Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Human Factors

Department

College of Arts & Sciences

Committee Chair

Elizabeth H. Lazzara, Ph.D.

First Committee Member

Elizabeth H. Lazzara, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Joseph R. Keebler, Ph.D.

Third Committee Member

Shawn M. Doherty, Ph.D.

Fourth Committee Member

Barbara S. Chaparro, Ph.D.

Fifth Committee Member

Tara N. Cohen, Ph.D.

Abstract

Escape rooms have been used as a training intervention in multiple contexts, but their efficacy as a team building intervention is not well understood. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of a team building escape room on perceptions of team processes and perceived team effectiveness, the sustainability of these effects, as well as relationships between team processes and task completion in this context. This research utilized archival data of 33 healthcare teams (n = 145 participants) completing a team building escape room and prospectively collected follow-up data from the same participants (n = 49 participants). Analyses indicated that team process perceptions did not significantly correlate with team process behaviors, participants’ perceptions of team processes returned to baseline after one year, and that team process perceptions and behaviors were not predictive of task completion. A significant improvement in perceived team effectiveness was observed immediately following participation in the escape room. This improvement was positively influenced by task completion. However, this effect did not persist; participants’ perceived team effectiveness returned to baseline after one year. This study has demonstrated the utility of an escape room team building intervention in improving perceptions of team effectiveness up to one month after the activity, including the positive influence of task completion on this outcome. Implications of these results and considerations for future research are discussed. This work has provided a foundation for future research to continue exploring the utility of team building escape rooms using a multi-method approach.

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