Communication in Transactive Memory Systems: A Review and Multidimensional Network Perspective

Bei Yan*, Andrea B. Hollingshead, Kristen S. Alexander, Ignacio Cruz, Sonia Jawaid Shaikh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The comprehensive review synthesizes 64 empirical studies on communication and transactive memory systems (TMS). The results reveal that (a) a TMS forms through communication about expertise; (b) as a TMS develops, communication to allocate information and coordinate retrieval increases, promoting information exchange; and (c) groups update their TMS through communicative learning. However, direct interpersonal communication is not necessary for TMS development or utilization. Nor do high-quality information-sharing processes always occur within developed TMS structures. For future research, we propose a multidimensional network approach to TMS that incorporates technologies, addresses member characteristics, considers multiple communication types, and situates groups in context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-32
Number of pages30
JournalSmall Group Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • group cognition
  • group communication
  • group learning
  • knowledge networks
  • social networks
  • team cognition
  • team networks
  • transactive memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Communication in Transactive Memory Systems: A Review and Multidimensional Network Perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this