This research examines the effects of information sharing and information use on team decision making. While past studies are based on an implicit assumption that information sharing always leads to information use and optimal decision outcomes, the authors argue that this assumption is applicable only when information is equally distributed among decision makers in a team. By adopting the hidden profile paradigm, the authors suggest that when information is unequally distributed, information sharing does not facilitate optimal decision making. In the meantime, they find that team functional diversity is a main factor worsening the hidden profile situation-that is, when decision makers are diverse in terms of their functional backgrounds, the facilitating effect of information sharing decreases. Results indicate that information use, rather than information sharing, is the ultimate gateway that leads decision makers to optimal decision outcomes.
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