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Jan Kees Schakel

Organizing distributed knowledge for collaborative action: Structure, functioning, and emergence of organizational transactive memory systems


In the domain of safety and security specialized organizations often have to collaborate on an occasional basis with other organizations to head challenges that none of the partners can head (as easily) on its own. Such collaborations are temporal and often virtual in nature. One emerging perspective to study such collaborations is that of transactive memory systems (TMS). TMS are cognitive systems collaborating people develop to facilitate knowledge transfer and to contribute to people’s abilities to coordinate specialized knowledge. Developing an effective TMS may result in new organizational capabilities and services, while failure to do so is a known barrier to distributed team success. Addressing several gaps in TMS literature, in this dissertation the structure, functioning, and emergence of TMS are being explored of temporary and geographically distributed collaborations at intra-organizational level.