Title: Work Group Structures and Computer Support:
A Field Experiment
Authors: Eveland, J.D., and Bikson, T.K.
Citation: ACM Transactions in Office Information Systems, 6, 4 (October 1988), pp. 354-379.
Reprinted in: Baecker, R.M. Readings in Groupware and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, San Francisco, 1993, pp. 443-455.
Retired and actively employed volunteers were recruited for 2
task forces. They worked for a year to develop a set of recommendations
about pre-retirement planning. One of the task forces had the
option of communicating with the aid of technology. For this
group, usage logs and network data were collected. Interviews
were also administered to all participants.
Results indicated that the two groups differed significantly in
their structures and how they accomplished their tasks. Subcommittee
structures persisted for both groups, but the electronic group
also developed a procedurally based work group structure to facilitate
The standard task force showed well-defined relationship clusters
after 3 months while the electronic task force did not. There
was also a greater stability of leadership roles in the standard
task force which was not present in the electronic task force.
Finally, the electronic task force also became more positive about
task involvement and greater levels of satisfaction with the accomplishments
of the group.
Several conclusions were obtained from this study, for example: