Jenny Liao will present an Organisational Psychology Seminar. As part of the PhD confirmation process, Jenny will be presenting her progress-to-date on the topic of workplace teams and the development of transactive memory systems. Her program of research is supervised by both A/Prof Nerina Jimmieson and Dr Simon Restubog, and is partially funded by an ARC Linkage Grant with the Clinical Practice Improvement Centre at Queensland Health.
Promoting effectiveness in workplace teams: An examination of transactive memory systems
Teams play a critical role in today’s organisations. As such, it is important to understand how individual team members share, integrate and utilise each others’ information when performing team tasks. Transactive memory system (TMS) is one research area that seeks to explain how teams cooperatively encode, store and retrieve each others’ expertise for task performance. While transactive memory theory states that having a shared awareness of “knowing who knows what” allows individuals to capitalise on each others’ expertise, there is a lack of clarity in the literature regarding its antecedents, developmental processes and consequences. Drawing on the group process and team effectiveness literature, the current research project will propose a theoretical model of how TMS operates in the workplace. It will examine the importance of contact and team identification in predicting effective TMS formation, as well as the role of situational constraints in moderating the relationship between TMS and outcomes of team satisfaction and team performance. Further, the theoretical model will be applied to the multidisciplinary health care team context, with the view that team effectiveness can enhance the quality of patient safety. The project will investigate the importance of cutting across professional boundaries in order for health care personnel to develop effective TMS functioning. Finally, the project will explore the dynamic nature of TMS, assessing how changes in team membership composition impact on TMS development.