DELPHI, CMC, INQUIRY SYSTEMS, etc.
Supplementary lectures notes for cis 679.

Gives material which augments current lecture tapes
© Copyright Murray Turoff 1998

Delphi: Delphi is a method that can be used to gather requirements from much larger samples of users than would other wise me possible. Delphi can be done through the computer if you have the right software setup. It allows systematic input from users and a true sense of participation in the early phases of the design.

DELPHI METHOD

STRUCTURED COMMUNICATIONS TAILORED TO THE APPLICATION & GROUP BY PAPER OR COMPUTER COMMUNICATIONS

DELPHI IS A METHOD FOR STRUCTURING A GROUP COMMUNICATION PROCESS SO THAT THE PROCESS IS EFFECTIVE IN ALLOWING A GROUPS OF INDIVIDUALS, AS A WHOLE, TO DEAL WITH A COMPLEX PROBLEM.

ROOTS OF DELPHI
SIMULATION OF NUCLEAR WAR VULNERABILITY
OLAF HELMER & NORMAN DALKEY
TECHNOLOGICAL FORECASTING
NUMEROUS EARLY EFFORTS
POLICY ANALYSIS
MURRAY TUROFF

Prepare an initial survey which summarizes what is already known about the problem. Send this to the participants. Each question is open ended so they can add items that were not considered. They answer anonymously. They know they will be given a chance to change their view. Get the inputs back and summarize them along with providing an chance now evaluate all the items from the first round.

For example, each requirement that was suggested might be evaluate on scales of "desirability" and "feasibility." On the third round arrange all requirements from most desirable on down. Ask people to comment on reasons for low feasibility of ratings of some desirable requirements. Point out disagreements on desirability or feasibility and ask those with extreme views to justify their view.

REASONS FOR DELPHI

SUBJECTIVE JUDGMENTS REQUIRED
DIVERSE BACKGROUNDS
HETEROGENEITY OF PARTICIPANTS
LARGE GROUP REQUIRED
TIME AVAILABILITY LIMITED
COSTS OF TRAVEL & SHADOW TIME
FACE TO FACE DIFFICULTIES
DISAGREEMENTS
LANGUAGE DIFFERENCES
VALUE DIFFERENCES
DOMINANCE PROBLEMS
HUMAN BIASES

DELPHI CHARACTERISTICS

GROUP VIEW PRESENTATION
CONTENT STRUCTURE
MULTI-DIMENSIONAL PROBES
REFLECTION & FEEDBACK
RECONSIDERATION, OPPORTUNITY FOR CHANGE OF VIEWS
GROUP PHASES & COMMUNICATION STRUCTURE
INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM OF PARTICIPATION
CONSISTENCY, FILTERING, SUMMARIZATION
DESIGN AND COMMUNICATION TEAM/AGENT
ANONYMITY
FRANKNESS
PREVENTS LOSS OF FACE
ALLOWS CHANGES TO BE MADE
PROMOTES EQUALITY
 

DELPHI OBJECTIVES

GATHERING INFORMED JUDGMENTS
FOCUS DISCUSSION
PROMOTE UNDERSTANDING
ALLOW CONTRIBUTION
FACILITATE COMMUNICATIONS
REDISTRIBUTE WORK LOAD
ORGANIZE AND FILTER MATERIAL
CONSENSUS
DISAGREEMENT EXPOSURE
EXPLORATION
IDEA GENERATION
ANALYSIS
NOT A DECISION MAKING DEVICE

DELPHI JUSTIFICATION

DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS
TOO MANY PEOPLE NEEDED
PEOPLE NEEDED ARE TOO BUSY
PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS
SOCIOLOGICAL BIASES
STRONG DISAGREEMENTS
DIFFERENT PROFESSIONAL LANGUAGES

