The Effects of Storytelling and Reflexivity on Team Mental Models and Performance in Distributed Decision-Making Teams

Open Access
Author:
Tesler, Rachel
Graduate Program:
Psychology
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
December 14, 2010
Committee Members:
  • Susan Mohammed, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • virtual teams
  • reflexivity
  • storytelling
  • team performance
  • team mental models
  • distributed teams
Abstract:
With the increasing number of virtual teams in the workforce, it is imperative to determine how to facilitate their performance (Cascio & Aguinis, 2008; Martins, Gilson, & Maynard, 2004). While team training and team mental models have been found to have positive effects on team performance, there are numerous unexplored team training tools and potential antecedents of team mental models that could further facilitate successful team outcomes. This study addressed these needs by investigating the effects of two team-level interventions, storytelling and guided team reflexivity, on team mental model similarity and performance outcomes. One hundred seven 3-person teams participated in NeoCITIES, a scaled-world simulation designed to mimic emergency crisis management situations in a distributed team environment. The presence of both storytelling and guided team reflexivity was manipulated. Results indicated that storytelling, when combined with reflexivity, had a positive effect on team mental model similarity and subsequent team performance.