Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Michael G. Morris, PhD


Group Support System (355) research has found this content and process anonymity influence problem solving groups. However, previous studies report mixed results on how OSS technology changes social influence processes and recognition of expertise which affect group performance. This thesis explored content and process anonymity's affect on influence and perceived expertise using three treatments to derive possible explanations for the mixed results found in previous GSS research. The study developed a theoretical model of influence, perceived expertise, and performance. Using structural equation modeling the study tested the relationships between expertise and participation rates, and overall group performance. An experiment was developed to explore how content and process anonymity affect informational influence processes and recognition of expertise. Groups participated in conditions of complete anonymity, process only anonymity, and no anonymity. The results of this study suggest that varying levels of anonymity affect the influence processes exhibited by decision-making groups. In general, it was found that in facto-face groups, perceived expertise is based mostly on participation rates than actual expertise. In (355-supported groups, influence and perceived expertise occur through different interaction processes and expertise is based mostly on the quality and merits of individual arctic ants' comments.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number