Transactive Memory and Performance in Work Groups: Specificity, Communication, Ability Differences, and Work Allocation

Group Dynamics, Vol. 12, pp. 223-241, 2008

26 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2011

See all articles by Andrea B. Hollingshead

Andrea B. Hollingshead

USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

The present study examined the effects of specificity, communication, ability differences, and work allocation, on the utilization of transactive memory in work groups. Clerical staff members (N = 36) worked individually and then with a coworker to complete a quiz covering six domains of work-related knowledge and to allocate domains of knowledge or specific quiz items in a manner that maximized group performance. Allocations were made first individually and then collaboratively. Results indicated that transactive memory facilitated group performance. Specificity (item allocations vs. domain allocations) led to more effective utilization of member knowledge, but communication did not. Group performance was higher when members differed in ability and when the allocated more work to the more proficient member.

Keywords: transactive memory, recognition or expertise, group performance, communication

JEL Classification: D70

Suggested Citation

Hollingshead, Andrea B., Transactive Memory and Performance in Work Groups: Specificity, Communication, Ability Differences, and Work Allocation (2008). Group Dynamics, Vol. 12, pp. 223-241, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1801529

Andrea B. Hollingshead (Contact Author)

USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://annenberg.usc.edu/Faculty/Communication%20and%20Journalism/HollingsheadA.aspx

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

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Los Angeles, CA California 90089
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