This research examines two research questions. First, does restrictiveness (i.e., the manner in which use of group resources is limited or channeled) (Silver 1988, 1990; DeSanclis et al. 1989) influence group performance and member perceptions as measured by decision quality and satisfaction? Second, does the composition of a GSS supported group in terms of individual preference for procedural order (PPO) (Putnam 1979) influence group performance and member perceptions? 7'his research tests and extends the Adaptive Structuration Theory (AST) (Poole and DeSanctis 1990). AST argues that GSSs are a social technology through which groups may choose to faithfully or ironically appropriate GSS structures. The PPO construct was also examined in this research. The PPO construct suggests that individuals enter group work with predispositions for particular work habits. For instance. High Procedural Order (HPO) individuals prefer planned, sequential patterns of organizing task activities and will seek to structure activities by sending procedural messages while Low Procedural Order (LPO) individuals send fewer procedural messages and prefer a cyclical ordering of activities. We suggest lhat a group member' s PPO may be an important source of contextual structures for the appropriation processes described by AST. A laboratory experiment was conducted to evaluate the impacts of GSS- and facilitator-based restrictiveness on group processes and outcomes. The independent variables in this study were restrictiveness and the group's PPO composition. Twenty-eight 5-member groups composed entirely of all HPO individuals (fourteen groups) or all LPO individuals (fourteen groups) were randomly assigned to either a restrictive or nonrestrictive treatment. The restrictive treatment was operationalized by activating three sources of restrictiveness: user-based training, facilitator-based process guidance, and GSS-based (via a level-2 GSS - VisionQuest™). The nonrestrictive treatment did not specifically impose any form of restricliveness. The comprehensive heuristic was a modification of Dewey's (1910) reflective thinking process. The $OB Policy Task. a hidden profile task (Stasser 1992), was developed and used for this experimenL This task is designed so that information from all members is essential for identifying the dominant problems and for finding a jointly acceptable solution. In tenns of decision quality. an ANOVA found no significant difference between groups in each of the treatment conditions; however, the trends in the data are suggestive and imply that I-PO groups in the non-reslrictive condition tend to produce better quality solutions (F = 1.594. p = 0.219). Further. a one-way analysis for groups in the non-restrictive condition across the PPO dimension approached significance (F = 3.0846; p = 0.105) and suggests that groups composed of LPO me:nbers performed this task better than groups composed of }IPO members, Results for satisfaction (Green and Taber 1980) indicate that I IPO group members reported greater participation in the discussion (F = 12.27, p = 0.001), that they were more satisfied with their group's solution (F = 10.94, p = 0.001), and that they were also more satisfied with the process than were LPO members (F = 6.61, p = 0.011). No significant difference was identified for participation in terms of the restrictiveness treatment; however, groups in the restrictive condition were more satisfied with the solution (F = 5.78, p = 0.018) and with the process (F = 6.43, p = 0.012). In terms of qualitative results, the facilitators noted that groups in the non-restrictive treatment generally could not or chose not to appropriate the heuristic. Even when groups requested the GSS tool specified by the heuristic, they often misappropriated the heuristic or the GSS. These preliminary results are intriguing and suggest that PPO is a useful construct for understanding how group members appropriate and react to GSS technology and structured heuristics. A better understanding of the intlicacies and differences in this appropriation process in the various conditions will be gained Lhrough a detailed examination of the decision-making process adopted by each group.
Wheeler, Bradley C. and Mennecke, Brian E., "THE EFFECTS OF RESTRICTIVENESS AND PREFERENCE FOR PROCEDURAL ORDER ON THE APPROPRIATION OF GROUP DECISION HEURISTICS IN A GSS ENVIRONMENT" (1992). ICIS 1992 Proceedings. 8.