Using Computer-Mediated Groups to Improve University Processes: An Action Research Study in New Zealand

Using Computer-Mediated Groups to Improve University Processes: An Action Research Study in New Zealand

Ned Kock (Texas A&M International University, USA) and James Corner (University of Waikato, New Zealand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-825-3.ch006
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We describe in this chapter an action research study of a computer-mediated business process redesign (BPR) group in a New Zealand university. The BPR group used an integrated BPR framework, which comprises a group process methodology, called MetaProi, and an asynchronous groupware tool. BPR group members were from two different departments and successfully redesigned two course-related processes. The study reveals some possible effects of computer mediation on groups that are particularly relevant for managers of distributed BPR projects, namely, lower demand for leadership skills, much lower overall running cost, and much lower degree of interaction. No impact on group effectiveness was observed. The study also indicates that computer mediation lowers barriers to and, in turn, fosters interdepartmental communication, which creates a suitable context for the occurrence of other BPR groups involving different departments. On the other hand, the study indicates that those groups lead to more threats to management, an effect that may lead to lack of support from managers for future BPR groups. Finally, the study suggests that strategic BPR groups, as opposed to those dealing with local operational issues, can better benefit from computer mediation when this is combined with face-to-face and other types of vocal interaction.

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Ned Kock, Vanessa Garza
This chapter reviews theoretical research on e-communication behavior, identifying two main types of theories: technological and social. Based on... Sample PDF
The Ape that Used E-Mail: An Evolutionary Perspective on E-Communication Behavior
Chapter 2
Julie E. Kendall
What constitutes regional commerce? What creates and enhances a regional identity? In the United States, regions can be quite large and may even... Sample PDF
Metaphors for E-Collaboration: A Study of Nonprofit Theatre Web Presence
Chapter 3
Jeffrey Wong, Kevin Dow, Ofir Turel, Alexander Serenko
E-mail is a critical component of most e-collaborative environments. This chapter describes an application of the American Customer Satisfaction... Sample PDF
User Satisfaction with E-Collaborative Systems
Chapter 4
Anita Blanchard
This study examines how a Listserv affects its members’ sense of community (SOC) with the sponsoring organization. It was expected that the Listserv... Sample PDF
Organizational Sense of Community and Listserv Use; Examining the Roles of Knowledge and Face-to-Face Interaction
Chapter 5
Agile IT Outsourcing  (pages 60-76)
Boris Roussev
Agile methods are lightweight, iterative software development frameworks used predominantly on small and mid-sized software development projects.... Sample PDF
Agile IT Outsourcing
Chapter 6
Ned Kock, James Corner
We describe in this chapter an action research study of a computer-mediated business process redesign (BPR) group in a New Zealand university. The... Sample PDF
Using Computer-Mediated Groups to Improve University Processes: An Action Research Study in New Zealand
Chapter 7
Ilze Zigurs, Deepack Khazanchi
The management of virtual projects is fundamentally different from that of traditional projects. Furthermore, the research in this area comes from... Sample PDF
Applying Pattern Theory in the Effective Management of Virtual Projects
Chapter 8
Irma Becerra-Fernandez, Matha Del Alto, Helen Stewart
Today, organizations rely on decision makers to make mission-critical decisions that are based on input from multiple domains. The ideal decision... Sample PDF
The Launch of Web-based Collaborative Decision Support at NASA
Chapter 9
Rafael Prikladnicki, J. Roberto Evaristo, Jorge L.N. Audy, Marcelo H. Yamaguti
Distributed IT projects exhibit certain features that make them fundamentally different from traditional colocated projects, not only involving... Sample PDF
Minimizing the Challenges of Risk Management in Distributed IT Projects: The Importance of the Alignment of Strategic, Tactical, and Operational Levels
Chapter 10
Kathy S. Schwaig, Steve Gillam, Elke Leeds
Global partnerships are forming to take advantage of the cost savings associated with offshoring as well as other strategic benefits. Not all... Sample PDF
Project Management Issues in IT Offshore Outsourcing
Chapter 11
Richard Baskerville
This chapter develops an analytical framework for new forms of information warfare that may threaten commercial and government computing systems by... Sample PDF
Hacker Wars: Cyber Warfare Previews
Chapter 12
Surinder S. Kahai, Bruce J. Avolio
A laboratory experiment was conducted with 42 student groups to evaluate the effects of transactional vs. transformational leadership styles and... Sample PDF
Effects of Leadership Style and Anonymity on Arguments and Intentions Related to Acting Unethically
Chapter 13
Dorothy Leidner, Maryam Alavi
Knowledge management approaches have been broadly considered to entail either a focus on organizing communities or a focus on the process of... Sample PDF
The Role of Culture in Knowledge Management: A Case Study of Two Global Firms
Chapter 14
John McAvoy, Tom Butler
Cohesion is regarded as something to strive for in virtual teams yet difficult to attain. What happens, though, when cohesion is achieved; does... Sample PDF
The Desire for Cohesion in Virtual Teams: Be Careful What You Wish For
Chapter 15
Ganesh Vaidyanathan
A framework to capture and manage distributed knowledge can address distributed knowledge management from creation to facilitation. Knowledge... Sample PDF
Distributed Knowledge Management in Organizations
About the Contributors