Research Lecture: Linda Argote

Friday, March 17, 2017 -
12:00pm to 1:30pm


Open to the Public


Phelps 1410


Linda Argote, David M. Kirr & Barbara A. Kirr Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory, Carnegie Mellon University

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Title: The Effects of Communication Networks and Membership Stability on Transactive Memory Systems and Group Performance:  An Experimental Investigation

Abstract: We theorize that the communication network that is most effective for groups with stable membership differs from the network that is most effective when membership change occurs.  More specifically, we hypothesize that groups with decentralized communication networks perform better when membership is stable than when turnover occurs.  By contrast, we expect centralized networks to perform better when turnover occurs than when group membership is stable.  The structure and explicit coordination logic of centralized networks allow these groups to incorporate the ideas and perspectives of new members. We empirically analyze the effects of communication networks and member turnover on group performance in an experiment of 109 four-person groups performing two collaborative, creative problem-solving tasks.  When team membership was stable, decentralized groups developed stronger transactive memory systems (TMS) than centralized groups which explained their better performance. When turnover occurred, however, decentralized groups talked less to their new members, which weakened their TMSs and hurt their performance.  By contrast, centralized groups communicated more with their new members, which enabled them to incorporate the contributions of new members and improve their performance. Thus, our results indicate that the stability of group membership is an important factor that determines the effect of communication networks on group performance.  The implications of these results for theory and practice are developed.

Speaker's Biography:  Linda Argote is the David M. and Barbara A. Kirr Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory in the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University where she directs the Center for Organizational Learning, Innovation and Knowledge.  She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Tulane University and a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from The University of Michigan.

Linda’s research focuses on organizational learning, organizational memory, knowledge transfer, and group processes and performance.   Journals in which her research has appeared include Administrative Science Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Management Science, Operations Research, Organization Science, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Strategic Management Journal and Science.  Her book, Organizational Learning:  Creating, Retaining and Transferring Knowledge was a finalist for the Terry Book Award of the Academy of Management in 2000.  The Organization and Management Theory (OMT) division of the Academy of Management chose her as their Distinguished Scholar in 2012.

Linda completed her second term as Editor-in-Chief of Organization Science in 2010.  She has also served on the boards of eight journals, including Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Applied Psychology and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. She served as Chair of the INFORMS College on Organizations from 1993-1995, as Departmental Editor of Management Science’s Department of Organizations from 1995-2003, on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Management from 2000-2002, on the Committee of Visitors for the Economics, Decision and Management Sciences cluster of the National Science Foundation in 2004 and 2007, and as Vice President for Publications at INFORMS from 2011-2012.



The Technology Management Program Dean’s Research Lecture Series is the premier event that brings accomplished and inspiring professors to campus to explore topics related to the field of technology management and organizations. The lecture series provide a forum for the academic community to learn from and engage in conversations with outstanding scholars on cutting-edge research findings.

Each quarter will feature several preeminent speakers. Lectures will last approximately one hour starting at 12:00pm and take place in the TMP Executive Learning Center, Phelps Hall 1410. Lunch is provided for all guests who RSVP.

Attendees are required to register prior to the event for lunch and space reservation. For more information, contact Amanda Higham via email or by phone at 805-893-7577. 


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