Article • Easley, R. F., Devaraj, S., & Crant, J. M. (2003). Relating collaborative technology use to teamwork quality and performance: An empirical analysis.Journal of Management Information Systems, 19(4), 247-268. • Authors • Robert F. Easley is an assistant professor of management information systems at Notre Dame • Sarv Devaraj is an assistant professor of management at Notre Dame • J. Michael Crant is an associate professor of management at Notre Dame
Purpose • Establish an empirical link between the use of groupware and improved team performance • Research questions • Does use of groupware enhance team performance? • Creativity • Decisionmaking • Does teamwork quality impact use of groupware? • Does computer self efficacy impact use of groupware? • Do teamsize and GMAT scores impact performance?
Computer Self Efficacy Technology Usage • Computer self efficacy is a major control variable • Relationship indicated in multiple studies (Bandura) • Computer self efficacy is a “judgment of one’s own capability to use a computer” (Compeau & Higgins) • Basic notion is that sound computer skills are a prerequisite for groupware (e.g., online education) • Also related to “ease-of-use” (Compeau & Higgins) • Other studies question this relationship (Igbari & Iivari; Straub & Limayan)
Teamwork Quality Technology Usage • Teamwork quality is a major factor or construct • Relationship indicated in multiple studies (Kraut; Malhotra; McGrath; McKenney; & Zack ) • Notion of teamwork quality based on scholarly empirical research model (Hoegle & Gemuenden) • Effort • Cohesion • Coordination • Mutual Support • Communication • Balance of member contributions
Technology Usage Performance • Technology usage is a major factor or construct • Relationship indicated in multiple studies (Fjermestad & Hiltz; McGrath & Hollingshead; McLeod & Liker) • Technology usage is defined as • Online versus face-to-face meetings • Teams meeting with and without technology • Optional use of groupware for online collaboration • Group support systems (GSS) • Group decision support systems (GDSS) • Group communication support system (GCSS) • Computer-mediated Communication Systems (CMS)
Teamsize & GMAT scores Performance • Teamsize and GMAT scores are major control variables • Teamsize relationship indicated in multiple studies (Latane; Mullen; Gallupe et al) • Studies indicate impact may be positive or negative • May improve idea generation or conversely, “freeloading” • Teamsize defined as • Group size • Size of team • Number of team members • GMAT scores had no empirical basis (used anyway)
Creative performance Technology Usage • Creative performance is a major factor or construct • Relationship indicated in multiple studies (Dubrovsky; Galupe; Hollingshead; McGrath; Siy; Strauss; Valacich) • Creative performance defined as • Pooling of ideas • Production of more ideas • Greater equality of participation • Higher gain rate and lower suppression rates • Far less domination by dictatorial team members • Better solutions than from individuals working alone
Decisionmaking Technology Usage • Decisionmaking is a major factor or construct • Relationship indicated in multiple studies (Fjermestad & Hiltz; Gallupe et al; McGrath et al; Pinsonneault et al) • Decision making performance defined as • Better decision quality • Use of math formulas to infer choices • Using quantitative decision analysis methods • Helping decisionmakers to make simple choices • Applying group decision support systems (GDSS) • Making complex decisions using mathematical formulas
Establishes empirical link between • Teamwork, groupware, and performance • Online education, creativity, and decisionmaking • Computer self efficacy, teamsize, and performance • Other conclusions • Importance of team cohesiveness • High GMAT scores unrelated to performance • Additional decisionmaking tools may be necessary • Computer skills needed for effective use of groupware
Strengths • Well formed research theory • Well executed research methodology • Study may become seminal masterpiece • Weaknesses • May need to be tested in more universities • May need to be tested with doctoral candidates • May need to be tested in several for-profit institutions • May need to be tested with scholarly learning constructs
Influences use of technology by • Traditional universities • Hybrid and online universities • Non-traditional universities and for-profit institutions • Establishes scholarly basis for further study • Examines pros/cons of general purpose groupware • Implicates the need for specialized educational tools • Spearheads scholarly research into online education • Opens door for larger scale online educational studies
With respect to technology in education • Are team cohesiveness, use of groupware, and teamwork helped or hurt by hybrid, face-to-face instruction? • Does the type, kind, effectiveness, quality, sophistication, and reliability of groupware matter? • Is homegrown groupware superior to commercial software designed by educational and technological experts? • Do online learners need specialized training to be effective with groupware? And, to what extent? • What are the essential functions groupware must have in order to enhance teamwork and learning?
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