On Theory-Driven Design of Collaboration Technology and Process

  • Robert O. Briggs
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3198)

Abstract

The design and deployment of collaboration technology has, until lately been more of an art than a science, but it has produced some solid successes. Commercial groupware products now support millions of collaborations per year. Under certain circumstances teams that use Group Support Systems perform far better than groups that do not. However, as impressive as the achievements are in this field, we can do better. A rigorous theoretical approach to the design of collaboration technology and process can lead us to non- intuitive design choices that produce successes beyond those possible with a seat-of-the-pants approach. This paper explains the simple structure of a rigorous scientific theory and offers examples of theory-driven design choices that produced substantial benefits. It then differentiates rigorous theory from several classes of theory that have intuitive appeal, but cannot inform design choices. It then argues that the logic of the theory-driven design approach suggests that the most useful focus for collaboration technology researchers would be the technology-supported work process, rather than just the technology.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Agres, A., Vreede, G.J., Briggs, R.O.: A Tale of Two Cities: Case studies of GSS Transition in Two Organizations. In: 37th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, January 5-8, IEEE, Kona Hawaii (2004) ;On CDGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Briggs, R.O.: The Focus Theory of Group Productivity and Its Application to the Design and Deployment of Collaboration Technologies. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Arizona (1994)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Briggs, R.O., de Vreede, G.J., Nunamaker Jr., J.F.: Collaboration Engineering with ThinkLets to Pursue Sustained Success with Group Support Systems. Journal of Management Information Systems 19(4), 31–63 (2003)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Briggs, R.O., Adkins, M., Mittleman, D., Kruse, J., Miller, S., Nunamaker Jr., J.F.: A Technology Transition Model Derived from Field Investigation of GSS use aboard U.S.S. CORONADO. Journal of Management Information Systems 15(3), 151–193 (Winter 1998-1999)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Connolly, T., Jessup, L.M., Valacich, J.S.: Effects of anonymity and evaluative tone on idea generation in computer-mediated groups. Management Science 36(6), 689–703 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Davis, F.D., Bagozzi, R.P., Warshaw, P.R.: User acceptance of computer technology: a comparison of two theoretical models. Management Science 35(8), 982–1003 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Diehl, M., Stroebe, W.: Productivity loss in brainstorming groups: Toward the solution of a riddle. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 53, 497–509 (1987)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Diehl, M., Stroebe, W.: Productivity loss in idea-generating groups: Tracking down the blocking effect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 61, 392–403 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fjermestad, J., Hiltz, S.R.: An assessment of Group Support Systems experimental research: methodology and results. Journal of Management Information Systems 15(3), 7–149 (1999)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fjermestad, J., Hiltz, S.R.: Group Support Systems: A descriptive evaluation of case and field studies. Journal of Management Information Systems 17(3), 112–157 (2001)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gallupe, R.B., Bastianutti, L.M., Cooper, W.H.: Unblocking brainstorms. Journal of Applied Psychology 76(1), 137–142 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gallupe, R.B., Dennis, A.R., Cooper, W.H., Valacich, J.S., Bastianutti, L.M., Nunamaker, J.F.: Electronic brainstorming and group size. Academy of Management Journal 35, 350–369 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Goethals, G.R., Darley, J.M.: Social Comparison Theory: self-evaluation and group life. In: Mullen, B., Goethals, G.R. (eds.) Theories of Group Behavior, pp. 21–48. Springer, New York (1987)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Harkins, S.G., Jackson, J.M.: The role of evaluation in the elimination of social loafing. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 11, 457–465 (1985)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hender, J.M., Dean, D.L., Rodgers, T.L., Nunamaker Jr., J.F.: An examination of the impact of stimuli type and GSS structure on creativity: Brainstorming versus nonbrainstorming techniques in a GSS environment. Journal of Management Information Systems 18(4), 59–85 (2002)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kerr, N.L., Bruun, S.E.: Ringlean revisited: Alternative explanations for the social loafing effect. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 7, 224–231 (1981)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kerr, N.L., Bruun, S.E.: Dispensability of member effort and group motivation losses: Free-rider effects. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 44, 78–94 (1983)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Post, B.Q.: Building the Business Case for Group Support Technology. In: Proceedings of the 25th annual Hawaii International Conference on Systems Science, pp. 34–45. IEEE, Los Alamitos (1992)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Santanen, E.L., Briggs, R.O., de Vreede, G.J.: The Cognitive Network Model of Creativity: A New Causal Model of Creativity and a New Brainstorming Technique. In: Proceedings of the 33rd Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences (2000)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Valacich, J.S., Dennis, A.R., Connolly, T.: Idea generation in computer-based groups: A new ending to an old story. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 57, 448–467 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert O. Briggs
    • 1
  1. 1.Delft University of TechnologyUniversity of Arizona 

Personalised recommendations