Date of Award

12-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Major Professor

Joan R. Rentsch

Committee Members

Michael J. Stahl, Kenneth J. Levine, Eric Sundstrom

Abstract

Members of distributed teams often have difficulty sharing unique information with their teammates during decision making tasks. These communication problems may hinder the development of cognitions that allow team members to reach a similar understanding of the content and structure of task information. The C-MAP intervention (Rentsch, Delise, & Hutchison, 2008) was designed to assist team members in sharing their information through behaviors that convey the content and structure of information by using specific communication behaviors and developing a knowledge object. In the present study, the knowledge object took the form of a white board where information was posted and organized. The development of the team knowledge object was the focus of the study. Using the knowledge object, team members could post a piece of unique information, highlight it, and organize it into clusters, thereby illustrating the content and structure of information through knowledge object development (KOD) behaviors. The present study evaluated the relationships among four types of KOD behaviors (posting content, highlighting content, conveying structure within domain, and conveying structure across domains) used to externalize pieces of unique information and two team cognition variables (transferred and interoperable knowledge) that develop with respect to each piece of unique information. Results provided evidence that posting content behaviors and highlighting content behaviors were positively related to transferred knowledge. Results also indicated that conveying structure within domain behaviors were negatively related to interoperable knowledge. However, conveying structure across domains behaviors were positively related to interoperable knowledge. Implications of these findings for the C-MAP intervention and suggestions for future research are presented.

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