Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 8 Number 3 1991 pp. 7-26

Using Computing in Quality Team Meetings: Initial Observations from the IRS--Minnesota Project

DeSanctis, Gerardine, Poole, Marshall Scott, Lewis, Howard, and Desharnais, George

ABSTRACT: Quality improvement programs are regarded by many businesses as mechanisms for improving organizational competitiveness in the face of tightening budgets and more global market structures. Recently developed computer-supported group problem-solving tools, or Group Decision Support Systems (GDSSs), offer the potential to reduce the effort involved in applying quality improvement methods by providing automated means to enter, record, and operate on ideas generated by team members during face-to-face meetings. To explore how GDSSs might be used by quality teams, the Internal Revenue Service and the University of Minnesota conducted a multiyear study of GDSS use in small-group meetings. This paper presents some initial findings on the extent and types of uses of the technology made by teams based on the first seven months of our study. This preliminary analysis is presented within the framework of adaptive structuration theory and considers the relationship among inputs, processes, and outputs of group interaction as a GDSS is used.

Key words and phrases: group decision support systems, group problem solving, quality teams