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ERIC Number: ED554716
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 204
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3030-5087-9
An Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Transactive Memory in Distributed Cyber Teams
Mancuso, Vincent Francis
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
In the modern workplace, collaboration is no longer only a face-to-face process. When working together, it is common for teams to rely on technology and operate across geographic, temporal and cultural boundaries. Most research, when looking at distributed teams, takes a uni-disciplinary perspective and fails to address the entire problem space. Because of the technological complexities, deluge of information, and interpersonal interactions, research must address this problem with an interdisciplinary lens. Rather than looking at collaboration as a broad concept, this dissertation focuses on extracting, and experimenting on the concept of transactive memory. Put simply, transactive memory is the knowledge of "who knows" what in collaborations. Research unanimously agrees that transactive memory is a positive mediator in improving team collaborating. Through transactive memory, teams can encode information on the knowledge possessed by others, and leverage the specializations of each collaborator to improve their performance and reach their goals quicker. To understand how we can move transactive memory into this interdisciplinary space, this dissertation reviews previous research from the cognitive, social/organizational, and technological perspectives on transactive memory. The cognitive outcome focuses on identifying how teams form, store, and leverage transactive memory to improve their performance. On the other hand, the social/organizational side, rather than looking at outcomes at the individual and team level, focuses on how transactive memory systems affects larger social structures and can be leveraged in organizations to improve performance. Finally, the technological perspective focuses on using previous research in the other perspectives as a design rational in a system design process. Based on a review of each of these perspectives, and an understanding of current interdisciplinary research interests and issues, a set of six propositions for future research in transactive memory are proposed. To address a sample of these directions, this dissertation presents an interdisciplinary study to assess transactive memory systems in the technologically complex environment of cyber security. Specifically, this study focused on answering three main questions to account for the cognitive, social/organizational and technological perspectives: 1. How do distributed teams form, maintain and utilize transactive memory systems? 2. What are the behavioral, social and organizational outcomes of transactive memory systems in distributed collaborations? 3. How to best design collaborative interfaces to better support transactive memory formation, utilization and maintenance in distributed teams? The understanding of transactive memory, as well as research from cyber security informed the design and development of a new scaled-world simulation to study transactive memory and team collaboration. Set within the context of distributed cyber teams, "teamNETS" supports the collaborative processes, and decision-making tasks that are present in real cyber security environments. To address the overarching research objectives, 66 teams of three participated in a human-in-the-loop scaled world simulation experiment. The two main independent variables for this study were the presence of shared virtual feedback and the transactive memory structure (integrated vs. differentiated) of the team. In addition to these manipulations, other measures allowed the assessment of transactive memory perceptions, utilization, and content, situation awareness, and team perceptions. While there were no direct effects on team performance for any of the independent variables, there were numerous interesting behavioral findings. The results showed that contrary to expectations, the shared virtual feedback was detrimental to team collaboration. Additionally, while transactive memory structure had no impact on performance, teams in the two conditions took part in very different styles of collaboration. Contributions of this research include a more informed understanding of transactive memory, and the role of shared virtual feedback in distributed teams. This research also led to the development of a new simulation platform, "teamNETS," to allow future studies to ask questions that are more complex and study teams in a more realistic collaborative decision making environment. Based on the proposed research directions, the experimental findings, and the new simulation, this research can be used to inform future interdisciplinary research in not only transactive memory but other constructs of team cognition and collaboration. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A