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The effectiveness of a facilitated group decision support system (decision conferencing): A UK/US field study.

Chun, Ki-Jeong (1992) The effectiveness of a facilitated group decision support system (decision conferencing): A UK/US field study. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

The increasingly complex and turbulent business environments of these days frequently require greater specialised knowledge pertaining to the issues, which are usually beyond that of any individual. Therefore, group meetings are becoming more complex, more frequent, and more important. As part of the transition into this new environment together with recent advancements in computers, telecommunications and management science techniques, organisational researchers have made serious efforts to use advanced technologies to improve group meetings. An example of such attempts is the development of a Group Decision Support System (GDSS), an application of information technology to support the work of groups. One common example of GDSSs is the Decision Conferencing (DC), which combines the use of decision analytic softwares to incorporate the differing perspectives of the participants with group facilitation techniques. This thesis systematically reviews the existing case, field, and laboratory decision room type GDSS studies. It, then, explores the plausible factors for the inconsistent findings across studies. Main objective of the thesis, however, is to investigate the effectiveness of a DC in aiding group work with regard to decision processes, overall user attitudes, and decision quality, and to identify variables associated with differences in perceived effectiveness. Three theories were employed to build a conceptual framework with criteria by which to describe and evaluate the effectiveness of decision making in GDSS settings: Competing Values Approach, Stratified Systems Theory, and Human Information Processing Model. It was shown that these three approaches share common theoretical assumptions. Then, quantitative data were collected through a mailed questionnaire of participants in 22 conferences, hosted by the Decision Conferences Inc. in the U.S.A., Decision Analysis Unit at London School of Economics, and International Computers Ltd. in the U.K. Overall, a DC was perceived better than a conventional meeting for all of the evaluation criteria. The effectiveness of a DC, however, was perceived differently according to various factors: participants' levels in the executive hierarchy, differences in the culture and style of the organisation, task differences in terms of the degree of threat, group size, variety of facilitators, and careers of the participants. Of greater interest is the finding that independent of the numerous variables above, a DC was perceived highly effective in terms of user attitudes, improved decision quality, adaptable process, goal-centred process, and efficiency of decision; and relatively less effective with regard to implementation, and accountability of decision.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Computer Science
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/1356

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