TREND ANALYSIS & PLANNING I

PHASE ONE: GROUP INPUTS
EXTRAPOLATION OF A TREND
ITEMIZE ASSUMPTIONS
ITEMIZE UNCERTAINTIES
 
PHASE ONE: ANALYSIS
TREND AVERAGE & VARIANCE
TENTATIVE ASSUMPTIONS

TREND ANALYSIS & PLANNING II  

PHASE TWO: GROUP INPUTS
RATE TENTATIVE ASSUMPTIONS FOR:
VALIDITY
CONTROLLABLE
 
PHASE TWO: ANALYSIS
CATEGORIZED & RANK ASSUMPTIONS BY
TRUE, MAYBE, FALSE
CONTROLLABLE, UNCONTROLLABLE

TREND ANALYSIS & PLANNING III

PHASE THREE: GROUP INPUTS
RE-VOTE ON ASSUMPTIONS
RE-ESTIMATION OF TREND
ITEMIZE POSSIBLE ACTIONS
 
PHASE THREE: ANALYSIS & RESULTS
PROJECTED TREND & VARIANCE
COGNITIVE GROUP MODEL
UNCERTAINTIES EXPLAINING VARIANCE
OPTIONS FOR VARIANCE REDUCTION

Structural modeling is the concept of allowing users to build models without need to be able to program. There are a wide range of approaches in the literature. Collaborative modeling is a new application area of group communications.

Note that an accurate model of the future would require 10 million pieces of subjective data from a decision maker to represent the interaction among 10 possible future events. Therefore we do structural models that are approximations to the real world and which have emerged form a wide range of disciplines.

Memory means that the occurrence of an event in the future is dependent upon the sequence of events that occurred first. So every possible sequence must be considered. Non memory methods (e.g. Markov models) assume no memory. It still leaves a many body problem and 5000 pieces of data for a model of 10 events are still very large. Most methods are matrix oriented to examine only principle relationships among each pair of objects and ignore three body and higher interactions.

STRUCTURAL MODELS

CROSS IMPACT
PROBABILISTIC DISCRETE EVENTS
FEEDBACK MODELS (e.g. system dynamics)
CONTINUOS VARIABLES
SIMILARITY & ASSOCIATION
INTERPRETIVE STRUCTURAL MODELING
PAYOFF MATRICES
MULTI-DIMENSIONAL SCALING
INPUT-OUTPUT MODELS

 

REAL WORLD MODELING

N future 
events

Memory

No Memory

Matrix Model

  

 

eN!

n2**(N-1)

N**2

2

4

4

4

3

15

12

9

4

64

32

16

5

325

80

25

10

10 million

5120

100

ELECTRONIC DELPHI

The literature on CMC (Computer Mediated Communications occurs under a long list of different names that have been invented for it since 1971 when the first system was created. The use of the term mail is like the use of the term "horseless carriages" when automobiles first came out. That metaphor of mail limits the imagination of people in realizing what is possible once you put human communications through a computer system.

CMC: A rose is a rose

E-MAIL
TEAMWARE
GROUPWARE
MESSAGE SYSTEMS
COOPERATIVE SYSTEMS
COORDINATION SYSTEMS
COLLABORATIVE SYSTEMS
BULLETIN BOARD SYSTEMS
TELECONFERENCING SYSTEMS
GROUP SUPPORT SYSTEMS (GSS)
COMPUTERIZED CONFERENCING
ELECTRONIC MAIL SYSTEMS (EMS)
ELECTRONIC MEETING SYSTEMS (EMS)
GROUP DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS (GDSS)
COMPUTER SUPPORTED COOPERATIVE WORK (CSCW)
Computer Mediated Communication Systems (CMC)

CMC OBJECTIVES  

FACILITATION OF GROUP ACTIVITIES

TAILORING COMMUNICATION STRUCTURES AND PROTOCOLS AROUND THE nature of the APPLICATION AND THE nature of the GROUP

SEEKING COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE

We can design anything we want from free and open communications to a dictatorship.

DICTATORSHIP DESIGN

REVIEW & CENSORSHIP OF COMMUNICATIONS
TRACKING OF ALL ACTIONS & COMMUNICATIONS
CALENDARS OPEN TO HIGHER UPS
USE OF STANDARD WORDS & PHRASES
FORCING DELIVERY OF ITEMS AND PRIORITIES FOR SUBORDINATES
WEIGHTED VOTING & PRIVILEGED VIEWING
IMPOSED HIERARCHY IN SENDING RIGHTS
TRACKING TIME TO DO SOMETHING
FORCED QUANTIFICATION OF SUBJECTIVE FACTORS
CONFIRMATIONS & STATUS ONLY ON EQUALS OR SUBORDINATES
FORCED PRIORITY SETTING BY HIGHER UPS
DIGITIZED VOICE FORCED UPON SUBORDINATES

NEW COMMUNICATION MEDIUM

COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE
CAN GROUP DO BETTER THAN ANY
INDIVIDUAL MEMBER ACTING ALONE?
 
