Identifier

etd-01202006-182745

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Engineering Science (Interdepartmental Program)

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

The objective of this research was to develop and validate a generalized team task-complexity model and framework by drawing on the literature from various team and task factors grouped into three task-dimensions, which compose task-complexity space and how these affect the task-performance. A number of task typologies have been presented in the teams' literature to better define and understand the critical role of the tasks and the associated team processes. In addition, most of the research work has defined team measures as highly abstract concepts not capable of providing the quantitative comparison of team performances from various domains. This research proposed a model of task-complexity based on different task-characteristics including task-scope, task-coordination and task-uncertainty that provide the capability to quantify different attributes that impact team performance. A multiple linear regression analysis was used to validate the contribution of each task-complexity dimension towards complexity and performance. Analysis of variance was also used to account variance in measurement scales and not to force linear relationship. The results indicate a significant three-way interaction of task-scope, task-coordination and task-uncertainty. Since three-way interaction was significant, all the three task-complexity dimensions were significant and not equally contributing towards team task-performance. Two-way interaction of task-scope and task-coordination was significant when task-uncertainty was negligible. Thus both were not equally contributing towards team task-performance. From effect tests, task-coordination and task-uncertainty were found to be highly significant with relation to task-performance. Though task-scope was not significant, further analysis reveals that it had significant impact on task-performance at its highest level and when task-uncertainty was negligible. Thus explains its inclusion in the three-way interaction. Workload, a subjective team performance measure in team literature, was used for model cross-validation. Results found a significant negative correlation between perceived task-workload and task-performance, thereby validating the model from workload perspective. This study summarizes the different task-characteristics affecting the team task-performance. This study has practical implications in the design and evaluation of collaborative tools and team training. Further research would develop a synthetic collaborative system that would emulate certain complex work environments and enable the collection of team performance data for assessing hypotheses about collaboration.

Date

2006

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Craig M. Harvey

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