Extending the Contextual and Organizational Elements of Adaptive Structuration Theory in GSS Research *

By Niederman, Fred; Briggs, Robert O. et al. | Journal of the Association for Information Systems, January 1, 2008 | Go to article overview

Extending the Contextual and Organizational Elements of Adaptive Structuration Theory in GSS Research *


Niederman, Fred, Briggs, Robert O., de Vreede, Gert-Jan, Kolfschoten, Gwendolyn L., Journal of the Association for Information Systems


Abstract

This paper addresses the variance in findings across Group Support Systems (GSS) studies by suggesting an expanded consideration of organizational and contextual elements in Adaptive Structuration Theory (AST). We propose a model of structuring tactics at three levels of abstraction: the meeting level, activity level, and real time intervention level. We illustrate this model with three specific purposeful structuring tactics - agendas, design patterns, and micro-processes -and present related propositions. In addition to reviewing the more familiar tactics of agenda setting and group facilitation, we illustrate an approach to creating GSS value based on invoking particular social structures. We accomplish this through consideration of a design pattern language for collaboration processes drawn from the Collaboration Engineering literature. We conclude by discussing how this model of structuring tactics advances theory and practice in the GSS domain.

Keywords: Adaptive Structuration Theory, Groups Support Systems, Facilitation, Collaboration, Agenda, Collaboration Process Design

1. Introduction

Group Support Systems (GSS) has been a major stream of MIS research for more than two decades, but has been characterized by a wide range of mixed results (See Fjermestad and Hiltz, 1999; 2001 for a compendium of GSS research). This research shows that, under some conditions, the use of GSS tools can be very helpful, indeed, while under other conditions the same GSS tools may be less useful. Therefore, it is difficult to draw systematic conclusions about the conditions that must be present for positive results to occur, particularly when extrapolating to tasks or technologies differing from those reported in the research (Munkvold and Zigurs, 2005). Thus, advice regarding best practices for adopting GSS remains tentative.

Much of the research on GSS concentrates on one-off meetings, with measures of success focused on meeting efficiency and effectiveness, idea generation and creativity, and participant satisfaction with process and outcomes (Fjermestad and Hiltz, 1999, 2001). While such a focus recognizes the importance of meetings as organizational communication mechanisms, it underestimates both the subservience of meeting effectiveness to broader organizational forces and the heavy influence of micro-processes on meeting outcomes.

Much of the GSS research published to date does not report the configuration specifics of GSS: the exact instructions given to the group, the guidelines, constraints, and ground rules by which they worked; and the step-by-step mechanics of how their work proceeded (Briggs, Vreede, and Nunamaker, 2003; Santanen, 2005). However, subtle variation in any of these factors can create substantial differences in group dynamics. Connolly, Jessup, and Valacich (1990), for example, demonstrated that GSS users who make identified contributions to a brainstorming session under ground rules that allow only positive feedback are significantly more satisfied but significantly less productive than users who make anonymous contributions under ground rules that allow for both positive and negative feedback. In like manner, Reinig et al. (1995) reported that GSS users brainstorm more ideas of higher novelty and feasibility when the facilitator's script invokes a salient social comparison than when the facilitator uses a slightly modified script that does not invoke a social comparison. Thus, a study reporting only that facilitator interventions had a positive influence on group outcomes does not provide sufficient detail to allow others to replicate such interventions effectively and methodically. There is also a need for details of the specific GSS features and configurations, the particulars of the tasks addressed, the specifics of facilitator instructions to GSS users, the ground rules and constraints under which GSS users act, and the mechanics and logistics of user actions. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Extending the Contextual and Organizational Elements of Adaptive Structuration Theory in GSS Research *
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.