NOT TYPICAL OF FACE-TO-FACE MEETING
 
EVIDENCE IN CONTROLLED EXPERIMENTS
WITH FACE-TO-FACE, DELPHI, NOMINAL
GROUP PROCESS, & CMC

NJIT TAILORED SYSTEM EXPERIENCE

TERMS: STANDARDS, LIFE EXPERIENCES
TOURS: EDUCATION, MEDITATION
TOPICS: INFORMATION EXCHANGE, KNOWLEDGE POOLING
SURVEY: DATA COLLECTION & FEEDBACK
REPORTS: COLLABORATIVE WRITING
RESOURCES: DATA VALIDATION
MARKETPLACES: PUBLICATION & DISTRIBUTION, PEOPLE FINDER
VIRTUAL CLASSROOM: EDUCATION
ZERO BASED BUDGETING: PLANNING
PROJECT MANAGEMENT: TRACKING, KNOWLEDGE POOLING, CRISIS MANAGEMENT
PROBLEM SOLVING CONTROLLED EXPERIMENTS

Proven Applications in Organizations

ORGANIZATIONAL CRISIS SITUATIONS

STRIKE
COURT CASE
NEGOTIATION
COST OVERRUN
DELIVERY DELAY
NEW REGULATION
SUPPLY SHORTAGE
PRODUCTION DELAY
TERRORIST ACTION
MAKING A PROPOSAL
PRODUCT MALFUNCTION
LOSS OF KEY EMPLOYEE
NEW COMPETITIVE PRODUCT
POTENTIAL CUSTOMER LOSS

Levels of GDSS Support

  1. Providing alternate communication channels for the group. This is the process of allowing a group to work more efficiently and/or more effectively with text, structured data, and graphics without regard to the limitations of synchronous meetings. It includes the ideas of such facilities as "group memory" and "group graphics."
  2. Providing process structuring for communication protocols and human roles. This includes the improvement of the group process by addressing such concerns as: (a) Software support for a leadership or facilitation role (appointed or elected); (b) Participation equality (e.g., requiring inputs from each participant, as in nominal group technique); (c) Anonymity to encourage free exchange of ideas and opinions as in Delphi techniques; and (d) Voting protocols (e.g., one vote for preferred option, rating of each alternate, rank ordering of alternative).
  3. Supporting the collection, organization, filtering, formatting, feedback, and retrieval of any material (text, data, graphics) generated or required by the group to support its deliberations.
  4. Integrating and using sophisticated decision aids in support of the group process (e.g., structural modeling, games and simulations, and statistical analysis and forecasting).
  5. Integrating problem structures into the communication process (e.g., group calendars, task tracking structures, pert structures, etc.).

KEY ISSUES IN CMC

KNOWLEDGE STRUCTURES
AND HYPERTEXT
GROUP CALIBRATION
SCALING METHODS
SOCIAL JUDGMENT
LINGUISTICS
ROLE SPECIFICATION
INTEGRATION OF RESOURCES
FACILITATION OF GROUPS
PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT
GROUP AND USER CONTROL
TOOLKITS
PRIVILEGES
TWO WAY LINKAGES

THE TRADEOFF

AUTOMATIC FILTERS
RESTRICTED SENDING PRIVILEGES
ONE PERSON'S JUNK MAY BE ANOTHER PERSON'S COLLECTIBLE
A PIECE OF INFORMATION WHICH IS DISCARDED AT ONE POINT MAY BECOME THE OBJECT OF SEARCH AND RETRIEVAL LATER
NO AUTOMATED PROCESS CAN SIMULTANEOUSLY FILTER OUT ALL IRRELEVANT MESSAGES AND RETAIN ALL THAT MAY BE OF VALUE.

