The application of heuristic devices has been proposed as one approach to improving consensus decision making. The heuristics are intended to provide problem structuring and, more broadly, to improve the process of interpersonal collaboration in work settings. This study drew from research on group decision making (e.g., Shaw 1971; Poole 1983), problem structuring (e.g., Abualsamh, Carlin and McDaniel in press; Cats-Baril and Huber 1987), computer-mediated communication (e.g., Kiesler, Siegel and McGuire 1987), and technology adoption (e.g., Poole and DeSanctis 1989) to compare alternative approaches to delivery of decision heuristics for a task requiring resolution of competing values and preferences. Based on the arguments of adaptive structuration theory and social judgment theory, we hypothesized that the addition of a general heuristic to a specific, computer-based heuristic would improve group consensus; that is, the greater the comprehensiveness of the heuristic, the greater the gain in consensus. We further anticipated that combining general and specific heuristics in an integrated, interactive form would bring additional gains in group consensus. Greater restrictiveness in how the groups could execute the heuristic devices was also expected to improve group consensus, especially in cases where the specific heuristic was not coupled with the general heuristic. The results supported some of these predictions. By comparing heuristics in terms of their comprehensiveness and restrictiveness, we developed some understanding of how decision heuristics might be implemented within a computer-supported meeting environment.
DeSanctis, Gerardlne; D'Onorrio, Marianne J.; Sambamurthy, V.; and Poole, Marshall Scott, "COMPREHENSIVENESS AND RESTRICTIVENESS IN GROUP DECISION HEURISTICS: EFFECTS OF COMPUTER SUPPORT ON CONSENSUS DECISION MAKING" (1989). ICIS 1989 Proceedings. 43.