The Role of Groupware and Group Decision Support Systems in Decision Making

Topics: Decision theory, Decision engineering, Decision making Pages: 21 (5894 words) Published: March 20, 2012


Department: Business Informatics

Course: MTech (Business Information Systems)

Subject: Knowledge Technologies

Code: KNT501T

Lecturer: Prof. I Strydom

Name : Simon Lishi Nkosi
Student Number: 202191991

Assignment 1

Do a literature review clearly explaining the functionalities of groupware and group decision support systems, specifically indicating the overlaps but also the differences in the structure and functionalities of these two kinds of systems.The answer must be in the form of an article

Introduction (Abstract)

This article will conduct a literature review of GroupWare and Group Decision Support Systems clearly explaining their functionalities, specifically indicating the overlaps but also the differences in the structure and functionalities of these two kinds of systems.

This article will give examples of each to try and define the concepts more clearer. Conclusions will be drawn based on the findings in the literature study. A list of references will also be attached at the end of the study.


A number of researchers have come up with diferent definitions of what GroupWare is. To some the term GroupWare is synonymous to computer surpported coopertaive work (CSCW). Below are some of the definitions that researchers have come up with:

Software systems that support a group of decison makers engaged in a common decison making task by providing access to the same shared enviornment and information(Bidgoli,1996)

Software that allows the sharing of system applications or files across computer platforms and different locations(Benjamin, 1995)

an application that allows the sharing, managing and control of information in a network environment(Byne, 1997)

Software that can help multiple users work together to increase productivity and track the differnet pieces of the work process in a common database(Rigney, 1997)

Any technology that improves group productivity(Lloyd, 1994)

A relatively nebulous term used to describe software designed to promote or enhance computer collaboration via network(Woodcok,1997)

Enabaling technology that addresses the vast areas of collaboration, human-computer interaction and human interaction through digital media to bring substantial improvement and formation to organisations(Korzeniowski,1997)

While I agree with most of the above definitions of GroupWare I concur more with the definition from Turban and Arson that groupware is productivity ware that enables human interaction and allows collaboration across time and place. It is a competitive necessity for organisations (Turban et al, 2001).

Achieving success in planning and implementing GroupWare installation requires an organisation to define its communication goals in terms of its corporate strategy and full support from all levels of management. GroupWare is about people whether in teams , organisations or whole enterprises(Lococo et al, 1998).

Organisational collaboration is a critical factor of project and process success. Organisational goals are not fullfilled if communication breaks down. Organisations are focussing on using the technpological capabilities to the workplace. The increasing global competive environment dictates that business must be reactive and profitable. In this situation GroupWare is the answer. GroupWare makes collaboration and communication easy.

GroupWare encompases many systems and concepts. It is not a single technology but an aggregation and integration of different technologies including but not limited to graphical interfaces,object orientation, routing , concurrent sharing and many more. It is Comprised of two levels: technology and application. It is an evolving technology. Started from desktop microcomputers. According to Korzeniowski(1997) while e-mail and other such fundmental message...
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