Distributed knowledge and transactive processes in decision-making groups


Presents a model that examines the relations between group members' individual knowledge, communication processes, and group decisions. The model proposes that communication processes involved in effective information exchange change depending on the degree to which information needed for an effective group decision is known by all, some, one, or no group members, and on the degree to which members have a shared understanding about who knows what. The model is presented in the form of 9 propositions about 4 processes; comparing individual knowledge, establishing expertise, searching for needed information, and communicating information. Two studies comparing retrieval processes in memory systems are presented. Ss from both studies were heterosexual dating couples who had been dating at least 6 mo and were college students. Ss completed (either 2 or 3 times) a general knowledge task individually or with their partner or strangers. The data suggest that even strangers have a transactive memory system, which improves with task repetition. Strangers began developing their transactive memory system by explicitly establishing relative expertise as indicated by their higher frequency of expertise assertions relative to intimate couples. Knowledge test questions are appended. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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    • "In a similar way to how individuals supplement their own internal memory systems by storing information in external devices (e.g., recording information into a database), it is proposed that other people are relied on as external memory aids for obtaining and processing information. As such, a well-developed TMS is argued to facilitate information exchange and coordination, while also reducing cognitive workload burdens in the team (Hollingshead, 1998b; Moreland, 1999). In support, laboratory studies using ad hoc groups demonstrate that group members make better use of each others' expertise and perform better on recall tasks when there are high levels of TMS (Liang, Moreland, & Argote, 1995; Moreland & Myaskovsky, 2000). "
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    ABSTRACT: Transactive memory system (TMS) theory explains how expertise is recognized and coordinated in teams. Extending current TMS research from a group information-processing perspective, our article presents a theoretical model that considers TMS development from a social identity perspective. We discuss how two features of communication (quantity and quality) important to TMS development are linked to TMS through the group identification mechanism of a shared common team identity. Informed by social identity theory, we also differentiate between intragroup and intergroup contexts and outline how, in multidisciplinary teams, professional identification and perceived equality of status among professional subgroups have a role to play in TMS development. We provide a theoretical discussion of future research directions aimed at testing and extending our model.
    Group & Organization Management 04/2012; 37(2):204-240. DOI:10.1177/1059601112443976 · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    • "SMMs extend the mental model construct to teamwork [5] [6]: here, the team is the system and a SMM allows team members to describe, explain, and predict team interaction. At the same time, a transactive memory system (TMS) [7] [8] [9] is structured knowledge about whom to ask for the correct piece of information [10] [11] [12]. By viewing shared cognition as relational knowledge across team members, TMSs address the question of what is complimentary. "
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    ABSTRACT: In the study of coordination and teamwork, the primacy of team interaction is emphasized in an interactive approach. The interactive approach lies in stark contrast to the traditional, shared cognition approach to understanding team cognition. An overview of team coordination dynamics, an interactive approach rooted in nonlinear dynamics, is provided. Results from a series of experiments on team coordination dynamics are summarized. Finally, future research directions, inspired by those results, are considered.
    Foundations of Augmented Cognition. Directing the Future of Adaptive Systems - 6th International Conference, FAC 2011, Held as Part of HCI International 2011, Orlando, FL, USA, July 9-14, 2011. Proceedings; 01/2011
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    • "Merely investigating the frequency of communication does not yield any insights in changes in leader's and follower's awareness of the other's implicit theories or in their awareness of how the other perceives the division of contributions to the relationship (cf. research which found that leaders and followers typically do not communicate about their mental models when interacting; Hollingshead, 1998; van Ginkel, Tindale, & van Knippenberg, in press). Therefore, we suggest that positive effects of frequency of communication on agreement will only be found in cases where the communication explicitly concerns ILTs and IFTs or the contributions made by both partners to the relationship. "
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    ABSTRACT: While Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) research shows that leaders engage in different kinds of relationships with different followers, it remains somewhat of an enigma why one and the same relationship is often rated differently by a leader and the respective follower. We seek to fill that conceptual void by explaining when and why such LMX disagreement is likely to occur. To do so, we reconsider antecedents of LMX quality perceptions and outline how each party’s LMX quality perception is primarily dependent on the perceived contributions of the other party, moderated by perceived own contributions. We then integrate the notion of Implicit Leadership and Followership Theories (ILTs and IFTs) to argue that the currencies of contributions differ between leaders and followers. This dyadic model sets the stage to explain that LMX disagreement can stem from (1) differences in both parties’ ILTs as well as both parties’ IFTs, but also from (2) differences in perceptions of own and other’s behavior. We conclude by discussing communication as a means of overcoming LMX disagreement and propose an array of potential studies along the lines of our conceptualization.
    European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 01/2009; 19(ERS-2009-055-ORG). DOI:10.1080/13594320902978458 · 2.09 Impact Factor
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