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The effects of group membership and task experience on asynchronous computer-mediated group performance, group competencies and group member reactions

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The effects of group membership and task experience on asynchronous computer-mediated group performance, group competencies and group member reactions

Dehler, Christina M (2000) The effects of group membership and task experience on asynchronous computer-mediated group performance, group competencies and group member reactions. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Organizations that use computer-mediated communication (CMC) to communicate and coordinate work are ubiquitous and highly dependent on the permeation of virtual work groups throughout the organizational structure. In this era of distributed work, it is imperative to determine which factors affect the efficiency and effectiveness of asynchronous computer-mediated groupwork. Two factors are identified in the literature to potentially mediate effects on asynchronous computer-mediated groupwork: group membership and task experience. The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which these factors affect group performance, competencies and group members' social experiences. A 2 x 2 between-subjects factorial design was used to carry out this study. Three-person groups (n = 56) performed tasks corresponding to task types 2 and 4 of McGrath's (1984) circumplex: an idea generation task and a judgment task. The study ran over a period of three weeks via the CMC system FirstClass® . Four treatment conditions were constructed using FirstClass whereby group membership and task experience conditions were created by varying participants' experiences during weeks 1 and 2, prior to the performance of the criterion judgment task at week 3. Results indicated that groups acquiring task experience as stable groups during weeks 1 and 2 performed better on the judgment task at week 3 than groups in other treatment conditions. Analyses also confirmed that membership and task experience had a substantial effect on group competencies and member reactions. Groups with changing membership exchanged a greater amount of communication, with those groups not having acquired judgment task experience during weeks 1 and 2 producing the highest number of process-specific remarks. Participants in stable groups reported higher levels of shared knowledge and awareness of group members' ability. Members of stable groups reported higher levels of group cohesion and collective orientation while those who were in stable groups and acquiring task experience expressed the highest amount of member interdependence. Subjects in stable groups were more satisfied with the task and the process of completing it while those who also acquired task experience were more satisfied and confident in the final task solution. Results are discussed in terms of the implications of structuring asynchronous computer-mediated collaborative work environments in organizations.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Dehler, Christina M
Pagination:xi, 158 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:Education
Date:2000
Thesis Supervisor(s):Dicks, Dennis J.
ID Code:1283
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:18
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:19
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