Improving Teamwork in Organizations: Applications of Resource Management Training

Improving Teamwork in Organizations: Applications of Resource Management Training

Improving Teamwork in Organizations: Applications of Resource Management Training

Improving Teamwork in Organizations: Applications of Resource Management Training


This edited volume applies the excellent work done in Crew Resource Management (CRM) in the aviation industry to training teams in other organizations. CRM is not only a design for training, but it also has been evaluated over time and shown great success. This lesson should be transferred to other nonaviation settings, and this book was written with that goal in mind. This book has two purposes. First, it provides those interested in designing and delivering resource management training with useful and practical information containing the latest thinking and guidance available. Second, it launches CRM training as a viable intervention that can be used to enhance teamwork and organizational effectiveness, as well as minimize human error in a wide variety of industries and organizations. Written from experts in the field of training, this volume is organized into four sections that: *address the foundation of resource management training; *focus on the tools needed for design and delivery of resource management training; *apply resource management training to several industries and domains (i.e., medical, naval, airlines); and *look at the global issues, such as culture of organizations, national issues, and error in training.


Eduardo Salas
Clint A. Bowers
Eleana Edens

Few of us can question the value of teamwork. Effective teamwork can increase organizational productivity and job efficiency. Teamwork can reduce human errors and promote job satisfaction. Teamwork can also help maintain safe conditions in complex and stressful environments. Indeed, teamwork can make organizations better and help accomplish their goals and missions. And so teamwork is a popular commodity these days. Many businesses, industries, agencies, and occupations demand it—from the military fields to the corporate rooms. But nowhere is teamwork as critical as in the cockpit of an airplane. Effective teamwork can make our skies safer. Since the 1980s the airlines (and the military as well) have invested considerable effort and resources to design and implement crew resource management (CRM) training in their organizations.

The airlines have been aided by a group of applied scientists and agencies (most of them represented in this book) whose aim has been to improve safety, reduce human error, and promote effective teamwork and decision-making in the cockpit. So after two decades of CRM training research and practice—progress has been made! We have made theoretical, methodological, and practical advances in the design, delivery, implementation, and evaluation of CRM training. We certainly hope that this book captures some of that progress.

We know more about how to promote teamwork and reduce errors in the cockpit than ever before and the preliminary results are encouraging. However, we strongly believe that CRM training benefits reach beyond the aviation community. CRM training (or team training) is also important (and needed) to the medical, emerging management, police, fire, and rescue domains just to mention a few). We also hope that this book shows how CRM training can be applied and used in a variety of contexts, environments, and occupations.

While we are happy to document the progress, we also know that there are many complex issues still unresolved. And only more collaborative, interdisciplinary, and systematic research will provide practical solutions to organizations. We hope this book also engages, motivates, and energizes scientists and practitioners alike to continue working on understanding human performance in complex environments and providing training (and other interventions as well) solutions. More work is needed.

In closing, we would like to thank the thousands of aviators who have contributed to the development and institutionalization of CRM training and the scientists who pave the way most notably—Bob Helmreich, Clay Foushee, John Lauber, and Earl Weiner. We would also like to thank Anne Duffy for her continued support in this and other related efforts.

Eduardo Salas Clint A. Bowers Eleana Edens . . .

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