This study explores how a high-reliability team (HRT) employed an informal communication norm to facilitate access to members’ distributed expertise during forecast decisions, despite time pressures. The communication norm was documented during observations of U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) forecast team members’ naturalistic decision making (NDM) regarding forecasts. We labeled the norm, floating. Although NWS members did not have an explicit term for their communication norm, follow-up interviews revealed they readily confirmed its existence and expressed an expectation that other members would engage in floating during collective forecast decision making. Additionally, analysis of interview data suggested floating facilitated team cognition and helped enact reluctance to simplify, sensitivity to operations, and deference to expertise. Implications for high-reliability team and organization (HRT&O) theory, naturalistic decision making, expertise, and team cognition conclude the paper.
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Journal of Applied Communication Research|
|State||Published - 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors wish to acknowledge and offer gratitude to the team of National Weather Service forecasters who participated in this study and helped this project come to life. We also wish to thank the editors and reviewers for their constructive and insightful comments on drafts of this manuscript.
© 2021 National Communication Association.
- communication norms
- high-reliability organization theory
- naturalistic decision making
- team cognition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics