Time out : organizational training for improvisation in lifesaving critial teams


Time out : organizational training for improvisation in lifesaving critial teams

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dc.contributor.advisor Browning, Larry D.
dc.creator Ishak, Andrew Waguih, 1982-
dc.date.accessioned 2012-10-04T21:02:33Z
dc.date.available 2012-10-04T21:02:33Z
dc.date.created 2012-08
dc.date.issued 2012-10-04
dc.date.submitted August 2012
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2152/ETD-UT-2012-08-6159
dc.description.abstract Exemplified by fire crews, SWAT teams, and emergency surgical units, critical teams are a subset of action teams whose work is marked by finality, pressure, and potentially fatal outcomes (Ishak & Ballard, 2012). Using communicative and temporal lenses, this study investigates how organizations prime and prepare their embedded critical teams to deal with improvisation. This study explicates how organizations both encourage and discourage improvisation for their embedded critical teams. Throughout the training process, organizations implement a structured yet flexible “roadmap”-type approach to critical team work, an approach that is encapsulated through three training goals. The first goal is to make events routine to members. The second goal is to help members deal with non-routine events. The third goal is to help members understand how to differentiate between what is routine and non-routine. The grounded theory analysis in this study also surfaced three tools that are used within the parameters of the roadmap approach: experience, communicative decision making, and sensemaking. Using Dewey’s (1939, 1958) theory of experience, I introduce a middle-range adapted theory of critical team experience. In this theory, experience and sensemaking are synthesized through communicative decision making to produce decisions, actions, and outcomes in time-limited, specialized, stressful environments. Critical teams have unique temporal patterns that must be considered in any study of their work. Partially based on the nested phase model (Ishak & Ballard, 2012), I also identify three phases of critical team process as critical-interactive, meaning that they are specific to action/critical teams, and they are engaged in by critical teams for the expressed purpose of interaction. These phases are simulation, adaptation, and debriefing. These tools and phases are then placed in the Critical-Action-Response Training Outcomes Grid (CARTOG) to create nine interactions that are useful in implementing a structured yet flexible approach to improvisation in the work of critical teams. Data collection consisted of field observations, semi-structured interviews, and impromptu interviews at work sites. In total, I engaged in 55 hours of field observations at 10 sites. I conducted 31 semi-structured interviews with members of wildland and urban fire crews; emergency medical teams; and tactical teams, including SWAT teams and a bomb squad. I also offer practical implications and future directions for research on the temporal and communicative aspects of critical teams, their parent organizations, and considerations of improvisation in their work.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject Communication
dc.subject Teams
dc.subject Organizations
dc.subject Training
dc.subject Emergency response
dc.subject Teamwork
dc.subject Groups
dc.subject Sports
dc.subject Health
dc.subject Fire
dc.subject Improvisation
dc.subject Experience
dc.subject Decision making
dc.subject Time
dc.subject Temporality
dc.subject Organizations
dc.subject Organizational communication
dc.title Time out : organizational training for improvisation in lifesaving critial teams
dc.date.updated 2012-10-04T21:02:48Z
dc.identifier.slug 2152/ETD-UT-2012-08-6159
dc.contributor.committeeMember Ballard, Dawna I.
dc.contributor.committeeMember Stephens, Keri K.
dc.contributor.committeeMember Maxwell, Madeline M.
dc.contributor.committeeMember Ziegler, Jennifer A.
dc.description.department Communication Studies
dc.type.genre thesis
dc.type.material text
thesis.degree.department Communication Studies
thesis.degree.discipline Communication Studies
thesis.degree.grantor University of Texas at Austin
thesis.degree.level Doctoral
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy

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