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July 1, 2022

Quantifying the Impact of Facilitation on Transactive Memory System Formation in Global Virtual Project Networks

Comu, Semra; Iorio, Josh; Taylor, John E.; Dossick, Carrie Sturts. (2013). Quantifying the Impact of Facilitation on Transactive Memory System Formation in Global Virtual Project Networks. Journal Of Construction Engineering & Management, 139(3), 294 – 303.

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Building strong ties between geographically dispersed project participants is crucial to project success. In global project networks, many firms have adopted virtual collaboration tools to address the challenges imposed by temporal and geographical distance. Some researchers have examined the role of facilitators and found that process facilitation can improve collaboration. Research has also shown that facilitators can be drawn into content interactions, which may negatively impact collaboration effectiveness in virtual workspaces. Research to date has not quantified this negative impact. In this study, the formation and maintenance of transactive memory systems (TMS) in two facilitated and two nonfacilitated global virtual project networks were investigated, each executing a 2-month project. Using TMS formation and cohesive subgroup formation as a proxy for performance, quantitative evidence was found that demonstrates a negative impact on collaboration effectiveness when facilitators engage in content facilitation in virtual project networks. This paper shows that this negative impact restricts the establishment of TMSs. These findings have important implications for understanding and designing appropriate facilitator interactions in global virtual project networks. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0000610. (C) 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers.


Globalisation; Groupware; International Collaboration; Production Engineering Computing; Project Management; Process Facilitation; Transactive Memory System Formation; Global Virtual Project Network; Virtual Collaboration Tool; Temporal Distance; Geographical Distance; Content Interaction; Virtual Workspace; Tms Cohesive Subgroup Formation; Content Facilitation; Knowledge Transfer; Group Cohesiveness; Group Cohesion; Performance; Teams; Models; Globalization; Networks; Project Networks; Social Network Analysis; Transactive Memory Systems; Virtual Teams