Business and Management INK

Team Identity and Group Performance

May 5, 2012 1913

A new study in Group & Organization Management (GOM) explains how members of a team form a collective identity to recognize and coordinate individual expertise and work toward the accomplishment of common goals.

Jenny Liao and Nerina L. Jimmieson, both of The University of Queensland, Anne T. O’Brien of the University of Exeter, and Simon L. D. Restubog of The Australian National University published “Developing Transactive Memory Systems: Theoretical Contributions From a Social Identity Perspective” in the April 2012 issue of GOM. To view other articles in this special conceptual issue, please click here.

Jenny Liao kindly provided the following description of the article:

The paper provides a theoretical discussion on how group identification mechanisms shape and influence the development of transactive memory systems, which is a group cognition explaining how expertise in teams can be coordinated and utilized for effective team performance.

The abstract:

Transactive memory system (TMS) theory explains how expertise is recognized and coordinated in teams. Extending current TMS research from a group information-processing perspective, our article presents a theoretical model that considers TMS development from a social identity perspective. We discuss how two features of communication (quantity and quality) important to TMS development are linked to TMS through the group identification mechanism of a shared common team identity. Informed by social identity theory, we also differentiate between intragroup and intergroup contexts and outline how, in multidisciplinary teams, professional identification and perceived equality of status among professional subgroups have a role to play in TMS development. We provide a theoretical discussion of future research directions aimed at testing and extending our model.

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