ISSUES OF STRUCTURE

SENDER VERSUS RECEIVER
GROUP VERSUS INDIVIDUAL
HUMAN VERSUS COMPUTER
PRIVACY VERSUS COLLABORATION
CONTROL VERSUS FREEDOM
ABSTRACTION VERSUS CONTENT
QUANTITATIVE VERSUS QUALITATIVE
OVERLOAD VERSUS AWARENESS

TYPICAL HUMAN FACILITATION FUNCTIONS

KEY WORD CONSISTENCY
DESIGN AND ROUTE FORMS
ASSIGN ACCESS LEVELS
READ, WRITE, EDIT, CONTRIBUTE
DESIGN SURVEYS
SUMMARIZE
ORGANIZE
DEFINE DATA STRUCTURES
TRACK STATUS
ESTABLISH FILTERS
SOLICIT ENTRIES
ASSIGN RESPONSIBILITIES
EDIT

GROUP COMMUNICATIONS STRUCTURES FOR INFORMATION WORK

CALENDARS, APPOINTMENTS, TRACKING AND ALERTING
CORRESPONDENCE, TASKS, ACTIONS, BUGS, ORDERS, SCHEDULES
SUBJECTIVE DATA ESTIMATION
BUDGETS, COMPLETION DATES, PRIORITIES, IMPACTS
FORM CREATION & ROUTING
CALENDARS & APPOINTMENTS
DOCUMENT CREATION
PLANNING

ORGANIZATIONAL HUMAN ROLES

TASK EXECUTOR, PLANNER, ADVISER, REVIEWER, DECISION MAKER, SCHEDULER, CONFIDANTE, EVALUATOR, RESOURCE/EXPERT, SEEKER, OBSERVER, NEGOTIATOR, SALESPERSON, FIREFIGHTER, FIGUREHEAD, LEADER, LIAISON, MONITOR, SPOKESPERSON, DISSEMINATOR, ENTREPRENEUR, ALLOCATOR, FACILITATOR, GATEKEEPER, HELPER, AUTHOR, EDITOR, JOKER, CRITIC, DESIGNER, ADVOCATE, IMPLEMENTOR

PROBLEM SOLVING PARTS

CREATIVITY FOR FACTORS
ENUMERATION AND EXPLORATION
EVALUATION AND CONSENSUS
EXPLORATION
EXPLORING DISAGREEMENT
RELATIONSHIP JUDGMENTS & MODEL FORMULATION
COMPREHENSION & DECISION FORMULATION
IMPLEMENTATION PLANNING  

The following dimensions of human communications results from a multidimensional scaling study as to how people think about a communication situation. Most human considerations are handled by fewer dimensions. But communications are particular important to the individual and there for quite complex mentally.

DIMENSIONS OF HUMAN COMMUNICATION

HOSTILE VERSUS FRIENDLY
(COOPERATIVE, COMPETITIVE)
 
SUPERFICIAL VERSUS INTENSE
(INTERESTED, INVOLVED)
 
DIFFERENT ROLES VERSUS SIMILAR ROLES
(EQUALITY, AUTOCRATIC)
 
INFORMAL VERSUS FORMAL
(RESERVED, CAUTIOUS, FRANK, OPEN)
 
PRODUCTIVE VERSUS UNPRODUCTIVE
(TASK ORIENTED, RECREATIONAL, SOCIAL)

FACTORS INFLUENCING STRUCTURE

TASK OBJECTIVE
e.g. EXPLORATION, CONSENSUS, UNDERSTANDING, ACTION TAKING
GROUP SIZE
TASK STRUCTURE
E.G. WELL STRUCTURED TO MESSY
GROUP ATMOSPHERE
E.G. FRIENDLY TO ANTAGONISTIC
INQUIRY PROCESS
e.g. DEDUCTIVE, RELATIVE
NATURE OF GROUP
e.g. EXPERTS, HOMOGENEOUS, LEARNING

CMC META PROCESSES

HUMAN OR COMPUTER FUNCTIONS?
REGULATION
SEQUENCING, ITERATION, SYNCHRONIZATION, PARTICIPATION, ASSIGNMENT, TRACKING
FACILITATION
ORGANIZATION, SUMMARIZATION, FILTERING, EXPOSURE, INTEGRATION, indexing

