Journal Article

Influence of transactive memory on perceived performance, job satisfaction and identification in anaesthesia teams

E. Michinov, E. Olivier-Chiron, E. Rusch and B. Chiron

in BJA: British Journal of Anaesthesia

Published on behalf of the British Journal of Anaesthesia

Volume 100, issue 3, pages 327-332
Published in print March 2008 | ISSN: 0007-0912
Published online January 2008 | e-ISSN: 1471-6771 | DOI:
Influence of transactive memory on perceived performance, job satisfaction and identification in anaesthesia teams

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There is an increasing awareness in the medical community that human factors are involved in effectiveness of anaesthesia teams. Communication and coordination between physicians and nurses seems to play a crucial role in maintaining a good level of performance under time pressure, particularly for anaesthesia teams, who are confronted with uncertainty, rapid changes in the environment, and multi-tasking. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between a specific form of implicit coordination—the transactive memory system—and perceptions of team effectiveness and work attitudes such as job satisfaction and team identification.


A cross-sectional study was conducted among 193 nurse and physician anaesthetists from eight French public hospitals. The questionnaire included some measures of transactive memory system (coordination, specialization, and credibility components), perception of team effectiveness, and work attitudes (Minnesota Job Satisfaction Questionnaire, team identification scale). The questionnaire was designed to be filled anonymously, asking only biographical data relating to sex, age, status, and tenure.


Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed as predicted that transactive memory system predicted members’ perceptions of team effectiveness, and also affective outcomes such as job satisfaction and team identification. Moreover, the results demonstrated that transactive memory processes, and especially the coordination component, were a better predictor of teamwork perceptions than socio-demographic (i.e. gender or status) or contextual variables (i.e. tenure and size of team).


These findings provided empirical evidence of the existence of a transactive memory system among real anaesthesia teams, and highlight the need to investigate whether transactive memory is actually linked with objective measures of performance.

Keywords: anaesthesia, team; communication; efficiency, organizational; job satisfaction; patient care team; transactive memory

Journal Article.  3722 words. 

Subjects: Anaesthetics

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