The Cognitive Processes Used in Team Collaboration During Asynchronous, Distributed Decision Making
NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND PATUXENT RIVER MD
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The purpose of this paper is to describe the unique cognitive processes that are employed to optimize collaborative team decision making in a geographically distributed and time delayed situation. The cognitive processes will be illustrated within the context of a structural model of team collaboration. The team collaboration model has four unique but interdependent stages of team collaboration. The stages are Team Knowledge Construction, Collaborative Team Problem Solving, Team Consensus, and Product Evaluation Revision. The stages are not strictly sequential but are very dynamic throughout the collaboration process. The cognitive processes are represented at four levels Meta-cognition, which guides the overall problem solving process, the Information Processing Tasks required by the team to complete each collaboration stage, the Knowledge Required to support the information processing tasks and the Communication Mechanisms for Knowledge Building and Information Processing. Results from the empirical team collaboration studies indicate significant differences in the cognitive processes and sub-processes across the four collaboration stages for the face-to-face teams compared to asynchronous, distributed teams. Understanding these differences will facilitate the design of collaboration tools for asynchronous, distributed teams and will provide for more effective and timely collaborative decision-making.
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