Transactive Memory System Coordination Mechanisms in Organizations: An Exploratory Case Study
This article integrates the organizational coordination and transactive memory system (TMS) literatures and provides an empirical study on organizational TMS coordination mechanisms. The study findings, based on 60 interviews in a Japanese manufacturing company, show that organization design (team-based structure, small unit size), human resource management (HRM) practices (recruitment and selection, training, promotion, and reward systems and performance evaluations), and relational interactions (roles, routines) coordinate organizational TMSs. Organization design and HRM practices as more formal coordination mechanisms also support and provide continuity to relational interactions. Contributing to the organizational TMS literature in which employees are described to form TMSs through informal, face-to-face interactions, the findings provide evidence of formal and informal coordination mechanisms and suggest that team-based structures without reinforcing vertical mechanisms are insufficient to coordinate organizational TMSs.
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