|M.Sc Student||Green Lital|
|Subject||Knowledge Management in Teams: Mechanisms for Pooling|
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Miriam Erez|
The common finding of the research concerning exchange and sharing of information in groups, is that previously shared (redundant) information is more likely to be mentioned during discussion than is unshared (nonredundant) information. Stewart & Stasser (1993) demonstrated that assigning expert roles increased substantially the proportion of unshared information mentioned during discussion. They explained that the expert role assigning effect occurred as a result of a division of labor among group members. The main objective of my research was to test three additional mechanisms that might lead to the advantage of assigning expert roles. a) I found that defining expert roles prior to discussion decreased the amount of cognitive load and made it much easier to concentrate on encoding a limited amount of information specific to an expertise domain. As a result the amount of individual recall of unshared information increased. b) Part of the variation in the pooling of unshared information was explained by a higher level of responsibility sensed by the members of the assigned expertise groups. c) Assigning expert roles provides a source of social validation for unshared information recalled. The second objective of this research was to develop a method that minimizes the cognitive interference that occurs when members are expected to recall information and at the same time to listen and evaluate information other members recall. I suggested a two-phase recall process where in the first phase each group member individually recalls the information and writes it down, and only in the second phase the group gets together for a group discussion. The highest level of recall was found in the condition of a two-phased recall with assigning expert roles.