Transactive Memory Systems

Transactive Memory Systems

Maria-Isabel Sanchez-Segura (Carlos III University of Madrid, Spain), Fuensanta Medina-Dominguez (Carlos III University of Madrid, Spain) and Arturo Mora-Soto (Carlos III University of Madrid, Spain)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch465
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Transactive memory details the relationship between the individual memory and communication systems. It refers to the fact that people in a continuous cycle of interpersonal relations frequently develop a specialized set of tasks: codify, store, recover information from different domains. Each member becomes a specialist in one area but not in the rest, and the members expect each one to be able to process and access the information in different domains. This specialization reduces the cognitive individual load, while it provides the group access to a large amount of information. Also this specialization reduces the effort wasted as a result of the superposition of individual knowledge. The way in which the information is distributed within the relation is part of the Transactive Memory System (TMS).

In organizations, a TMS has two goals:

  • 1.

    Connect the groups to create open and permanent communication flows

  • 2.

    Be able to replace a member of the group when he/she retires

In spite of the efforts made to implement the Transactive Memory concept, none of the solutions implemented supports Wegner’s proposal and simulates completely a Transactive Memory.

The goal of this work is to analyse how well existing knowledge management systems implement the transactive memory system concept, and identify the deficiencies in existing solutions and how they could be overcome.

The remainder of this article is structured as follows; first the main concepts and implications regarding the concept of transactive memory and transactive memory systems are discussed; next, a discussion about the current support for deploying a TMS is presented; finally, conclusions and reflexions on the authors’ finding are offered.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Transactive Memory: It is a psychological approach proposed by Daniel Wegner in 1985 to understand how engaged couples coordinate to solve problems of information processing.

Learning Content Management System: It is a set of computer tools for the creation, reusability, localization, development, and maintenance of learning content.

Learning Management System: It is a software application used to manage, distribute and monitor virtual learning.

Organizational learning: It is a process that helps organizations to acquire and create knowledge through interaction between their employees.

E-Learning: Is distance education fully virtualized mainly through Internet based channels using hypertext tools, multimedia, or applications to support the teaching and learning processes.

Transactive Memory System: According to Daniel Wegner it consists of the knowledge stored in each individual's memory combined with meta-memory containing information regarding the different teammate's domains of expertise.

Organizational Memory: It refers to the implicit and explicit knowledge that the organization has gained along the time as a result of its business activities.

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