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A multi-level approach of evaluating crew resource management training: A laboratory-based study examining communication skills as a function of team congruence
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The article proposes a multi-level approach for evaluating communication skills training (CST) as an important element of crew resource management (CRM) training. Within this methodological framework, the present work examined the effectiveness of CST in matching or mismatching team compositions with regard to hierarchical status and competence. There is little experimental research that evaluated the effectiveness of CRM training at multiple levels (i.e. reaction, learning, behaviour) and in teams composed of members of different status and competence. An experiment with a two (CST: with vs. without) by two (competence/hierarchical status: congruent vs. incongruent) design was carried out. A total of 64 participants were trained for 2.5 h on a simulated process control environment, with the experimental group being given 45 min of training on receptiveness and influencing skills. Prior to the 1-h experimental session, participants were assigned to two-person teams. The results showed overall support for the use of such a multi-level approach of training evaluation. Stronger positive effects of CST were found for subjective measures than for objective performance measures. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: This work provides some guidance for the use of a multi-level evaluation of CRM training. It also emphasises the need to collect objective performance data for training evaluation in addition to subjective measures with a view to gain a more accurate picture of the benefits of such training approaches.
Communication skills, Crew resource management training, Performance, Team composition
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