Investigating Communication As A Possible Mediator Of Team Performance In Distributed Environments


The U.S. Army Research Institute is investigating the use of virtual environment (VE) technologies to train personnel in distributed simulations. As part of this endeavor, we compared the communication activities of 2 team types as they completed a series of missions in a common VE. Local teams were comprised of 2 members situated in the same physical location, whereas distributed team members were separated geographically and had no opportunity for face-to-face communication. Following the first 7 (of 8 total) missions, communications were recorded as each team completed an after action review of their performance. Analyses of the amount and type of communication acts revealed no significant differences between local and distributed teams, even though significant performance differences were found for these team types during the VE missions. Results suggest that nonverbal communication likely mediated the relationship between networking condition and team performance.

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Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

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Article; Proceedings Paper

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0442325599 (Scopus)

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