Conducting Actionable Research in
Atypical, High Stakes Teams
Small sample sizes, lack of criterion data, and gaining access to analog environments. The novelty and complexity of my research presents methodological challenges (e.g., multi-level issues, small sample sizes for astronaut crews). My team composition research with astronaut crews and deployed Army teams revealed inadequate methods for researching these “extreme teams” (i.e., high-consequence teams that operate in atypical contexts). We are constantly working on novel approaches for conducting research.
My students and I forwarded an actionable approach to researching extreme teams, which was recently published in Journal of Management (Bell, Fisher, Brown, & Mann, 2018). You can find it under publications. This mixed method approach better integrates context into the research process and accounts for the small sample sizes often encountered in extreme team research. Although the approach was designed with extreme teams in mind, the methodology can also be applied to researching traditional teams.
Current efforts include writing a book chapter on Conducting Research in Analog Environments. It will appear in an upcoming book series that describes the latest applications of organizational psychology and human factors to space research.