Visualizing the Division of Knowledge: A Simulation of the Formation of Transactive Memory Systems

26 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2019

See all articles by Abigail Devereaux

Abigail Devereaux

George Mason University, Department of Economics

Xiaoyi Yuan

George Mason University, Students

Date Written: January 31, 2019

Abstract

A transactive memory system (TMS) is a system where members share the knowledge of “who knows what.” That is, a TMS is an instance of knowledge division, particularly of expertise, within a network of social connections like a work team. A large volume of studies has been done on how social networks relate to the formation and dynamics of TMSs in workplaces. However, previous research tends to focus on dyadic network ties instead of triadic network structures. This paper extends research on how certain triadic microstructures relate to the formation of TMSs using a model of task completion within a team. By comparing the networks produced by our model with random networks, we are able to determine that our networks are similar to real-life TMS networks as examined in the literature. Furthermore, we show that larger TMS networks start to resemble random networks of the same size, which may provide further intuition for why too-large teams tend to suffer losses in productivity.

Keywords: transactive memory, social network analysis, triadic structures, team performance, division of knowledge

JEL Classification: C63, D83, D85

Suggested Citation

Devereaux, Abigail and Yuan, Xiaoyi, Visualizing the Division of Knowledge: A Simulation of the Formation of Transactive Memory Systems (January 31, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3326779 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3326779

Abigail Devereaux (Contact Author)

George Mason University, Department of Economics ( email )

Fairfax, VA
United States

Xiaoyi Yuan

George Mason University, Students ( email )

Fairfax, VA
United States

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