Satisfaction with web-based meetings for idea generation and selection: the role of instrumentality, enjoyment, and interface design

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(Dissertation) Ph.D.
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Despite the potential of group support systems (GSS) to increase productivity in virtual teamwork, most organizations still rely on email and teleconferencing for their distributed meetings. Low satisfaction with GSS use has been identified as one reason behind the sluggish adoption of such groupware. To better understand what constitutes an affective response from GSS-based meetings, this thesis aims to unravel the individual, social, as well as utilitarian and hedonic motives in completing a creativity and decision-making task. An extended research model based on the Satisfaction Attainment Theory is proposed and tested with an experimental study. Twenty ad hoc student teams each met online in distributed and synchronous sessions, supported by an original interface designed for the study. The 126 participants were also given a post-test questionnaire. Factor analysis first verified the survey measures, including a scale for a construct called perceived instrumentality of performance. A structural equation model then examined the correlations between reported outcome and process satisfaction and various task and system perceptions. Satisfaction was most significantly predicted by task enjoyment, which in turn was positively influenced by perceived instrumentality and interface aesthetics. GSS scholars are thus advised to include an hedonic construct in their research models. From a managerial perspective, the study demonstrated how intra-group evaluability can facilitate positive affective responses within the majority of team members. For system designers, it was shown how using lightweight social proxies and basic spatial partitioning in the design of a GSS interface can contribute to increased satisfaction with process.
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