An empirical study was conducted to observe macro-cognition and interpersonal interactions between team members during a collaborative resource management task. Teams consisting of three members each were instructed to work together to complete scenario objectives in a simulated military task environment. The task scenarios were manipulated to vary the complexity of the scenario objectives. An exploratory analysis of the results revealed a mediating effect of perceived complexity on the relationship between perceived sharedness and performance. Additionally a partial mediating effect for perceived complexity on the relationship between perceived sharedness team knowledge building was found. Results indicate that perceived complexity of a collaborative task may play a greater role in the relationship between team level factors and performance than previously thought. Implications for these results are provided alongside suggestions for future research. Specifically we call for research to determine the mechanism through which perceptions of task complexity influence collective performance. Copyright 2011 by Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Inc. All rights reserved.
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