Measuring team situation awareness in decentralized command and control environments
Decentralized command and control settings like those found in the military are rife with complexity and change. These settings typically involve dozens, if not hundreds to thousands, of heterogeneous players coordinating in a distributed fashion in a dynamically networked battlefield laden with sensor data, intelligence reports, communications, and plans emanating from many different perspectives. Consider the concept of team situation awareness in this setting. What does it mean for a team to be aware of a situation or, more importantly, of a critical change in a situation? Is it sufficient or necessary for all individuals on the team to be independently aware? Or is there some more holistic awareness that emerges as team members interact? We re-examine the concept of team situation awareness in decentralized systems beyond an individual-oriented knowledge-based construct by considering it as a team interaction-based phenomenon. A theoretical framework for a process-based measure called ‘coordinated awareness of situations by teams’ is outlined.