Conversations across the table: team decision-making
Aim: The aim of this study is to explore team strategic decision-making using cognitive mapping techniques in order to determine how entrepreneurial top teams process and interpret information for action. Prior work: Team cognitions have been explored in many different ways. The use of cognitive mapping has mostly been used in two ways: the merging of individual maps as an aggregate cognitive map or as an emergent map, resulting from the interplay of individual team behaviours. Despite the fragmentation in the literature (Mol et al., 2010), prior work has shown the importance of shared cognition in teams for developing business performance and team effectiveness. Methodology: We use an emergent approach based on a top team discussion from a board meeting agenda item on the potential impact of Brexit. Using cognitive mapping techniques, we constructed a cognitive map and analysed the structure and complexity of the emergent concepts. Complexity calculations, connectivity and cluster groups illustrated how the map emerged. This indicated the central concept or “nub” of the issue (Eden, 2004). Findings: Our findings suggest this is a useful technique for exploring and developing team effectiveness and performance and how key members use their domain knowledge and expertise for assessing outcomes. The map structure also showed that the conversation lacked depth but covered many concepts. Map analysis indicated the key drivers of the conversation and use of transactive memory systems. Contribution: This study addresses the need for an alternative to aggregate mapping methods and supports the notion of team cognition as an emergent phenomenon (Curşeu et al., 2010). It demonstrates that a cognitive map can be successfully used to elicit and evaluate team cognition and performance. Implications for policy and practice: Cognitive mapping is a way for practitioners to develop and improve cognitive performance and can be used to analyse team effectiveness for improved efficiency.
Citation : Evans, M. (2019) Conversations across the table: Team decision-making, ISBE conference, Newcastle, November 13-15th 2019.
Research Institute : Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI)
Peer Reviewed : Yes