Loughborough University
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A research framework and questionnaire for group decision support system evaluation

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posted on 2017-06-28, 13:59 authored by Caroline A. Stevens
Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS) have been designed to support groups of people engaged in the cooperative working activities of a meeting. The interactions of a group of people working together in a meeting are termed the "group process" whereby certain factors or input variables influence the group process which in turn characterize the group process outcomes. A review of the work in this field has revealed the absence of a standard organizing framework in GDSS research that adequately models this group process and identifies those variables recognized as characterizing the group process. The introduction of such a framework would be a significant advance in GDSS research, both improving the methods for describing and assessing GDSS-supported meetings and helping to understand the effects of input variables on the group process and its outputs. This thesis presents such a framework. Evaluation of the group process and its outcomes is essential in studying the use of GDSS and the effects of input variables upon the group process and its outcome. Post-process questionnaires to be completed by group members have frequently been used to evaluate GDSS. However, articles describing the use of questionnaires in GDSS research provide little information regarding development of the questionnaires and the assessment of validity and reliability of questionnaires is rarely addressed. This calls into question the validity and reliability of results and conclusions drawn from questionnaire responses. In this research, a questionnaire which aims to evaluate group members' perceptions of the meeting process and its outcomes was developed directly from the variables in the framework. The questionnaire was completed by a total of 57 group members attending five meetings using three different types of GDSS to help them with their real problems. Their responses were used to test the questionnaire for validity and reliability. The results of these tests were used to revise the questionnaire. As a result, a valid questionnaire has been devised which can be used with confidence in future research to provide valid conclusions. Use of such a standard valid questionnaire will produce comparable results from all GDSS research, promoting cross comparison of study results, more efficient interpretation of results and more fruitful conclusions. This will enhance the researchers' understanding of GDSS use.



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© Caroline A. Stevens

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


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