Use of an electronic meeting system over time: An empirical investigation with small groups.
AuthorChudoba, Katherine Marie.
Committee ChairGeorge, Joey 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.
AbstractPrevious research on the use of electronic meeting systems (EMS) has contrasted EMS-supported groups with non EMS-supported groups. That perspective may miss the dynamics of use because of the likely variability across groups. This research focuses on the use of an EMS: It is not the EMS itself, but whether and how it is used that is important. Adaptive structuration theory is the theoretical foundation for studying how an EMS is used in this research. It facilitates taking a more holistic approach to understand the circumstances of use (or lack of use) and changes in that use over time. This leads to the research question: In what ways and to what degree does use of an EMS by a small group change over time? An experiment was conducted to investigate the research question. Seventeen three- and four-person groups met for three 90 minute meetings over a two-week period to evaluate undergraduate programs in the College of Business. Groups could use (or choose not to use) GroupLink, an EMS software package. Two independent variables were studied: designated leadership and the passage of time. Questionnaire data were analyzed using a multivariate, nested, repeated measures design to perform a univariate estimation. Transcriptions of verbal discussions were coded using a coding scheme developed specifically for this experiment. Descriptive data from the group's electronic discussions were also compiled. Qualitative analysis was used to discern groups' patterns of EMS use. Findings indicate that groups with designated leaders generally appropriate EMS technology in ways faithful to its design. The presence or absence of a designated leader had no effect on attitudes toward the EMS-process or progress the group was making on the task. Attitudes about communication within groups became more positive over time. Researchers who study the impacts of collaborative technology should include the passage of time as one of their variables because the use of EMS technology appears to be dynamic rather than static. In terms of Adaptive Structuration Theory, appropriation processes may be more complex than originally hypothesized, and they may affect the contextual and technological dimensions of a group.
Degree ProgramBusiness Administration