Group size and proximity effects on computer-mediated idea generation: A laboratory investigation.
AuthorValacich, Joseph S.
KeywordsGroup decision making.
Teams in the workplace.
AdvisorNunamaker, J. F.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation investigated the effects of group size, group member proximity and the interaction of these two variables on the performance of brainstorming groups in a synchronous, computer-mediated environment. A laboratory experiment was employed to manipulate the independent variables group size (4- and 8-member) group member proximity. Group member proximity was manipulated by allowing proximate groups to work in a single meeting room, while members of distributed group worked in separate rooms. The subjects, upper-level, undergraduate business students, were asked to identify and discuss all "people, groups and organizations" that would be affected by a proposed policy to require all undergraduate business students to have individual access to a personal computer. The computer-mediated brainstorming system allowed all group members to enter and share information simultaneously, as all communication was electronic. Group performance was assessed by counting the total number of unique solutions generated and by the sum of expert rated quality scores for each unique solution. Groups in all conditions contributed approximately the same number of comments and felt equally satisfied. Contrary to an ample body of noncomputer-mediated brainstorming research, large groups were more productive than small groups for both idea quantity and quality. Small groups were, however, more productive than large groups on a per person basis, as increased group size yielded diminishing returns. Remote groups were more productive than proximate groups. Group researchers have found that group interaction produces productivity gains and losses, each of which increase in strength as the group size increases. This research found group productivity losses for computer-mediated brainstorming to be relatively constant, as the technology mitigated productivity inhibitors in conditions where prior noncomputer-mediated research has found these losses to increase (i.e., larger groups).
Degree ProgramBusiness Administration