Improving distributed collaborative writing over the Internet using enhanced processes, proximity choices and a Java-based collaborative writing tool

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/279947
Title:
Improving distributed collaborative writing over the Internet using enhanced processes, proximity choices and a Java-based collaborative writing tool
Author:
Lowry, Paul Benjamin
Issue Date:
2002
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This research focuses on improving distributed, collaborative writing (CW) over the Internet through new CW technologies, process improvements, proximity choices, and synchronicity choices. The research methodology that is followed iteratively builds theory using design and development of CW tools, surveys, requirements analysis, laboratory and field experiments. The primary empirical work consists of two laboratory experiments and two fields experiments. The two laboratory experiments compare a newly built CW tool, Collaboratus to Microsoft Word(TM). The first experiment found 3-member CW groups using Collaboratus produce higher document lengths with higher quality, but less satisfaction than similar Word(TM) groups. The second experiment found 3-member distributed, synchronous CW groups using Collaboratus with NetMeeting(TM), working over 5 weeks, produce higher document lengths and quality, and have more effective coordination, communication, and socialization than similar Word(TM) groups. The two field experiments further validate that certain processes should be followed for most effective use of Collaboratus. The first experiment compares 3-member groups working in mixed work modes (part F2F part distributed, asynchronous) to similar groups conducting all work asynchronously. The only differences is that all-asynchronous groups spend less time brainstorming and more time converging on brainstormed output. The lack of process gains for the mixed-mode groups can be attributed to the difficulty of scheduling F2F meetings---an insight gained by performing this research in a field setting. The second experiment compares non-facilitated, 3-member groups using three different levels of scripted process structure to guide their distributed, asynchronous CW. Highest structure groups have the highest levels of performance (in terms of quality, productivity, satisfaction, communication, and relationships), while lowest structure groups have the lowest levels of performance. It is believed the process differences can be directly attributed to the nature of the academic writing task and the fact the groups were nearly formed, non-cohesive groups. These findings point to the importance of properly matching technology, task, tool, proximity, synchronicity, and people choices in distributed CW to maximize the outcomes. This also provides a useful foundation for agent-based CW processes to support self-sustaining, distributed CW teams who work without professional facilitation.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Business Administration, General.; Mass Communications.; Computer Science.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Business Administration
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Nunamaker, Jay F., Jr.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleImproving distributed collaborative writing over the Internet using enhanced processes, proximity choices and a Java-based collaborative writing toolen_US
dc.creatorLowry, Paul Benjaminen_US
dc.contributor.authorLowry, Paul Benjaminen_US
dc.date.issued2002en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis research focuses on improving distributed, collaborative writing (CW) over the Internet through new CW technologies, process improvements, proximity choices, and synchronicity choices. The research methodology that is followed iteratively builds theory using design and development of CW tools, surveys, requirements analysis, laboratory and field experiments. The primary empirical work consists of two laboratory experiments and two fields experiments. The two laboratory experiments compare a newly built CW tool, Collaboratus to Microsoft Word(TM). The first experiment found 3-member CW groups using Collaboratus produce higher document lengths with higher quality, but less satisfaction than similar Word(TM) groups. The second experiment found 3-member distributed, synchronous CW groups using Collaboratus with NetMeeting(TM), working over 5 weeks, produce higher document lengths and quality, and have more effective coordination, communication, and socialization than similar Word(TM) groups. The two field experiments further validate that certain processes should be followed for most effective use of Collaboratus. The first experiment compares 3-member groups working in mixed work modes (part F2F part distributed, asynchronous) to similar groups conducting all work asynchronously. The only differences is that all-asynchronous groups spend less time brainstorming and more time converging on brainstormed output. The lack of process gains for the mixed-mode groups can be attributed to the difficulty of scheduling F2F meetings---an insight gained by performing this research in a field setting. The second experiment compares non-facilitated, 3-member groups using three different levels of scripted process structure to guide their distributed, asynchronous CW. Highest structure groups have the highest levels of performance (in terms of quality, productivity, satisfaction, communication, and relationships), while lowest structure groups have the lowest levels of performance. It is believed the process differences can be directly attributed to the nature of the academic writing task and the fact the groups were nearly formed, non-cohesive groups. These findings point to the importance of properly matching technology, task, tool, proximity, synchronicity, and people choices in distributed CW to maximize the outcomes. This also provides a useful foundation for agent-based CW processes to support self-sustaining, distributed CW teams who work without professional facilitation.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectBusiness Administration, General.en_US
dc.subjectMass Communications.en_US
dc.subjectComputer Science.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineBusiness Administrationen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorNunamaker, Jay F., Jr.en_US
dc.identifier.proquest3050302en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b42723863en_US
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