Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Information Systems and Decision Sciences (Business Administration)

Document Type



Since their introduction a quarter of a century ago, group decision support systems (GDSS) have evolved from applications designed primarily to support decision making for groups in face-to-face settings, to their growing use for “web conferencing,” online collaboration, and distributed group decision-making. Indeed, it is only recently that such groupware applications for conducting face-to-face, as well as “virtual meetings” among dispersed workgroups have achieved mainstream status, as evidenced by Microsoft’s ubiquitous advertising campaign promoting its “Live Meeting” electronic meeting systems (EMS) software. As these applications become more widely adopted, issues relating to their effective utilization are becoming increasingly relevant. This research addresses an area of growing interest in the study of group decision support systems, and one which holds promise for improving the effective utilization of advanced information technologies in general: the feasibility of using virtual facilitation (system-directed multi-modal user support) for supporting the GDSS appropriation process and for improving structured group decision-making efficiency and effectiveness. A multi-modal application for automating the GDSS facilitation process is used to compare conventional GDSS-supported groups with groups using virtual facilitation, as well as groups interacting without computerized decision-making support. A hidden-profile task designed to compare GDSS appropriation levels, user satisfaction, and decision-making efficiency and effectiveness is utilized in an experiment employing auditors, accountants, and IT security professionals as participants. The results of the experiment are analyzed and possible directions for future research efforts are discussed.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Thomas D. Clark, Jr.



Included in

Business Commons