Team mental models and team performance: a field study of the effects of team mental model similarity and accuracy


  • Beng-Chong Lim,

    1. Applied Behavioral Sciences Department, Ministry of Defense Singapore and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
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  • Katherine J. Klein

    Corresponding author
    1. The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
    • University of Pennsylvania Management Department, The Wharton School 3620 Locust Walk, Suite 2000, Philadelphia, PA 19104, U.S.A.
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We conducted a field study of 71 action teams to examine the relationship between team mental model similarity and accuracy and the performance of real-world teams. We used Pathfinder to operationalize team members' taskwork mental models (describing team procedures, tasks, and equipment) and teamwork mental models (describing team interaction processes) and examined team performance as evaluated by expert team assessment center raters. Both taskwork mental model and teamwork mental model similarity predicted team performance. Team mental model accuracy measures were also predictive of team performance. We discuss the implications of our findings and directions for future research. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.