Title

Capturing Shared Mental Models: An Approach for Bona Fide Groups

Publication Title

Journal of Librarianship and Information Science

Publication Date

2015

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1177/0961000613499362

Keywords

group performance, groups and teams, library management, qualitative methods, shared mental models

Disciplines

Library and Information Science

Abstract

Research on group cognition has shown positive associations between shared mental models and team performance. A variety of complex, quantitative methods have been used to elicit, represent and analyze shared mental models in groups. However, for bona fide groups to benefit from the positive outcomes from shared thinking, techniques are needed to capture, represent and understand their shared thinking that are easy to incorporate within their regular tasks and procedures. This article describes a qualitative method for eliciting and representing the shared mental models about the task and team interaction in a group of library managers. Findings are presented that show where there was similarity and divergence in the group’s thinking, and how that thinking changed over time. Research limitations of the technique are discussed along with ideas for groups to implement this method in practice.