Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Cassie B. Barlow, PhD


Group Support Systems (GSSs) are a combination of hardware, software, and human facilitation designed and employed to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of decision making groups. Engineers at the Sustainment Logistics Branch of the Air Force Research Laboratory have recently proposed employing the technology in a distributed setting to conjoin geographically separated members of decision making groups in order to facilitate the reengineering of logistics processes in an any place/any time environment To date GSSs have been studied and employed primarily in the same time/same place setting. Consequently, little is known or understood of the effects that use of these systems may have on the group dynamic when employed in the distributed setting. This thesis examines how two elements of GSS configuration, the location and alignment of the meeting facilitator, may impact system users' perceptions of situational equity, their attitudes towards the efficacy of the technology, their information sharing behavior, and the quality of decisions reached by user groups. The results of the work evidence that isolation of the facilitator from meeting members is desirable, and that facilitator neutrality is essential to the efficacy of such systems deployed in the distributed setting.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Logistics and Acquisition Management of the Air Force Institute of Technology