Organizational Transactive Memory Systems: Review and Extension


European Psychologist


Departments: Management & Human Resources

The transactive memory system (TMS) concept has been extended from dyads and groups to organizations. While organizational TMS literature helps to understand how employees locate and utilize information based on their awareness of 'who knows what' and 'who knows who,' conceptual development is beneficial because TMSs has been extended to organizations without clear definitions and levels-of-analysis rationale. Drawing from the social psychology and network literature, this paper identifies several aspects requiring further conceptual attention, and defines organizational TMSs as overlapping networks of interdependent work groups that use each other as external cognitive aids to accomplish shared tasks. Suggestions for managing and measuring organizational TMSs are provided.