Measuring shared team mental models: A meta-analysis

Leslie A. Dechurch, Jessica R. Mesmer-Magnus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

201 Scopus citations


Although shared team mental models are believed to be important to team functioning, substantial interstudy differences in the manner in which mental models are operationalized has impeded progress in this area. We use meta-analysis to cumulate 23 independent studies that have empirically examined shared mental models (SMMs) in relation to team process and performance and test three aspects of measurement as potential moderators: elicitation method, structure representation, and representation of emergence. Results indicate the way in which SMMs are measured and represented at the team level of analysis reveal meaningful distinctions in observed relationships. Specifically, shared mental model operationalization impacts the observed relationship between SMMs and team process; importantly, only methods that model the structure or organization of knowledge are predictive of process. Conversely, while the magnitude of the relationship differed across measurement method, SMMs were positively related to team performance regardless of the manner of operationalization. In summary, knowledge structure is predictive of team process, and both knowledge content and structure are predictive of team performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalGroup Dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Cognition
  • Group
  • Mental model
  • Meta-analysis
  • Team

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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