Rethinking the complexity of virtual work and knowledge sharing

Wei Shi, Matthew S. Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Employees in distributed organizations often engage in virtual work arrangements to accomplish day-to-day tasks. In turn, a lack of physical cues, challenges in establishing common ground with others and reduced face-to-face interaction each has the potential to hinder communication within an organization. Large multinational organizations may rely on transactive memory systems as a means of sharing knowledge and helping employees to accomplish day-to-day tasks. Research demonstrates that new information communication technology facilitates the development of transactive memory systems, but the role of transactive memory in virtual work arrangements is less studied. This article explores how dimensions of virtual work impact transactive memory systems. Data were collected from a large multinational organization that provides technology consulting services. Findings from this study demonstrate a clear relationship between the formation of transactive memory systems and the degree of geographic dispersion of employees. Moreover, the formation of transactive memory systems is negatively impacted by the diversity of teams' job functions. The use of internal information communication technology plays a positive role in influencing organizational memory when teams are geographically and functionally diverse. The results provide insight into how organizations can better utilize transactive memory systems to improve communication in virtual settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1318-1329
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018

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