A characterization of distributed teamwork – Challenges for C2 teams


  1. Turcotte, I.
  2. Jobidon, M-E.
  3. Pigeon, L.
  4. Tremblay, S.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);Laval Univ, Quebec QUE (CAN)
Rapid changes in the operational environment, globalization, an ever-growing recourse to coalitions and alliances combined with a push towards designing more flexible and versatile organizational structures, has accelerated the need for organizations, including the military, to coordinate work across geographical, functional, intra- and inter-organizational as well as temporal boundaries. Responding to the increasing decentralization and globalization of work processes, many organizations have reacted to their dynamic environments by introducing distributed teams. The environment in which military teams evolve is often characterized by changing conditions, time pressure, uncertainty, and an overwhelming amount of information to process. This report presents an analysis of the literature on distributed teams and highlights issues of potential consequences and interest in the context of adaptive dispersed operations for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). The factors that are identified as critical for the success of distributed teams are coordination, communication, shared mental models, trust, and leadership. There is a need for a robust scientific methodology to evaluate tools for collaborative decision making and to verify support decision effectiveness in dynamic, uncertain contexts of operations at the operational and tactical levels.

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Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-TM-2013-140 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 May 2014
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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