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Dissertation Information for Miriam Louise Matteson

NAME:
- Miriam Louise Matteson

DEGREE:
- Ph.D.

DISCIPLINE:
- Library and Information Science

SCHOOL:
- University of Maryland (USA) (2009)

ADVISORS:
- Marilyn Domas White

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
- Vedat G. Diker
- Ann Carlson Weeks
- Ping Wang
- Andrew Wolvin

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: The impact of group interaction on shared cognition: An analysis of small group communication

Abstract: Flowing from research that shows that shared mental models have a significant impact on team performance, this research investigated how small group communication influences the development of shared mental models in a committee of public librarians addressing a problem-solving task. It is a qualitative research study that examines the influence of communication theme, function, role, channel, and rule, on the group's development of shared mental models about their task and about their team interaction.

Over a period of a year, data were collected from the group's meetings, email messages, group documents, and interviews with each participant. The data were analyzed using several existing coding schemes and qualitative coding. The data indicate that within the group there was a strong superficial convergence around the task mental model and the team interaction mental model but a weaker convergence at a deeper level. Analysis of the group communication data shows that the group focused discussion on understanding the problem and identifying tasks. They enacted group communication roles and rules that facilitated sharing information, and the functions of their messages emphasized task communication. The findings suggest that communication themes most heavily influenced the development of a shared mental model about the task, while communication roles, rules, and functions were more influential in the development of a shared mental model about team interaction. The data also show the importance of the allocation of time and commitment to the task as elements impacting the development of shared mental models.

This case study of one group begins to shape an understanding of how group communication contributes to shared mental models, but additional case studies based on this same design, altering the characteristics of the group and task, are necessary to more fully explore the group communication - shared cognition relationship. Implications for practice from the study include adopting intentional tactics for surfacing mental models at various points in the group's life and anchoring the emerging model within the collective cognition of the group through devices such as narratives, objects, or documentary materials.

MPACT Scores for Miriam Louise Matteson

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2010-02-08 12:20:42

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Students under Miriam Louise Matteson

ADVISEES:
- None

COMMITTEESHIPS:
- None