Salas, Cooke, and Rosen (2008) provide a concise overview “… of the key discoveries and developments in the area of team performance over the past 50 years, especially as reflected in the pages of Human Factors” (p. 540). Specifically, they highlight eight discoveries, along with supporting evidence for each, and five challenges researchers need to address, including:
- Shared cognition matters in team performance.
- Shared cognition can be measured.
- Team training promotes teamwork and enhances team performance.
- Synthetic task environments (STEs) provide context for research.
- Team performance can be modeled.
- Factors that influence team performance have been identified.
- Well-designed technology can improve team performance.
- The field belongs to many disciplines.
- We need better measurement.
- We need to study teams “in the wild.”
- We need a better understanding of dynamic assembly of adaptive teams.
- We need an increase emphasis on team cognition.
- We need a better understanding of teams in a multicultural context.
The authors close the article by making the following comments:
In sum, there is a science of team performance that has met much of the demand from organizations for guidance on the formation and management of teams. But the work is not done; there are discoveries and developments yet to come. The field must continue to keep pace with new demands from a continuously changing workplace. To achieve advances in our abilities to understand, predict, control, and design for team performance in the coming decades, we must forge functional partnerships between researchers and practitioners across scientific disciplines and domains of application. (p. 545)
Salas, E., Cooke, N.J., & Rosen, M.A. (2008). On teams, teamwork, and team performance: Discoveries and developments. Human Factors, 50, 540-547.