OBJECTS OF DISCOURSE

PROBLEMS, ISSUES, QUESTIONS
GOALS, OBJECTIVES, PLANS
STRATEGIES, POLICIES, AGENDAS
CONCERNS, CRITERIA ARGUMENTS
ASSUMPTIONS, VIEWPOINTS
OPINIONS, VALUES, INTERESTS
CONSEQUENCES, SCENARIOS, IMPACTS
TRADEOFFS, COMPROMISE, PROPOSALS
SOLUTIONS, DECISIONS, PROJECTS
TASKS, ALLOCATIONS, POSSIBILITIES

GROUP PROCESS GAINS:

SYNERGY
LEARNING
STIMULATION
VARIED EXPERTISE
MORE INFORMATION
MORE OBJECTIVE EVALUATION

GROUP PROCESS LOSSES:

SOCIALIZING
DOMINATION
FREE RIDING
COGNITIVE INERTIA
ESTIMATION BIASES
ATTENTION BLOCKING
AIR TIME LIMITATIONS
FAILURE TO REMEMBER
ATTENUATION BLOCKING
INFORMATION OVERLOAD
CONFORMANCE PRESSURE
COORDINATION PROBLEMS
CONCENTRATION BLOCKING
EVALUATION APPREHENSION
INCOMPLETE TASK ANALYSIS
INCOMPLETE USE OF INFORMATION

CMC DESIGN CONCEPTS

PROVIDE SIGNALS OF A COMMUNICATION PROCESS
CONTENT CAN BE THE ADDRESS
WHO CREATED OR MODIFIED TEXT OR DATA AND WHEN IS ALWAYS TRACKED
TEXT CAN BE PROGRAM: ACTIVE OR ADAPTIVE TEXT
VARIED ACCESS PRIVILEGES
HUMAN ROLES IN THE SOFTWARE
LATERAL LINKAGES OF MATERIAL
DO BOOKKEEPING OF COMMUNICATIONS FOR USER
OPTIMIZE GROUP PROCESSES
ASSOCIATE QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE INFORMATION
 
HYPERTEXT MORPHOLOGY
Theory of Intellect Model  
Guilford: Cognition Convergent 

Production

Divergent 

Production

  HYPERTEXT:    
Product Nodes Convergent 

Links

Divergent 

Links

Units Detail Specification Elaboration
Classes Collection Membership Opposition
Relations Proposition Association Speculation
Systems Summary Path Branch
Transformation Issue Alternative Lateral
Implications Observation Inference Extrapolation

 

ORGANIZATIONAL IMPACTS OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS VS. CMC

INFORMATION
SYSTEMS
     
COMPUTERIZED
CONFERENCING
HUMAN FUNCTIONS:
SPECIALIZATION
GENERALIZATION
ORGANIZATION RESULTS:
CENTRALIZATION
DECENTRALIZATION
UNIT:
INDIVIDUAL
GROUP
ORIENTATION:
PROCESS
GOAL
OBJECTIVE:
PRODUCTIVITY
PERFORMANCE
PROBLEM TYPE:
WELL-STRUCTURED
ILL-STRUCTURED
DATA:
QUANTITATIVE
QUALITATIVE
RESULING SYSTEMS:
RIGID
FLUID

 

SUPERCONNECTIVITY

NUMBER OF WORKING COMMUNICATION RELATIONSHIPS MULTIPLIED BY A FACTOR OF FIVE TO TEN
INDIVIDUALS GET TO KNOW ONE ANOTHER BETTER WITHOUT PHYSICAL OR STATUS BIAS
FASTER COMMUNICATION PROCESS
TREMENDOUS EFFICIENCIES POSSIBLE
GROUP MEMORIES THAT ARE ACCURATE

WHY A SLOW PROCESS

SOCIAL INERTIA AND RISK OF CHANGE
PEOPLE SUCCESSFUL BY VERBAL SKILLS
MANY PEOPLE DO NOT WANT IMPROVED COMMUNICATION
MANY ORGANIZATIONS DO NOT WANT BETTER ACCOUNTABILITY
FEAR OF HAVING TO LEARN NEW SKILLS
DISTRUST OF TECHNOLOGY - sometimes very valid
lack of understanding of possible social changes
rational actor model inadequate for organizations
real world is conflicting goals at all levels  
 
A Theoretical Framework for CMC
(The Network Nation, Hiltz and Turoff, MIT Press, 1993)

  A FACTORS ORIENTED CONTROL MODEL OF GDSS

 

Contextual Factors:

Specify the environment in which the group communication process operates, may be viewed as static or constant over the time frame in which the communication process is undertaken.

