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Group Decision-Making in Computer-Supported Cooperative Work Environments

Description: Computer-Support Cooperative Work (CSCW) reflects the change in emphasis from using computers to solve problems to using computers to facilitate human interactions. Most studies, however, have focused on the use of the technology rather than on the human-human interaction (HHI) in these environments due to: the varied perspectives of the investigators; and the lack of a consistent variables. Although numerous studies exist on a variety of products, only limited research has been conducted with the most prevalent of the technologies in the marketplace, Lotus Notes™. This field study, conducted using Lotus Notes™, operationalizes a model proposed, but not tested, for the study of group decision-making in CSCW environments put forth by Kraemer and Pinsonneault (1990). This study examines the use of CSCW in the group decision-making process, the participation rate for group decision-making in CSCW environments, and the criteria for determining quality in group decisions in CSCW environments. The study also proposes a new perspective for examining technology using the human context, recommends extensions for the group study framework and explores areas for future research.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Ayala-Bush, Mary T. (Mary Theresa)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Computer Supported Collaboration: Is the Transfer of Cognitive Structures Mediated by Mode of Communication?

Description: The objective of this study was to observe evidence of structural transfer among subjects in a group problem-solving activity and determine whether mode of collaborative technology or use of a priming agent affected the nature of transferred structures. Evidence for structural transfer is found in three theoretical perspectives: organizational ditransitive (linguistic) verb structures, adaptive structuration theory, and mental model transfer theory. Dependent variables included various grammatical structures and coefficients derived from pretest and posttest scores on David Kolb's Learning Styles Inventory, modified for the experiment. The combination of changes in grammatical frequencies and learning style may suggest that one or more media or the priming agent may affect structural transfer. Results indicate that groups using the GroupSystems™ collaborative technology produced less overall linguistic content than did subjects using a generic chat system, but employed more complex language as indicated by frequency of the organizational ditransitive verb structure. Also, subjects supplied with an organization chart (priming agent) during the group problem-solving session experienced greater change on the learning styles inventory than did those participating in the session without the chart. These findings suggest that mode of communication and use of priming agents may contribute positively or negatively to the transfer of structures among group members. Researchers, collaborative system designers, organizational leaders, trainers & educators, and frequent collaborative technology system end-users should be aware of these potential affects. Suggestions for future research are provided. Relationship of theoretical foundations of structural transfer to constructivism is discussed.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Bandy, Kenneth E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Impact of Predisposition Towards Group Work on Intention to Use a CSCW System

Description: Groupware packages are increasingly being used to support content delivery, class discussion, student to student and student to faculty interactions and group work on projects. This research focused on groupware packages that are used to support students who are located in different places, but who are assigned group projects as part of their coursework requirements. In many cases, students are being asked to use unfamiliar technologies that are very different from those that support personal productivity. For example, computer-assisted cooperative work (CSCW) technology is different from other more traditional, stand-alone software applications because it requires the user to interact with the computer as well as other users. However, familiarity with the technology is not the only requirement for successful completion of a group assigned project. For a group to be successful, it must also have a desire to work together on the project. If this pre-requisite is not present within the group, then the technology will only create additional communication and coordination barriers. How much of an impact does each of these factors have on the acceptance of CSCW technology? The significance of this study is threefold. First, this research contributed to how a user's predisposition toward group work affects their acceptance of CSCW technology. Second, it helped identify ways to overcome some of the obstacles associated with group work and the use of CSCW technology in an academic online environment. Finally, it helped identify early adopters of CSCW software and how these users can form the critical mass required to diffuse the technology. This dissertation reports the impact of predisposition toward group work and prior computer experience on the intention to use synchronous CSCW. It was found that predisposition toward group work was not only positively associated to perceived usefulness; it was also related to intention to use. It ...
Date: May 2005
Creator: Reyna, Josephine
Partner: UNT Libraries