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Team Cognition, Communication, and Message Interdependence

Stephenson J. Beck and Joann Keyton

MESSAGE INTERDEPENDENCE AND TEAM COGNITION

Teamwork is an incredible phenomenon. Importantly, teamwork requires interdependence among group members to achieve a superordinate goal. But interdependence among members, specifically the interdependence they portray through messages in interaction, is not well understood. Because no group member can predict what another group member might say (or perfectly predict his or her own contribution; cf. Warner, Letsky, & Cowen, 2005), “the flow of communication can follow virtually any path” (p. 270). Teamwork is always a partially improvised, flexible dialogue among individuals. It is this property of conversation ...

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