Outcome Factors:

Measure the results of the communication process; may also be viewed as final or static results of the communication process.

Intervening Factors:

These dynamically changing factors act as transforms and measurement instruments to allow us to determine the influence of the environment, the individuals involved, and the controls that may be imposed upon the outcome factors. These are the factors by which we investigate the internal structure of the "black box."

Adaptation Factors:

These are the dynamic factors that can be used by the individuals and the group itself to influence and regulate the process; they provide the degree of "requisite variety" that the system is capable of.

     

THE PHYSICAL SPACE FOR GROUP PROBLEM SOLVING

In the above the degree of complexity of a problem depends on which of the above relationships (links) are explicit or implicit in the problem solving process and which of the data elements (nodes) deal with subjective or objective data and information.

DIMENSIONS FOR DESIGNING CMC SYSTEMS

* The degree of complexity of a task that is inherent in the task itself.

* The approach by which individuals and/or a group determines what is a "valid" result in examination of a problem.

* The "meta" or regulatory process by which the group coordinates its examination of a problem.

 

The Complexity Dimension

STRUCTURED: There is an existing structure that is accepted as the framework for addressing this type of problem. This structure serves as a basis into which all the relevant factors or considerations can be placed. The interrelationships of the components of the structure are also well understood.

SEMI-STRUCTURED: There is structure that can be applied to the problem that is generally accepted. However, the interrelationships among components of the structure are not fixed and are somewhat of an arbitrary function, depending on the nature of the problem and the determinations made by the individuals involved.  

UNSTRUCTURED: There is no accepted structure for examination of the problem; however, there is acceptance that examination of the problem by the group can produce sufficient insight to evolve a structure for consideration of the problem by the group.

WICKED: Not only is there no accepted structure, but there is also general lack of confidence that the group can gain complete insight into all the relevant considerations. Sometimes this is expressed as the existence of "Unk Unks" (Unknown Unknowns) that could invalidate any group outcome. Furthermore, there is no assurance that the group can reach agreement on the structure or tools for dealing with the problem.

 

COMPLEXITY DIMENSION  

COMPLEXITY PROBLEM 

ELEMENTS

PROBLEM 

RELATIONSHIPS 

 

EXTERNAL 

ENVIRONMENT 

 

STRUCTURES Known Known Known
SEMI-STRUCTURED Known Uncertain Uncertain
UNSTRUCTURED Uncertain Uncertain Ambiguous
WICKED Ambiguous Ambiguous Unknown, Unk Unks

  The Validity Dimension

DEDUCTIVE: A logical process or deductive procedure can be arrived at by the group to make the connection between the observations available about the problem and the findings of the group. While there may still be a need for a consensus on the final result, the relationships exposed in the problem solving process will largely be accepted as obvious by the "rational" group members.

INDUCTIVE: Many connections to be made between the observations and the findings of the group are largely subjective in nature. There must be a consensus not only on the findings, but also on the relationships needed to reach the findings. Once again, rationality is assumed.

RELATIVE: It is assumed that there is no optimum or single truth to emerge. Truth must be found by comparing alternative findings in relationship to agreed objectives or goals. Either inductive or deductive methods may be employed to connect observations to findings and findings to objectives. However, it is the relationships between findings and objectives that dominates the validation process. The results are not inherently "true" outside of the context of the problem specifics.

NEGOTIATED: A group "negotiates" what is to be considered true. Truth does not have to be tied to any external realities or observations. Reaching an agreement on values as expressed by policies and goals is a very typical negotiating situation. Reality is socially defined, based upon the group judgment process.

CONFLICTUAL: Truth can only be derived from the strongest possible conflict for each finding. Truth emerges only from the examination of the strongest possible opposing views being considered for the acceptance or rejection of each finding. Out of this conflict it is hoped a "synthesis" of truth will emerge; however, there is no guarantee of such.

