An Investigation of the Effect of After-Action Reviews on Teams' Performance-Efficacy Relationships

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2012-07-16

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Abstract

Performance and efficacy are reciprocally causal; however, the effect of performance on subsequent perceptions of efficacy has received little attention, especially in the context of team training. In addition, the moderating effect of feedback accuracy on the relationship between team performance and team-efficacy is largely unexplored. As such, the objective of the present study was to investigate the relationship between team performance and team-efficacy in the context of after-action reviews (AARs). Specifically, this study examined the conjoint influence of (a) the accuracy of performance feedback available to trainees during AARs, and (b) time on the predictive validity of team performance on team-efficacy. Data were obtained from 492 undergraduate students assigned to 123 teams in a 5 hr team training protocol using a 3 (training condition: non-AAR, versus subjective AAR, versus objective AAR) x 3 (sessions) repeated measures design.

Contrary to the first set of hypotheses, the positive relationship between performance and efficacy was strongest for teams trained without AARs and weakest for teams trained using subjective AARs. Although team-efficacy was predicted more strongly by more proximal team performance than by more distal team performance, this pattern of results was found only for teams trained either without AARs or with objective AARs. The predictive validity of performance on efficacy decreased as performance episodes became more proximal among teams trained using subjective AARs. Finally, within-team agreement of team-efficacy ratings decreased over time for teams that engaged in AARs and remained constant over time for teams that did not engage in AARs.

The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed. It is anticipated that this research will provide insight into the roles of feedback accuracy and time in the performance-efficacy relationship and provide guidance to researchers and practitioners in effectively integrating AAR design characteristics into team training environments.

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