Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 15 Number 4 1999 pp. 89-114

Meeting Facilitation: Process Versus Content Interventions

Miranda, Shaila M and Bostrom, Robert P

ABSTRACT: This article examines the impacts of two types of meeting facilitation that occur in traditional and GSS environments: process and content facilitation. Based on existing facilitation, leadership, and GSS research, and structuration theory, the authors articulate hypotheses regarding the impact of GSS use and each type of meeting facilitation on meeting processes and of meeting processes on outcomes. Meeting processes examined in this study included relationship development, participation, issue-based conflict, interpersonal conflict, and negative socioemotional conflict. Outcomes explored were the groups' satisfaction with the decision made and with their meeting process, and the quality of the groups' decision products. Empirical investigation provides the following findings: Process facilitation had a positive impact on meeting processes. Content facilitation had a negative impact on meeting processes. The interaction between GSS use and both process and content facilitation had no significant effect on meeting processes. Meeting processes had a strong positive impact on satisfaction, but no impact on product quality. Implications for meeting facilitation are discussed and future research directions proposed.

Key words and phrases: group meeting systems, group support systems, meeting facilitation