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Key Factors and Threats to Team Dynamics in Long-Duration Extreme Environments

Team Dynamics Over Time

ISBN: 978-1-78635-404-4, eISBN: 978-1-78635-403-7

ISSN: 1534-0856

Publication date: 4 August 2017



To better understand contributing factors and mediating mechanisms related to team dynamics in isolated, confined, and extreme (ICE) environments.


Literature review.


Our primary focus is on cohesion and adaptation – two critical aspects of team performance in ICE environments that have received increased attention in both the literature and funding initiatives. We begin by describing the conditions that define ICE environments and review relevant individual biological, neuropsychiatric, and environmental factors that interact with team dynamics. We then outline a unifying team cohesion framework for long-duration missions and discuss several environmental, operational, organizational, and psychosocial factors that can impact team dynamics. Finally, we end with a discussion of directions for future research and countermeasure development, emphasizing the importance of temporal dynamics, multidisciplinary integration, and novel conceptual frameworks for the inherently mixed work and social setting of long-duration missions in ICE environments.

Social implications

A better understanding of team dynamics over time can contribute to success in a variety of organizational settings, including space exploration, defense and security, business, education, athletics, and social relationships.


We promote a multidisciplinary approach to team dynamics in ICE environments that incorporates dynamic biological, behavioral, psychological, and organizational factors over time.




Manuscript preparation was supported by US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) grants NNX13AB39G (P.G.R.), NNX15AN05G (K. Binsted), NNX15AK76A (D. F. Dinges), and intramural funds from the Institutes for Behavior Resources. The authors are solely responsible for the content and preparation of the manuscript and the decision to publish. The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the authors, and do not represent the positions of the authors’ employers, NASA, or the US Government. P.G.R. is co-inventor of the COHESION ® software tool based on some of the methodological concepts discussed herein, which is subject to intellectual property protections and may be commercialized. The NASA-funded COHESION software version 1.0 is available for free unlimited use to US Federal agencies and Investigators receiving US Federal funding (


Roma, P.G. and Bedwell, W.L. (2017), "Key Factors and Threats to Team Dynamics in Long-Duration Extreme Environments", Team Dynamics Over Time (Research on Managing Groups and Teams, Vol. 18), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 155-187.



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