The 2020 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report identifies emerging advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) that are enabling humans and machines to interact in new ways (Deloitte Institute, 2020). Deloitte uses the term â€œsuperteamsâ€ to represent the integration of AI into teams. Examples of such interactions include the use of AI in a project at Microsoft to analyze and organize data that are then used to create knowledge networks for team members (Deloitte Institute, 2020). In many instances, the integration of AI into teams has taken the form of an intelligent assistant that provides relevant information when needed by aiding in knowledge sharing, application, and collaboration. Opus Research refers to 2021 as â€œThe Year of the Ubiquitous Intelligent Assistantsâ€ noting that the use of intelligent assistants in businesses has grown significantly due to the Covid-19 pandemic (Miller, 2021). As a result, organizations have expanded the use of intelligent assistants in virtual teams. Team performance among virtual team members is dependent upon the sharing and application of knowledge during the execution of work. Virtual teams are in a unique position relative to knowledge sharing and application since they rarely, if ever, meet face-to-face and rely upon technology-mediated communications. Temporal, geographical, and cultural differences serve to create barriers to knowledge sharing and, thus, the effective application of knowledge when needed (Kanawattanachai & Yoo, 2007; Sarker, Sarker, Nicholson, & Joshi, 2005). Understanding the impact of knowledge sharing and application among virtual teams involves socio-cognitive processes. Transactive memory theory, developed by Wegner (1986), is based on the view that individuals serve as external memory aids for other individuals. Individuals thus depend upon each other to remember specific knowledge domains (Kanawattanachai & Yoo, 2007). A transactive memory system (TMS) develops among team members based on a shared understanding of who knows what within the group. Kanawattanachai and Yoo (2007) demonstrate that virtual teams with developed TMS can effectively coordinate tasks and knowledge among team members. In their study, virtual teams developed TMS over an extended time, such that performance improvements began to manifest in eight weeks. Specifically, this research seeks to understand (1) What is the impact of an intelligent assistant's relationship between transactive memory systems and knowledge sharing within virtual teams?; (2) What is the impact of an intelligent assistant's relationship between transactive memory systems and knowledge application within virtual teams? Our research extends the Choi et al. (2010) research model with the Bachrach et al. (2019) concept of an antecedent team member with special characteristics, an intelligent assistant. We seek to understand how the intelligent assistant team member contributes to the transactive memory system and knowledge sharing and application among all virtual team members. We plan to distribute a survey to teams who are using an intelligent assistant to understand these interactions and influences in the knowledge sharing and application processes.
McWilliams, Denise and Randolph, Adriane, "Superteam Transactions: The Effect of an Intelligent Assistant in Virtual Teams" (2022). SAIS 2022 Proceedings. 17.