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Andrea B. Hollingshead

Andrea B. Hollingshead

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My research addresses the problem of group ineffectiveness. This is an important problem domain because much of the world's work is done by people in groups, that is, by crews, staffs, committees, and teams. Of the thousands of studies conducted on groups over the past 100 years, only a handful have found groups to perform as well as expected given the knowledge and abilities of the individual members.

I take a socio-cognitive approach in my research, which examines how people in groups learn, store, retrieve, communicate, and use information -- in particular information from, and about, others in the group. I seek to identify the factors that affect knowledge sharing in groups, explain why groups are not able to capitalize on the knowledge of their members, and develop interventions to improve knowledge sharing in groups including those that are technologically based.

A central focus of my research is transactive memory. Transactive memory concerns expertise, the communication of expertise, and the effects of expertise on learning, memory, and performance in groups. The basic idea is that people in relationships and groups often develop a specialized division of labor for different knowledge areas based on their shared conception of one another’s expertise, or “who knows what.” For example, the group member who seems to know the most about current events is likely to become the “current events” expert and the member who seems to know most about computers is likely to become the “computer” expert. Rather than trying to learn and remember all information relevant to their daily tasks themselves, members simply ask the designated expert on a need-to-know basis. Transactive memory develops naturally as a way to reduce individual cognitive effort and to provide group members with a larger pool of information.

Another focus is on strategic information sharing in groups. Members often come to groups with different motives (including hidden agendas)that may not be known to other group members. I examine how members' personal motives can affect their information sharing and influence on the group decision.

I am currently involved in several projects on social influence in online communities and virtual worlds.

Primary Interests:

  • Communication, Language
  • Gender Psychology
  • Group Processes
  • Internet and Virtual Psychology
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Motivation, Goal Setting
  • Nonverbal Behavior
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Persuasion, Social Influence


  • Poole, M. S., & Hollingshead, A. B. (Eds.) (2005). Theories of small groups: Interdisciplinary perspectives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.

Journal Articles:

  • Baer, M., Oldham, G. R., Jacobsohn, G. C., & Hollingshead, A. B. (in press). The personality composition of teams and creativity: The moderating role of team creative confidence. Journal of Creative Behavior.
  • Brandon, D. P., & Hollingshead, A. B. (2004). Transactive memory systems in organizations: Matching tasks, expertise and people. Organization Science, 15, 633-644.
  • Hollingshead, A. B. (2001). Cognitive interdependence and convergent expectations in transactive memory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 1080-1089.
  • Hollingshead, A. B. (2000). Perceptions of expertise and transactive memory in work relationships. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 3, 257-267.
  • Hollingshead, A. B. (1998). Communication, learning and retrieval in transactive memory systems. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 34, 423-442.
  • Hollingshead, A. B. (1998). Retrieval processes in transactive memory systems. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 659-671.
  • Hollingshead, A. B., & Brandon, D. P. (2003). Communication and transactive memory systems. Human Communication Research, 29, 607-615.
  • Hollingshead, A. B., & Fraidin, S. N. (2003). Gender stereotypes and assumptions about expertise in transactive memory. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39, 355-363.
  • Littlepage, G. E., Hollingshead, A. B., Drake, L. R., & Littlepage, A. M. (in press). Transactive memory and performance in work groups: Specificity, communication, ability differences and work allocation. Group Dynamics.
  • Majchrzak, A., Jarvenpaa, S. L., & Hollingshead, A. B. (2007). Coordinating expertise among emergent groups responding to disasters. Organization Science. 18, 147-161.
  • Wittenbaum, G. M., Hollingshead, A. B., & Botero, I. (2004). From cooperative to motivated information sharing in groups: Going beyond the hidden profile paradigm. Communication Monographs, 71, 286-310.

Other Publications:

  • Brandon, D. P., & Hollingshead, A. B. (2007). Categorizing on-line groups. In A. Joinson, K. McKenna, T. Postmes, & U. Reips (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Internet Psychology (pp. 105-120). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
  • Hollingshead, A. B. (2001). Computer-mediated communication, the Internet, and group research. In M. Hogg and R. S. Tindale (Eds.), Blackwell handbook of social psychology. Vol. 3 Group Processes (pp. 557-573). Oxford, England: Blackwell.
  • Hollingshead, A. B. (2000). Truth and deception in computer-mediated groups. In M. A. Neale, E. A. Mannix, and T. Griffith (Eds.), Research in Managing Groups and Teams. (Volume 3: Technology and teams, pp. 157-173) Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

Courses Taught:

Andrea B. Hollingshead
Annenberg School for Communication
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California 90089-0281
United States of America

  • Phone: (213) 821-4081

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