The Effect of Decision Aids on Work Group Performance


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Virginia Tech


Organizations increasingly use work groups to perform process improvement tasks. Little research exists about groups assigned complete tasks such as process improvement which involves completing all group processes, such as: generating, selecting, negotiating, and executing. This research tested the impact of decision aids on work group processes and work group performance. Laboratory and field experiments were performed.

Decision aids were shown to impact work group processes. Decision aids increased the number of ideas considered by the work group, increased the equality of participation in the work group, decreased the overall level of conversation, and reduced consensus during evaluation of sensitive issues. No significant difference was found between decision aid types and work group performance. A regression model was identified which predicts group performance. Two variables were high predictors of work group performance: the level of conversation occurring in the group and the range between high and low idea contributors. The range between high and low idea contributors was correlated with the skill level of participants in the group.



work group performance, macroergonomics, GDSS, decision making, CSCW