Ineffective Transactive Memory Development in Multi-cultural Work Teams: Its Socio-emotional Consequences

By Kay Yoon.

Published by The International Journal of Organizational Diversity

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study examined expertise recognition processes in culturally diverse work teams and their effects on the socio-emotional experiences of multi-cultural team members. Findings from a survey with 20 multi-cultural work teams (84 individuals representing 11 countries) revealed that (a) perceived accuracy of expertise recognition leads to a more positive group climate, liking of team members and more positive work experiences in multi-cultural teams; (b) when judging other’s expertise, flexibility of judgments moderates the relation between perceived accuracy of expertise recognition and overall multi-cultural team experiences; (c) the flexibility of expertise judgments produces more frequent email communication among multi-cultural team members. These results suggest that the inaccuracy of expertise recognition negatively affects socio-emotional experiences of multi-cultural teams and that the flexible and incremental view of culturally dissimilar members mitigates the negative effects.

Keywords: Multi-cultural Teams, Transactive Memory, Lay Theories, Member Relations

The International Journal of Organizational Diversity, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp.45-59. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 419.087KB).

Kay Yoon

Assistant Professor, College of Communication, DePaul University, Chicago, USA

Kay Yoon (Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) is Assistant Professor in College of Communication at DePaul University. Her research interests are in teams and group dynamics, particularly how teams recognize, share, and use their members’ knowledge in task performance. Her recent investigations examined expertise recognition processes in both culturally homogeneous and heterogeneous teams. She teaches small group communication, group decision making, teams and diversity, and organizational communication.