An Analysis of Squad Communication Behaviors during a Field-Training Exercise to Support Tactical Decision Making
Authors: Jason Saville, Randall Spain, Joan Johnston, James Lester
Abstract: Understanding how teams function in dynamic environments is critical for advancing theories of team development. In this paper, we compared communication behaviors of high and low performing U.S. Army squads that completed a field training event designed to assess tactical decision-making skills and performance under stress. Transcribed audio logs of U.S. Army squad communications were analyzed. A series of 2 (performance group) by 2 (time: Pre-Contact and Post-Contact) mixed-model ANOVAs were conducted to determine whether team communication behaviors changed for squads after coming under duress from hostile contact. Significant main effects for time were found for several communication labels indicating communication patterns differed as task complexity and stressors increased. Significant interaction effects were found between time and performance group for the number of commands given by squad leaders and overall speech frequency. Results highlight the value of examining communications at a granular level as adaptive patterns may otherwise be overlooked.
Keywords: Team Communication, Team Effectiveness, Field Training
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