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Exploration of Taskwork and Teamwork Skills of Selected Military Personnel

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Army soldiers need teamwork skills to form agile and adaptive teams, but these skills are not systematically addressed during training. A lack of teamwork skill development results in suboptimal performance of combat soldiers. The researcher explores the taskwork and teamwork skills of selected combat soldiers in training situations in the Southeastern United States using a single-case, embedded design approach on a 2016 database. This qualitative study employs pattern matching methods to enumerate behavioral markers at the squad level and quantitative methods to examine embedded subunits of Army teams Yin, 2018. The conceptual framework used during this study is based on a recent meta-analysis linking team cohesion, collective efficacy, and communication to team performance Sottilare et al., 2017. The researcher examined the database to identify the patterns of taskwork performance and teamwork skills that are reflective of team cohesion and collective efficacy. Sixty-four soldiers composing 21 teams formed the basis for pattern matching analysis. This study concludes that patterns of teamwork skills that are reflective of team cohesion and collective efficacy can be measured during training situations with behavioral markers. Findings indicate that team cohesion and collective efficacy are antecedents of performance in Army combat teams. Additionally, teamwork skills intervention improves the performance of Army teams from both conventional and special operations units. Including teamwork skills in debriefs allows soldiers to optimize training and improve their combat readiness. Future research should quantitatively confirm these findings with a larger sample size and should explore the relationship of trust among soldiers in Army squads.

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