WereportonastudyofsevenprocessimprovementgroupsintwoNewZealandorganizations. Allgroups followed the same group methodology and were facilitated by the researcher. The research approach used was action research. All groups interacted with the support of an e-mail conferencing tool. Six of the groups used e-mail conferencing as the main medium of interaction, and their members interacted through the e-mail conferencing system during 67 to 89 percent of the time. One of the groups conducted most of the discussion through a face-to-face meeting, using e-mail conferencing during only 18 percent of the time. Five of the groups were successful in generating and either fully or partially implementing process redesign proposals. Two of the groups failed to generate any process redesign proposal. Research data was collected through participant observation, unstructured and structured interviews, and in the form of e-mail discussion transcripts. This research data indicates that, while not having negative perceived effects on group effectiveness, asynchronous groupware support was perceived as increasing process adoption, hierarchy suppression, departmental heterogeneity, and contribution length, and decreasing discussion duration, cost, and interaction in process improvement groups.
Kock, Nereu and McQueen, Robert, "Asynchronous Groupware Support Effects on Process Improvement Groups: An Action Research Study" (1996). ICIS 1996 Proceedings. 24.