(Ir-)Rationality of Teams: A Process-Oriented Model of Team Cognition Emergence

Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Complexity book series (SPCOM)


In today’s competitive environment, companies rely increasingly on teams and their flexibility. While effectively working teams may accomplish great results, ineffective teams may fall short of their potential and can even be a risk for the organization. Little is known about the socio-cognitive processes of team decisions and particularly the emergence of knowledge from individual to team level. This study addresses this process by analyzing team cognition as an emergent property. The here presented research approach allows for a deeper analysis of the underlying processes. A laboratory experiment provides information about quantitative patterns of individual and team cognition. For the analysis of these patterns, we introduce the team cognition matrix. By applying this format to the results of the laboratory experiment, this study identifies four categories of typical emergent team cognition structures. These four categories are the basis for a simple decision algorithm that was analyzed in an agent-based model. The resulting simulation shows that 67% of all simulated group decisions are very close to the empirical group decisions (ranking position distances ≤3) and 89% are close on a medium range (ranking position distances ≤6). The article contributes to the current literature by showing an innovative research approach that further is applied to open up the black box of successful team behavior beyond well-known static attributes.


Team performance Decision dynamics Interactive team cognition Laboratory experiments Agent-based modeling 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Applied Sciences EuropeHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Hamburg University of Technology, Institute of Management Accounting and SimulationHamburgGermany

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