Is IS Research on GSS Relevant?

Is IS Research on GSS Relevant?

Munir Mandviwalla (Temple University, USA) and Paul Gray (Claremont Graduate University, USA)
Copyright: © 1998 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/irmj.1998010104
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“In most business organizations today, when groups of executives meet, they gather in a room that is little different from the one in which their predecessors met a hundred or more years ago. Technology is evident only in the electric light, the air conditioning, and perhaps a telephone. The information available during the deliberations is a few memoranda or a notebook of financial and other reports. They may receive verbal briefings made with the aid of charts or slides. However, as discussion proceeds around the table and various alternatives are considered, the decision makers have to rely principally on what is in their heads and what has been told them.” (Gray et al. 1981 in one of the early papers on GSS/ GDSS research). After more than a decade of advances in GSS research the above description is still accurate in most companies. If relevancy strictly means having a significant impact on the business world then GSS research appears to have had minimal impact. In this paper we try to understand the reasons for the low impact, point out areas of success, and look for directions for the future. Several of the points raised in this article are well known and some of our recommendations are already being implemented independently by many researchers. The contribution of this article is in presenting a comprehensive and formal discussion of the “state of the GSS field” based on an analysis of IS research on GSS. Our goal is to motivate constructive forward-looking debate on this important topic. To promote such debate we have prepared a working paper on a web site to allow readers to further explore our GSS literature database (see Appendix A).

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