Risk and uncertainty in team decision-making - Case study in an Arctic context
AuthorHoel, Marte Raknerud
Teams operating in the Arctic are surrounded by hazardous environments, and therefore make decisions influenced by uncertainty. This case study aimed to gain an understanding of how risk and uncertainty influence team decision-making processes in hazard environments in the Arctic. To collect data, nine interviews from fishing vessels operating in the Barents Sea, as well as search and rescue crew members have been conducted in order to find commonalities and differences between environments operating in the Arctic. Three people with experience from search and rescue were consulted initially to address challenges within the field. A model focusing on team decision-making address five codes through a literature review. This review consists of 30 articles from the research fields of human behavior, psychology, business and health. These codes are elements in a team decision-making process, and consist of the terms shared mental models, trust, awareness, task management and time management. Also, communication has been identified in the data as importance for team decision-making. These codes all help obtaining optimal decision-making in teams, even when affected by uncertainty. The necessity of the role of the leader was also identified in the data. Interviewees stressed the importance of the leader being in charge, but also listening to crew members to secure safety and a good working environment. Further, to secure optimal team decision-making processes under uncertainty, each individual's risk perception much be taken into account. This perception regards to previous experience, but also how the team works together. As a result, the leader has great importance to establish a good work environment where each crew member can trust each other and communicate properly, by having shared mental models and a situational awareness in the given situation. The main findings in this research shows a differentiation between different teams operating in the Arctic. Nevertheless, the data shows similarities in teams when it comes to the leaders’ role in the team. The leader is in charge of making decisions, but the team members are, to some extent, welcomed to speak their mind and contribute in the decision-making process. Doing so will increase the communication about risk perception, which may contribute to safer operations and rescues. This thesis will hopefully be a small contribution to what team members should be aware of in decision-making processes in hazardous environments surrounded by uncertainty.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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