT with trained teams exhibiting higher cognitive trust than no-TCT teams. Results support that distributed teams operating in a common virtual setting experience performance deficits when compared to their physically co-located counterparts. Future research is needed to address the role of cognitive trust for virtual teams, the time required to develop detectable levels of emotional trust and cohesion, and how social presence between team members influences performance.
Identifier: CFE0000054 (IID), ucf:46074 (fedora)
Note(s): 2004-05-01
Ph.D.
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Team performance
communication modality
shared mental models
cohesion
trust
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0000054
Restrictions on Access: public
Host Institution: UCF

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