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Text-Based Group Support Systems: A Simmelian Perspective on E-Collaboration

Text-Based Group Support Systems: A Simmelian Perspective on E-Collaboration
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Author(s): Esther E. Klein (Hofstra University, USA) and Paul J. Herskovitz (CUNY, USA)
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 3
Source title: Information Technology & Organizations: Trends, Issues, Challenges & Solutions
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-066-0.ch120
ISBN13: 9781616921248
EISBN13: 9781466665330


As information technology (IT) and the Internet gain wide acceptance throughout society and as computer-mediated communication (CMC), computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), and e-collaboration become commonplace, information systems (IS) scholars and sociologists have increasingly studied the patterns of human behavior in virtual groups. This paper is an attempt to advance that effort. Specifically, the purpose of this paper is to apply the insights of Georg Simmel — an early and oft-neglected German theorist of sociology working in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries — on written communication to text-based group support systems (GSS). GSS are interactive computer-based information systems that support and structure group interaction and intellectual teamwork (see Klein, 2000, p. 94; Klein & Dologite, 2000, p. 116; see also Huber, Valacich, & Jessup, 1993; Nunamaker, 1997; Poole & DeSanctis, 1990), “promot[ing] communication, collaboration and coordination among teams of people” (Ahalt, 2000, p. 1159).

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