Requirements for an information system to support transactive memory

Paul D. Jackson, Edith Cowan University

This article was originally published as: Jackson, P. D. (2011). Requirements for an information system to support transactive memory. VINE: The Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, 41(4), 401-427. Original article available here


Purpose – Transactive memory systems (TMS) is a theory of group cognition which conceptualizes knowledge sharing and retrieval processes in groups by the use of a shared “directory”. This paper aims to review and analyze the literature and outline a set of requirements for an information system to support and facilitate TMS processes.Design/methodology/approach – The author analyzed all TMS research literature in the SCOPUS and PROQUEST databases, mapping relevant observations about TMS to a TMS process model. These findings were then translated into functional requirements for a TMS information system (TMS-IS).Findings – A reasonable integration of information management functions into the TMS process model is possible. However, it was also found that social software functions for social networking, self-disclosure and conversation are a necessary component of such a TMS-IS.Practical implications – The specification provides a useful consolidation of the research literature and a reliable point from which to commence design of a TMS-IS. It is expected that basing these requirements on the research into social cognition will improve the functional fit of a TMS-IS to group behavior and performance. Originality/value – Although TMS is a cognitive theory based on knowledge sharing, there has been no analysis until now of the research literature specifically in order to derive specifications for a supporting software system.


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