Teamwork in multi-person systems: a review and analysis

Ergonomics. 2000 Aug;43(8):1052-75. doi: 10.1080/00140130050084879.


As the scope and complexity of modern task demands exceed the capability of individuals to perform, teams are emerging to shoulder the burgeoning requirements. Accordingly, researchers have striven to understand and enhance human performance in team settings. The purpose of this review is to summarize that research, from the theoretical underpinnings that drive it, to the identification of team-level elements of success, to the methodologies and instruments that capture and measure those characteristics. Further specified are three important avenues to creating successful teams: team selection, task design and team training. In other words, one can select the right people, provide them with a task engineered for superior performance and train them in the appropriate skills to accomplish that task. Under task design, new technologies and automation are examined that both support and impede team functioning. Finally, throughout are provided critical remarks about what is known about teamwork and what is needed to be known to move the science and practice of team performance forward. The paper concludes with the identification of team issues that require further investigation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Efficiency
  • Ergonomics*
  • Group Processes*
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training
  • Institutional Management Teams*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Task Performance and Analysis