The Influence of Team Workload Demands During a Cyber Defense Exercise on Team Performance
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Research has shown that cyber defense is dependent on individual functioning as well as teamwork[1, 2]. Research has identified teamwork factors, such as communication and coordination, that increase performance [1, 3], while more supporting behaviours, i.e. emotional and team support, have shown to inhibit team performance [3, 4] but currently the understanding of impact workloads have on performance is still limited . The study investigated the role of team workload demands on team performance (effectiveness, dissatisfaction). Methods Data was collected during the Norwegian Defense Cyber Academy’s annual Cyber Defense Exercise. The Team Workload Questionnaire was used as the independent variable to assess workload demands. The Teamwork component (communication, coordination, team performance monitoring) and Task-Team component (time-share, team emotion, team support) were used as predictors. For performance outcomes, two self-reported items were created, Team Effectiveness and Team Dissatisfaction, on a 10-point Likert scale (none-very). The study conformed to the Norwegian Social Science Data Services’ ethical guidelines. Participants gave their informed consent verbally and were informed that they could withdraw from participation at any time. Statistical analysis was done with JASP version .14.1. Alpha levels were set to .05. Results Teamwork demands (communication (β=.608), coordination (β =.224), team performance monitoring (β =-.149) could predict Team Effectiveness (R2=.632, F=5.16, p=.024). Task-team workload demands (team support (β =.328), team emotion (β=.878), time-share demands (β =-.196)) could predict Team Dissatisfaction (R2=.853, F=17.36, p<.001). Discussion This study investigated the influence of team workload demands on team performance. Results support the hypotheses. Teamwork demands could predict team effectiveness while Task-team demands could predict more negative aspects of team performance and the results are in line with previous research [3, 4, 7]. Future research in cyber security operations should incorporate team workload demands to assess performance. This research is funded by the Norwegian Research Council (#302941).