Exploration of the Multilevel & Temporal Intricacies of Emergent States in Multiteam Systems

Elisa Torres

Advisor: Stephen Zaccaro, PhD, Department of Psychology

Committee Members: Cynthia Maupin, Seth Kaplan, David Wallace

Online Location, Online
February 20, 2023, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM


A growing body of research has established multiteam systems (MTSs) as having a distinct organizational structure that pose unique collaboration challenges and thus are worthy of scholarly pursuit. While highlighted as an integral component of addressing these collaboration challenges, few MTS studies have explored how multilevel emergent states -- constructs that arise from lower-level entities and change over time -- form and evolve within component teams and across the system. This research poses several research questions to abductively explore how multilevel emergent states form and evolve in MTSs. In Study 1, a longitudinal field study assessed multilevel emergent states in three sail training squadron MTSs over their lifespan. Based on Study 1’s findings a set of propositions were developed and used to inform the development of an agent-based model of MTS emergent states. Several virtual experiments were conducted to examine underlying generative mechanisms proposed to explain the patterns of emergent states found in MTSs. This paper concludes with a discussion that focuses on implications of the MTS emergent state theory by offering refined propositions that can be used to spark future MTS research.