 

VALIDATION 
METHODS
 
EXAMPLE TOOL 
Group Voting 
DEDUCTIVE
 
Inappropriate
INDUCTIVE
 
Deterministic by Consensus
RELATIVE
 
Deterministic by Plurality
NEGOTIATED
 
Advisory for Compromise 
CONFLICTUAL
 
Advisory for Exploration

  ORGANIZATIONAL FUNCTIONAL MODEL

   

No need to use a more complex inquiry process than is dictated by the problem. It is the feedback loops in organizations that provide for changes in the interpretation of past history and future objectives that allow for a Singarian or negotiated reality inquiry process.

EXAMPLES OF GROUP PROBLEM SOLVING TASKS

  Well Structured 

 

Semi-Structured Unstructured Wicked   
Deductive What salary to offer a new employee? When to announce a new product? How to reduce a budget and/or costs? Whether to cut a loss through termination of a project? 

 

Inductive Setting the price of a new product. Conducting a review of an ongoing project. Choosing whom to hire as a new employee. Choosing what employees to have to fire in a cut back. 

 

Relative Which computer to buy? Which investment to make? What new product to develop? Whether to acquire another company? 

 

Negotiated Negotiating a contract. Deciding future strategy for a company. Union - Management negotiations 

 

Creating a new standard.
Conflictual A budget dispute (e.g., who gets limited resources). A court case. Setting a new policy (e.g., what business the company is in). Resolving an international or religious dispute. 

 

  The Coordination Dimension

PARALLEL: Each individual approaches the problem entirely independently of the other members of the group. There may be information provided from each member to the group on the status of his or her progress, but there is no imposition of any group process upon the performance of the individual members. There may be aids and structure to provide for the organization and filtering of the information generated by the individuals involved, but individual judgments and problem solving behavior are disjunctive in nature. There is no imposition of any collective group result or standardization for producing such. The resulting group process is largely one of information exchange.

POOLED: The group imposes a structure or standard to capture and represent individual contributions into a collective group representation of the efforts of each member. This may include voting on and assessment ratings of the material generated in the problem solving process. There is, however, no constraint on sequence of activities that each member may undertake to arrive at individual results to be incorporated into the collective group results. The process is highly conjunctive in nature.

SEQUENTIAL: The group imposes phases on the problem solving process that must be undertaken in a sequential manner by all the members of the group. Members of the group must deal with and resolve a phase of the problem before moving on to another phase. There is usually a well-defined strategy or plan for the nature of the phase and their sequence of occurrence. In this sense, one may view this as a "static" group process.

RECIPROCAL: In this mode, there is some form of consistency imposed upon the various aspects of the problem, so that any change in one part of the problem solving process can impose changes in other parts. The sequence in which phases can be dealt with depends upon the results that occur in any given phase. In this sense, the nature of the group process can be considered "adaptive" as opposed to "planned."

 

COORDINATION DIMENSION

 

APPROACH  CHARACTERISTICS
PARALLEL Members Independent 

Information Exchanged 

No Group View Imposed

POOLED Same as above BUT 

Group View Generated

SEQUENTIAL Group View Imposed 

Planned or static group process 

Sequential Problem Solving Phases

RECIPROCAL Group View Imposed 

Adaptive or dynamic group process 

Problem Solving Phases Interdependent 

Asynchronous with functional 

relationships

  COORDINATION FACTORS

Mode \ Factor 

 

Dependency

+

Integration

=

Coordination
Parallel Low Low Low
Sequential High Low Medium
Pooled Low High Medium
Reciprocal High High High

  Prior NJIT Designs within EIES

 

SYSTEM VALIDATION COMPLEXITY COORDINATION
Topics Inductive Semi-Structured Pooled
Terms Relative Semi-Structured Pooled
Tours Negotiated Semi-Structured Pooled
Reports Inductive Structured Pooled
CMC ZBB Conflictual Semi-Structured Reciprocal
Virtual Classroom Inductive Semi-structured Pooled
Electronic Marketplace Deductive Structured Parallel
Decision Room GDSS Inductive Semi-Structured Sequential

References:

I have added references for the above and some others for other concepts discussed in the lectures.

Bandyopadhyay, R., Information for Organizational Decision Making: A literature Review, IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Volume SMC-7, number 1, 1977. Reviews the schools of information theory.

