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Abstract

This paper addresses the variance in findings across Group Support Systems (GSS) studies by suggesting an expanded consideration of organizational and contextual elements in Adaptive Structuration Theory (AST). We propose a model of structuring tactics at three levels of abstraction: the meeting level, activity level, and real time intervention level. We illustrate this model with three specific purposeful structuring tactics — agendas, design patterns, and micro-processes —and present related propositions. In addition to reviewing the more familiar tactics of agenda setting and group facilitation, we illustrate an approach to creating GSS value based on invoking particular social structures. We accomplish this through consideration of a design pattern language for collaboration processes drawn from the Collaboration Engineering literature. We conclude by discussing how this model of structuring tactics advances theory and practice in the GSS domain.

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