ABSTRACT Motivation Many of today’s most significant organizational challenges require the effective collaboration of collectives of various teams. Nowhere is the performance of such multiteam systems more important than in responding to civil emergencies. Research approach This field study analyses the determinants of performance among multiteam systems responding to civil emergencies in training exercises. Findings Transactive memory – meta-knowledge of other’s expertise – is critical for team and system performance, operating at both the level of individual component teams and the wider multiteam systems. Different forms of training exercise can yield differential outcomes in terms of transactive memory. Research implications We discuss the implications for research on multiteam systems and for the design of training interventions designed to develop transactive memory among emergency responders. Originality/value This is the first study to examine empirically the role of transactive memory in the performance of multi- team systems.
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