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Keywords:

  • Team cognition;
  • Shared cognition;
  • Interaction;
  • Communication;
  • Dynamical systems

Abstract

Cognition in work teams has been predominantly understood and explained in terms of shared cognition with a focus on the similarity of static knowledge structures across individual team members. Inspired by the current zeitgeist in cognitive science, as well as by empirical data and pragmatic concerns, we offer an alternative theory of team cognition. Interactive Team Cognition (ITC) theory posits that (1) team cognition is an activity, not a property or a product; (2) team cognition should be measured and studied at the team level; and (3) team cognition is inextricably tied to context. There are implications of ITC for theory building, modeling, measurement, and applications that make teams more effective performers.