Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Paul W. Thurston, PhD


A group support system (GSS) uses a combination of networked personal computers, software, and human facilitation to improve the group decision-making process. Group support Systems are being used in the Air Force today in a variety of capacities and in particular by the Warner-Robins Air Logistics Center (WR-ALC) to assess acquisition risks. Prior GSS research has found that certain structural and social dimensions of GSS designs might influence whether optimal process improvements take place. However, the dimensions that positively influence group performance have continued to be a matter of debate. This thesis looked at several structural and social contingencies to explore possible explanations for the mixed results found in GSS research. The study examined the effect of: anonymity, identification, self-regulation, and facilitator provided feedback on user information sharing behavior, quality of the group decision, unequal participation among group members, and user attitudes with the GSS meeting. The results of the study indicated that the anonymity theory was partially supported since users in an anonymous condition provided more intellective comments than any other condition. In addition, the self-regulation theory was partially supported since users were found to have more satisfaction with the GSS meeting in this treatment.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number