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Communication in command and control teams

Author: Schraagen, J.M.C. · Rasker, P.C.
Source:Proceedings 6th International command and control research and technology saymposium. U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, June 19-21
Identifier: 12347
Keywords: Command and control Defence · Command & control · Communication · Team performance Nilitary


An important factor affecting team performance in Combat Information Centers is communication. Previous research has shown that high-performing teams use effective communication patterns, such as limiting idle chatter during high workload conditions, and sharing information before it is needed. Although the existence of these communication patterns is well-established, less is known about the conditions under which the various patterns are effective. The goal of the current research was to examine the impact of the predictability of the task environment. A two-person team task was used in which communication could be manipulated directly, that is, the task could be performed both with and without overt auditory communication between team members. The predictability of the task environment was manipulated by presenting team members either with situations they were trained on, or with situations for which they had to develop new strategies in real time. The results showed a positive effect of communication on team performance during novel situations, but no effect during routine situations. Given well-trained teams, who have shared mental models of their task, teammates, and equipment, our results would suggest designing for minimal communication interdependency among team members