Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Kevin Bennett (Committee Member), John Flach (Committee Chair), Scott Galster (Committee Member), W. Todd Nelson (Committee Member), Wayne Shebilske (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The present study explores the dynamic and emergent behavior of two teams, separately working through a synthetic task environment representing a battle management command and control domain under two levels of organizational centralization. While the manipulation of centralization had minimal effects on overall performance, evidence suggested that the need to seek authorization for actions from a central authority was a source of frustration. Both teams adapted over time, changing patterns of coordination to better meet the task demands. The results are discussed in the context of the concepts of normal accidents, high reliability organizations, and self-organization in complex organizations. Specific parallels between sensemaking in organization and perceptual-motor coordination (i.e., collaborative structures and smart mechanisms) are discussed.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded