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Abstract or Description

Today, group collaboration is becoming more and more vital in the workplace. Hence, undergraduate curriculums must be updated to include group project courses that help to prepare students for their postgraduation work. This research focuses on how the theoretical foundation of transactive memory systems (TMS), or the collective awareness of the group’s specialization, coordination, and credibility, influences a group’s overall performance. These influences were analyzed through the use of focus groups, a TMS survey, and follow-up interviews with student groups in an undergraduate Information Systems project course (67-373) at Carnegie Mellon University. It was found that although determining the strength of a student group’s TMS provides a small window into how that group is working together, TMS does not provide the whole picture of group collaboration. In order to be successful as a group, students must recognize the importance of the group formation process and understand that a group is a living organism that needs constant management over time. Therefore, if student groups focus on developing a structure that fits their initial needs and continually update this structure based on changes that occur over time, they will be more prepared to effectively collaborate on their project.


Advisor: Jeria Quesenberry

Information Systems Program