Organizations use project teams to create unique products and services and to implement new technologies and business processes. Project teams are typically cross-functional in nature employing expert knowledge from a variety of functional disciplines to implement innovative solutions. Successful integration and utilization of this knowledge is critical to the successful achievement of project goals. This study focused on one element of team learning and cognition, transactive memory systems (TMS). TMS describes how individual team members use other team members as memory storage by maintaining a mental directory of "who knows what" and engaging in transactive processes to encode, store, and retrieve knowledge. TMS improves project team performance by providing a framework for integrating and utilizing distributed knowledge resulting in team learning. Developing effective task strategies to achieve project goals is one method of focusing and integrating team knowledge to facilitate the emergent TMS. However, as projects become more complex it may be more difficult to maintain the structures that support an effective TMS. Project dynamics, including changes to project team members and project goals, introduce volatility into project environments that may disrupt those supporting structures. This study evaluated the interaction of project complexity, effective task strategies, and project stability and their relationship to the project team TMS. Project complexity, effective task strategies, and project stability were found to be directly and significantly related to the project TMS although project complexity affected different aspects of the TMS than did effective task strategies and project stability. Effective task strategies and project stability did not mediate the relationship between project complexity and project team TMS.
|Subjects||Management; Cognitive psychology; Organizational behavior|
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