Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 10 Number 3 1993 pp. 97-116

Using Electronic Meeting Technology to Support Economic Policy Development in New Zealand: Short-Term Results

Sheffield, Jim and Gallupe, R Brent

ABSTRACT: This paper describes an application of group support technology to a series of economic policy-making meetings. The meetings were part of a national study aiming to upgrade New Zealand's competitive position in global markets. The aim of the research is to determine if electronic meeting technology could support an economic development process where participants came from a variety of backgrounds (e.g., business competitors, different ethnic groups) and where meeting urgency and efficiency were of prime importance. A multiple case approach was adopted. The meetings were organized and facilitated by the coordinator of the national study. Research data were gathered by observing the meetings, by questionnaires administered to participants, and by interviews with the coordinator and his staff. Analysis of these data indicates that participants felt that the meetings were both very effective and efficient. Implications for using group support technology for economic policy development are discussed.

Key words and phrases: economic development, electronic meeting systems, group support methodology, innovation