Crew resource management training's effect on railroad crews' perceptions of task interdependence and teamwork
The accuracy and similarity of team members' perceptions regarding the interdependencies of their task as well as the criticality of teamwork behaviors is essential to team performance. Unfortunately, these perceptions are not always accurate or similar, which has led to calls for research evaluating the effectiveness of interventions aimed at improving these perceptions. The present study evaluated the accuracy and similarity of crew members' perceptions of task interdependence and teamwork in the U.S. railroad industry. Specifically, this study assessed (1) the effect of Crew Resource Management (CRM) training on the accuracy and similarity of locomotive and maintenance of way (MOW) crew members' perceptions and (2), the extent to which the accuracy and similarity of those perceptions are retained 2-years after training. The overall results of the present study suggests that CRM training is effective in increasing the accuracy and similarity of crew members' perceptions of team-relatedness (amount of task interdependence) and perceptions regarding the importance of teamwork. However, the effectiveness is often dependent on the metric used (i.e., accuracy vs. similarity), and the specific characteristics of the crew members (i.e., locomotive vs. MOW, higher vs. lower interpositional experience). Furthermore, the results suggest that training did not increase the accuracy or similarity of crew members' perceptions of team workflow pattern (form of task interdependence). Lastly, a small sample size and low power precluded the running of quantitative statistical analysis assessing the long-term retention of the accuracy and similarity of participants' perceptions of task interdependence or teamwork. However, for the sake of completeness, the means, standard deviations, and effect sizes are presented in the Appendix.