Transactive Memory

Transactive Memory Theory Part 1 Transactive Memory Theory defines how groups encode, store, and retrieve ideas (cite source). Before the formulation of the theory, several postulates attempted to explain the logic of groups. Initially, the theory defined group thinking among families and people in romantic relationships, but later developments improved its applicability, including organizations and institutions of learning (Barnier, Klein & Harris, 2018). The Transactive Memory Theory involves the combination of individuals’ memories, as the name suggests, and involves cognitive processes that define group-thinking (cite source).  Daniel Wegner developed the theory in 1985 to demystify stereotypes regarding the significance of groups in organizations (cite source). He managed to prove hypotheses that showed that groups had better storage of information, which underscored their effectiveness compared to individuals. Team members leverage their diversity in their competencies and skills to develop plans and strategies that improve the organization’s performance (cite source).  The transactive process involves encoding, storage, and retrieval (cite source). The encoding stage involves skills-transfer and the sharing of knowledge among team members. It also includes brainstorming that improve their individual and collective performances. The next stage, storage, involves storing vital information that will help achieve the organization’s objectives. The final stage, retrieval, involves seeking expert advice and opinions from team members that benefit the entire group.  Interactions among team members result in the formation of transactive memory systems that lead to an intricate organizational structure and implementation plans. The Transactive Memory Theory helps develop specialization, coordination, and credibility attributes vital in the organization’s success and sustainability. It also improves team performance, which translates to higher organizational fortunes, increased profitability, and enhanced stakeholder investments. References: Barnier, A. J., Klein, L., & Harris, C. B. (2018). Transactive memory in small, intimate groups: More than the sum of their parts. Small-Group Research, 49(1), 62-97. 

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