Transactive memory systems and innovation in work teams

Estelle McDonald

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    43 Downloads (Pure)


    [Truncated] This thesis provides an overview of how transactive memory systems (TMS) may operate in natural work groups and how this concept potentially influences group-level innovation. Previous research has generally focused on the early stages of the TMS development and has not empirically examined how TMS functions on an ongoing basis within work groups. Also, this thesis sets out to explore whether TMS may also impact on group-level innovation and how this may occur. The results of this thesis have potential to further the development of TMS and group-level innovation theory as well as provide a number of implications for management practice. The research consisted of three exploratory studies, using a multiple case study methodology. The first study investigated the nature of TMS within intact natural work groups and provided a more comprehensive measurement of the three components of TMS. Evidence from the case studies was also used to suggest possible antecedents to TMS development. The second study explored the possible connection between TMS and innovation outcomes such as the level and quality of innovations in the work groups using management ratings of the descriptions of innovation provided by the work groups. The last study focused on the potential impact of TMS on the idea generation phase of the innovation process as well as its effect on intrinsic motivation. This last study also examined how the different elements of the TMS might affect the various stages of the idea generation of the innovation process.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Western Australia
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2002

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    • This thesis has been made available in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository as part of a UWA Library project to digitise and make available theses completed before 2003. If you are the author of this thesis and would like it removed from the UWA Profiles and Research Repository, please contact


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