Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 10 Number 3 1993 pp. 63-95

The Impact of Group Support Systems on Group Conflict and Conflict Management

Miranda, Shaila M and Bostrom, Robert P

ABSTRACT: This article proposes a model for examining the impacts of group support systems (GSS) on conflict and conflict management, based on literature on GSS, group conflict, and structuration theory. It reports on a study of the impacts of GSS use on group conflict and conflict management. A total of 25 groups participated in the study. After an initial training session, groups met for four decision-making sessions requiring a consensus decision from each group. Subjects reported their perceptions on group conflict, conflict management strategies used, and the productivity of conflict, using scales developed for this study. Overall, GSS-supported groups perceived lower amounts of issue-based and interpersonal conflict than did control groups. There were no significant differences for reported use of conflict management strategies and perceived productivity of conflict. The authors explore possible reasons for these results and propose future research issues related to conflict and conflict management within a GSS environment.

Key words and phrases: conflict, conflict management, group decision support systems, group support systems