Leveling the organizational playing field - Virtually: A meta-analysis of experimental research assessing the impact of group support system use on member influence behaviors

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46 Scopus citations


One of the most heralded features of group support systems (GSSs) is their ability to democratize group processes. Through minimizing barriers to communication, GSSs are proposed to create greater opportunities for member influence than those created in groups meeting face-to-face. To test this notion, a meta-analysis was conducted examining the aggregate impact of GSS use on six influence variables across 48 experiments. Results indicate that groups using a GSS experience greater participation and influence equality, generate a larger amount of unique ideas, and experience less member dominance than do groups meeting face-to-face. The impact of GSS use on decision shifts is moderated by the national culture of participants. The implications of these findings for research on GSS use are examined, and directions for future research are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-234
Number of pages42
JournalCommunication Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Computer-mediated communication
  • Equalization hypothesis
  • Group support system
  • Influence
  • Teams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

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