Over two decades have passed since Wegner and his co-authors published the groundbreaking paper on transactive memory systems (TMS) in 1985. The concept attracted the interest of management, psychology, and communication scholars who have employed a variety of methods to examine the phenomenon. In this paper, we review 76 papers that examined transactive memory systems and summarize the findings in an integrative framework to show the antecedents and consequences of TMS. Our review also reveals important issues in the literature related to the measurement of TMS, its multidimensional nature, extending TMS from the team level to the organizational level, and the potential role of TMS in explaining the benefits of experience in existing organizations and new entrepreneurial ventures. We conclude by calling for future research to examine the dynamic evolution of TMS, TMS in virtual teams, TMS in entrepreneurial ventures, and TMS at the organizational level facilitated with information technologies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The first author thanks the Carlson School of Management Dean’s Small Research Grant and the second author thanks the Montezemolo Visiting Professorship at Cambridge Judge Business School for their support. We also appreciate the support of the National Science Foundation (Grant number 823283). We thank Jingjing Zhang and Catherine Bui for research assistance. Special thanks are also due our editors James Walsh and Arthur Brief for their helpful comments.