Kock and Nosek (2005) identify two trends within the field of e-collaboration research. First is the development of subcommunities devoted to the examination of a particular topic. The second trend is on integrating prior research and identifying topics of relevancy for e-collaboration. Our study falls within the second trend noted above. It is our argument that findings of GSS/ GDSS research cannot be blindly transferred to e-Collaboration research and there is a need to determine the extent of applicability, relevancy, and boundaries. The purpose of this study is to examine the previous GSS findings and assess their implications and applicability within in the e-collaboration environment. We begin by providing a brief background to e-collaboration and then proceed to assess the GSS research findings. After identifying important future trends, we provide concluding remarks.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Computer Supported Collaborative Work: The use of computers to support cooperative work among multi participant (e.g., collaborative authoring), as distinct from work that may not be cooperative (Holsapple & Whinston, 1996)
Virtual Teams: Groups of geographically and/or organizationally dispersed coworkers that are assembled using a combination of telecommunication and information technologies to accomplish an organizational task. (Townsend et al., 1998)
E-Collaboration: Collaboration among individuals engaged in a common task using electronic technologies (Kock et al., 2001)
Group Decision Support System: A tool used in supporting decision making needs of groups.
Electronic Meeting Systems (EMS): Designed to make meetings more productive through the use of IT. The technology is designed to directly impact and change the behavior of groups to improve group effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction
Team: A hierarchically designed organization in which there is one deciding participant and one or more supporting participants. In contrast to a group, there is clear differentiation of decision making authority, a division of labor into distinctly specialized duties, and a restricted pattern of communication. (Holsapple & Whinston, 1996)
GroupwarebComputer/communication technology used to facilitate the work of the group (e.g.: a GDSS) (Holsapple & Whinston, 1996)
Group: A simple kind of organization characterized by participants having comparable authority about the group’s task (e.g., decision making), little in the way of formal division of labor, and few restrictions on who can communicate with whom. (Holsapple & Whinston, 1996)