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Technologies for Improving Group Decision making

The Emerald Handbook of Group and Team Communication Research

ISBN: 978-1-80043-501-8, eISBN: 978-1-80043-500-1

Publication date: 5 November 2021


This chapter focuses on techniques and technologies to aid groups in making decisions, with an emphasis on computer-based support. Many office workers regularly meet colleagues and clients in virtual meetings using videoconferencing platforms, which enable participants to carry out tasks in a manner similar to a face-to-face meeting. The development of computer-based platforms to facilitate group tasks can be traced back to the 1960s, and while they support group communication, they do not directly support group decision making. In this chapter we distinguish four technologies developed to provide support to group decisions, clustered into two main traditions. Technologies in the task-oriented tradition are mainly concerned with enabling participants to complete tasks to solve the group's decision problem via computer-supported communications. Group Decision Support Systems and social software technologies comprise the task-oriented tradition. Alternately, in the model-driven tradition, participants use computers to build and use a model that acts as a referent to communicate, mostly verbally, about the group's decision problem. System modeling and decision-modeling technologies constitute the model-driven tradition. This chapter sketches the history and guiding ideas of both traditions, and describes their associated technologies. The chapter concludes with questioning if increased availability of online tools will lead to increased use of group decision support technologies, and the differential impact of communication support versus decision support.



Rouwette, E.A.J.A. and Franco, L.A. (2021), "Technologies for Improving Group Decision making", Beck, S.J., Keyton, J. and Poole, M.S. (Ed.) The Emerald Handbook of Group and Team Communication Research, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 209-228.



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