Strategic management, defined as the overall process of formulating and implementing goals, policies and plans of organizational strategy, is an important organizational task that is typically performed by groups of managers. While information technology has long been used to support strategic management, it has only recently been used to support the group processes of strategic management through the provision of Electronic Meeting Systems (EMS). An EMS can affect meetings by providing process support, process structure, task structure, and task support. Process support improves communication among group members (via an electronic communication channel), while process structure directs the pattern or content of discussion (via an agenda). Task structure refers to the use of a structured technique to analyze the task (a mathematical or conceptual model), while task support refers to the provision of information or computation support without additional structure (a data base or calculator). The objective of this paper is to evaluate the capability of EMS to support strategic management. The results of a series of seventeen case studies indicate that use of EMS technology can enhance six capabilities that prior research has linked to increased strategic management success. Process support and process structure were perceived to be more important than task structure and task support in contributing to success. An analysis of less successful meetings suggests that a lack of communication between the group leader/meeting organizer and meeting participants and extenuating external circumstances were primary causes for the lack of success.
Dennis, Alan R.; Tyran, Craig K.; Vogel, Douglas R.; and Nunamaker, J. F. Jr., "AN EVALUATION OF ELECTRONIC MEETING SYSTEMS TO SUPPORT STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT" (1990). ICIS 1990 Proceedings. 37.