Toward an understanding of macrocognition in teams: predicting processes in complex collaborative contexts
Fiore, S.M.; Rosen, M.A.; Smith-Jentsch, K.A.; Salas, E.; Letsky, M.; Warner, N.
Human Factors 52(2): 203-224
ISSN/ISBN: 0018-7208 PMID: 20942251 DOI: 10.1177/0018720810369807
This article presents a model for predicting complex collaborative processes as they arise in one-of-a-kind problem-solving situations to predict performance outcomes. The goal is to outline a set of key processes and their interrelationship and to describe how these can be used to predict collaboration processes embedded within problem-solving contexts. Teams are increasingly called upon to address complex problem-solving tasks in novel situations. This represents a domain of performance that to date has been underrepresented in the research literature. Multidisciplinary theoretical and empirical literature relating to knowledge work in teams is synthesized. A set of propositions developed to guide research into how teams externalize cognition and build knowledge in service of problem solving is presented. First, a brief overview of macrocognition in teams is provided to distinguish the present work from other views of team cognition. Second, a description of the foundational theoretical concepts driving the theory of macrocognition in teams presented here is provided. Third, a set of propositions described within the context of a model of macrocognition in teams is forwarded. The theoretical framework described in this article provides a set of empirically testable propositions that can ultimately guide practitioners in efforts to support macrocognition in teams. A theory of macrocognition in teams can provide guidance for the development of training interventions and the design of collaborative tools to facilitate knowledge-based performance in teams.