CPSC 689/602--Spring 1997
Computer-Supported Cooperative Work

Paper Report

Title: Electronic Meeting Systems to Support Group Work
Authors: J. Nunamaker, A. Dennis, J. Valacich, D. Vogel, and J. George
Citation: Communications of the ACM, 34(7), July 1991, pp.40-61.
Reprinted in: Groupware and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, pp.719-739, Edited by R.M. Baecker


In this article the authors discuss a new form of meeting environment, which they call an Electronic Meeting System (EMS). This technology is designed to directly change the behavior of groups to improve group effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction.

In understanding how the use of EMS affects group meeting, different types of process gains (more information, synergy, and learning) versus process losses (air time fragmentation, attenuation blocking and concentration blocking) which are affected by the utilization of the technology are presented. The article discusses four theoretical mechanisms by which the EMS can affect the balance of gains and losses.

New software was developed at the University of Arizona to support a variety of tasks common to group meetings. The general design for GroupSystems builds on three basic concepts

This paper has such a breadth of concepts that it has served as the basis for a significant amout of the group research in MIS.

Report prepared by: Gary Baker Email: sadiki@tamu.edu
Discussion date: 3/26/97            Report date: 4/1/97