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The impact of within-team variance on transactive memory system development and team performance

Kylie Goodell King (Department of Decisions, Operations, and Information Technology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA)

Team Performance Management

ISSN: 1352-7592

Article publication date: 13 June 2017




The purpose of this paper is to describe the dispersion models, where within-team variance is the outcome of interest, and propose the application of these models to the measurement of the transactive memory system (TMS). As teams become increasingly prominent in educational contexts and within organizations, it is important to evaluate how various measures of individual and team attributes relate to team performance. One measure that has been evaluated by a number of previous empirical studies is TMSs.


In past studies of TMS and in most teams research, team-level data are collected and correlated with performance, or individual-level data are collected, aggregated to the team-level data and then correlated with performance. While this is appropriate in situations where data are isomorphic or similar across levels of measurement, there are often important differences among within-team responses that lead to a discrepancy between the sum of individual attributes and a team-level measure.


Preliminary results demonstrate that within-team variance in reported levels of TMS has an inverse relationship with team performance.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should further evaluate the ability for dispersion models of TMS to predict team performance, especially in organizational settings with professional rather than student teams.


This paper provides a new approach to measuring TMS and relating TMS to team performance.



King, K.G. (2017), "The impact of within-team variance on transactive memory system development and team performance", Team Performance Management, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 124-135.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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