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Team Coordination in Extreme Environments by Cécile Godé

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3Coordination Practices in the Extreme Environment: Communication, Reflexivity and Socialization

What are the main categories of coordination practices produced and implemented by teams in the extreme environment? How do these practices articulate one to the other? By taking an empirical inductive approach, this chapter endeavors to answer these two key questions.

The cases developed are based on the daily work of French Air Forces. Relying on these cases, three main types of coordination practices will be highlighted: communication, reflexive and socialization practices. A combination of these practices provides teams with the capacity to manage shifts between routine and unexpected situations and to adjust according to context and event-related constraints and opportunities.

3.1. Communication practices

In the extreme environment, where volatility, uncertainty and significant risk coexist, actors are in search of updated knowledge referring to the specifics of their task in the team, and to the means to implement in order to complete these tasks. From this point of view, they need to be able to rely on communication practices that permit us to sort out pertinent from less pertinent information when in action. The analysis of the following cases will provide an opportunity to stress the role played by shared languages (verbal, pictorial or body languages) and paths of information and communications technology (ICT) uses. These communication practices foster mutual understanding ...

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