Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Fall 2013


Ilknur H. Tekin

Course Title

Communication and Team Building

Course Number

ETM 522


When it came to pick a subject for our research report, we all sat down, collaborated, and shared ideas. As we were discussing which idea was best, it was clear that there was one reoccurring theme throughout our ideas: how communication affects the quality of teams. This is not an unexpected coincidence. After all, good communication is crucial to a team’s success. An excellent example of team success dependent on superb communication was relayed by McKinney, Barker, Davis, and Smith (2005). On the afternoon of July 19th, 1989, the flight crew of United 232 faced an extreme emergency. One of the plane’s engines had exploded. The shrapnel had severed the hydraulic controls, leaving the plane in a state where it could not be steered by conventional means. This plane would normally be considered un-flyable, but the three members of the flight crew were able to work together with an off-duty United instructor (who happened to be on the flight) to steer the plane towards a nearby airport using only the remaining engines as their flight controls. The plane crash landed, but thanks to the communication of the pilots, they were able to save the lives of 184 people from a situation nobody would have been able to survive. Thankfully, most teams do not have to face a situation as dire as the one the crew of United 232 had to face. Still, having good communication in a team is essential for success. In order to contribute to the good communication of a team, a person needs to be an effective communicator and we wanted explore what is communication, what are the qualities that are essential for communication, and how does communication affect teams in different stages.


This project is only available to students, staff, and faculty of Portland State University

Persistent Identifier