TINT – a Technique for Visualizing Team Processes
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The present chapter focuses on the description of TINT (Team INTeraction), a technique that allows capturing and visualizing team processes throughout their development in time by taking collective, complex, dynamic, and naturalistic aspects into account. TINT supports researchers in exploring and understanding how teams organize their interactions within a naturalistic work setting, and to assess effective team behavior for a successful task fulfillment. Teams have to collectively adapt their team members’ activities to the dynamic situational demands of the sociotechnical system to monitor and control its functioning and outcomes. In order to do so, the team members need to pursue shared goals, coordinate their activities, and be responsive to each other. They coordinate their intentions and actions based on cognitive representations of not only themselves but also the other team members. Such collective action can be described as “joint cooperative activities” (Bratman, 1992; Tomasello, Carpenter, Call, Behne, & Moll, 2005 ). TINT focuses on joint activities teams carry out to integrate individual knowledge and to elaborate and execute collective plans that help them to meet their common goals under the given situational requirements. For operationalization purposes, we draw on the concept of macrocognition (Cacciabue & Hollnagel, 1994; Klein, Ross, Moon, Klein, Hoffman, & Hollnagel, 2003). Macrocognitions describe specific types of joint team activities, e.g., detecting an unexpected situation, generating hypotheses about the situation, creating a strategy for achieving a desired state of their work system, and collectively executing action plans (Patterson, Miller, Roth, & Woods, 2010). This takes place in a realistic working context, which is typically characterized by complexity, ambiguity, high risks, time pressure, and conflicts of goals (Klein, Ross, Moon, Klein, Hoffman, & Hollnagel, 2003). TINT allows focusing on the team as the examination unit and visualizing its joint team processes in a holistic and comprehensive manner. The resulting visualization can not only be used for in-depth assessment among researchers but also as a basis to stimulate discussion and reflection among the assessed teams. The possibility to include the teams’ perspectives in the analysis process is what makes TINT an innovative and useful complement to quantitative analyses focusing on aggregated individual behavior data regarding frequencies and patterns (e.g., Stachowski, Kaplan, & Waller, 2009; Waller, 1999; Waller, Gupta, & Giambatista, 2004; Zala-Mezö, Wacker, Künzle, Brüesch, & Grote, 2009). TINT complements existing research methods with a more interpretative and naturalistic approach that respects that team processes are reciprocally embedded in specific work contexts and influenced by dynamic task demands. It is suitable not only for the enrichment of field and simulator-based studies to deepen scientific knowledge but also for an initialization of organizational learning processes about effective team processes in practice.