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Requirements for an information system to support transactive memory

Paul Jackson (School of Management, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Australia)


ISSN: 0305-5728

Publication date: 15 November 2011



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.


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).


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.


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.



Jackson, P. (2011), "Requirements for an information system to support transactive memory", VINE, Vol. 41 No. 4, pp. 401-427.



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