Title page for ETD etd-06022006-161901

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Lagroue, Harold Joseph
Author's Email Address hlagro1@lsu.edu
URN etd-06022006-161901
Title The Effectiveness of Virtual Facilitation in Supporting GDSS Appropriation and Structured Group Decision Making
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Information Systems & Decision Sciences (Business Administration)
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Thomas D. Clark, Jr. Committee Chair
Edward F. Watson Committee Member
Rudolf A. Hirschheim Committee Member
Ye-Sho Chen Committee Member
Michael A Carpenter Dean's Representative
  • group decision support systems
  • group decision making
  • decisional guidance
  • facilitation
  • automated facilitation
  • computer-human interaction
  • task-technology fit
  • appropriation
Date of Defense 2006-05-10
Availability unrestricted
Since their introduction a quarter of a century ago, group decision support systems (GDSS) have evolved from applications designed primarily to support decision making for groups in face-to-face settings, to their growing use for “web conferencing,” online collaboration, and distributed group decision-making. Indeed, it is only recently that such groupware applications for conducting face-to-face, as well as “virtual meetings” among dispersed workgroups have achieved mainstream status, as evidenced by Microsoft’s ubiquitous advertising campaign promoting its “Live Meeting” electronic meeting systems (EMS) software. As these applications become more widely adopted, issues relating to their effective utilization are becoming increasingly relevant. This research addresses an area of growing interest in the study of group decision support systems, and one which holds promise for improving the effective utilization of advanced information technologies in general: the feasibility of using virtual facilitation (system-directed multi-modal user support) for supporting the GDSS appropriation process and for improving structured group decision-making efficiency and effectiveness. A multi-modal application for automating the GDSS facilitation process is used to compare conventional GDSS-supported groups with groups using virtual facilitation, as well as groups interacting without computerized decision-making support. A hidden-profile task designed to compare GDSS appropriation levels, user satisfaction, and decision-making efficiency and effectiveness is utilized in an experiment employing auditors, accountants, and IT security professionals as participants. The results of the experiment are analyzed and possible directions for future research efforts are discussed.
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