Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Greg L. Stewart
Shared mental models (SMM) and Transactive memory systems (TMS) have been advocated as the main team learning mechanisms. Despite multiple appeals for collaboration, research in both these fields has progressed in parallel and little effort has been made to integrate these theories. The purpose of this study was to test the relationship between SMM and TMS in a field setting and examine their influence on various team effectiveness outcomes such as team performance, team learning, team creativity, team members' satisfaction and team viability.
Contextual factors relevant to an organizational setting were tested and these included team size, tenure, country of origin, team reward and organizational support. Based on responses from 41 teams from 7 industries across two countries (US and India), results indicate that team size, country of origin and team tenure impact team performance and team learning. In addition, team reward and organizational support predicted team viability and satisfaction.
Results indicated that TMS components (specialization, coordination and credibility) were better predictors of team outcomes than the omnibus TMS construct. In particular, TMS credibility predicted team performance and creativity while TMS coordination predicted team viability and satisfaction. SMM was measured in two different ways: an average deviation index and a 6-item scale. Both methods resulted in a conceptually similar interpretation although average deviation indices provided slightly better results in predicting effectiveness outcomes.
TMS components moderated the relationship between SMM and team outcomes. Team performance was lowest when both SMM and TMS were low. However, contrary to expectations, high levels of SMM did not always result in effective team outcomes (performance, learning and creativity) especially when teams exhibited high TMS specialization and credibility. An interaction pattern was observed under conditions of low levels of SMM such that high TMS resulted in higher levels of team outcomes. The theoretical and practical implications of these results are discussed.
Copyright 2008 Amit Kumar Nandkeolyar