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Characterizing Team Performance in Network-Centric Operations: Philosophical and Methodological Issues

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Bolia RS, Nelson WT. Characterizing team performance in network-centric operations: philosophical and methodological issues. Aviat Space Environ Med 2007; 78:(5, Suppl.):B71–B76.

The recently promulgated doctrine of network-centric warfare suggests that increases in shared situation awareness and self-synchronization will be emergent properties of densely connected military networks. What it fails to say is how these enhancements are to be measured. The present article frames the discussion as a question of how to characterize team performance, and considers such performance in the context of its hypothetical components: situation awareness, workload, and error. This examination concludes that reliable measures of these constructs are lacking for teams, even when they exist for individual operators, and that this is due to philosophical and/or methodological flaws in their conceptual development. Additional research is recommended to overcome these deficiencies, as well as consideration of novel multidisciplinary approaches that draw on methodologies employed in the social, physical, and biological sciences.
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Keywords: network-centric; situation awareness; workload

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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