Churchman, C.W., The Design of Inquiry Systems, Academic Press, New York, 1971. Original source for inquiry system material.

Hiltz, S. R. & Turoff, Murray, The Network Nation, Revised Edition, MIT Press, 1993. Chapter 14 discusses the dimensions for characterizing CMC

Kerr, E., and Hiltz, S. R., Computer-Mediated Communication Systems, Academic Press, New York, 1982. Summary of many early findings for group communications.

Kurke, L.B., and Aldrich, H.W., "Mintzburg Was Right: A Replication and extension of the Nature of Managerial Work," Management Science, (29:8), August 1983, pp. 975-984. How do managers spend their time.

Lendaris, G., "Structural Modeling: A Tutorial Guide," IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man & Cybernetics, (SMC-10:12), December 1980, 807-840. Tutorial on Structural Modeling

Lindblom, C.E., "The Science of Muddling Through, Public Administration Review, (19:2), Spring 1959. A must for anyone interested in how to manage in bureaucratic organizations.

Linstone, Harold & Turoff, Murray editors: The Delphi Method: Techniques and Applications, Addison Wesley Advanced Book Program, 1975. This is considered the standard reference text for those interested in doing Delphi studies. There is also a good philosophical section which covers inquiry systems and negotiated reality.

Mowshowitz, A., 1994, Virtual Organizations: A vision of management in the information age. Information Society, Volume 10, 267-288.

Mowshowitz, A., 1992, The market value of information commodities, Journal of the American Society of Information Science 43, 225-232.

Mowshowitz, A., 1992, Virtual feudalism: A vision of political organization in the information age., Information and the public Sector 2, 213-231.

Pyhrr, P.A., "Zero-Base Budgeting," Harvard Business Review, November-December, 1970. The original concept explained.

Pyhrr, P.A., Zero-Base Budgeting: A Practical Management Tool for Evaluating Expenses, John Wiley and Sons, 1973.

Rana, Ajaz R., Turoff, Murray, & Hiltz, S. R., Task and Technology Interaction (TTI): A Theory of Technological support for Group Tasks, Proceedings of the 29th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Vol. IV, Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society Press, 1996. Follow on paper in the 30th meeting for more detail on how to understand CMC systems

Rohrbaugh, J., "Improving the quality of group judgment: Social judgment analysis and the Nominal Group Technique," Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, (28), 1981, 272 -288. Group facilitation methods

Turoff, Murray, Virtuality, invited paper for special section of CACM, Volume 40, Number 9, September 1997, pp. 38-43. Related to work on Virtual Organizations, this issue has a set of papers on virtual organizaions.

Turoff, Murray and S. R. Hiltz, (1995), Computer Based Delphi Processes, in Michael Adler and Erio Ziglio, editors., Gazing Into the Oracle: The Delphi Method and Its Application to Social Policy and Public Health, London, Kingsley Publishers, pp. 56-88. A version of this paper is at: http://eies.njit.edu.~turoff/

Turoff, Murray, S. R. Hiltz, A. N. F. Bahgat, and Ajaz Rana. (1993), Distributed Group Support Systems, MIS Quarterly; December 1993, 399-417. History of early work in CMC.

Turoff, Murray, Rao, Usha, & Hiltz, S. R., (1991) Collaborative Hypertext in Computer Mediated Communications, Proceeding of the Hawaii International Conference on Systems Science, Volume 4, January, IEEE Computer Society, 357-366.

Turoff, Murray, (1990), Computer Mediated Communication Requirements for Group Support, Journal of Organizational Computing, Volume 1, Number 1. General paper on the design of CMC systems.

Turoff, M., "The Anatomy of a Compute Application Innovation: Computer Mediated Communications (CMC)," Journal of Technological Forecasting and Social Change, (36), 1989, 107-122. Historical overview.

Turoff, Murray, (1985), Information & Value: The Internal Information Marketplace, Journal of Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Volume 27, Number 4, July, 357-373. Concept of marketplace organizations.

Turoff, Murray, & Chinai, Sanjit, (1985), An Electronic Information Marketplace, Computer Networks and ISDN Systems, Volume 9, Number 2, February.

Van deVen, A., and Delbecq, A.L., "Nominal and Interacting Group Processes for Committee Decision Making Effectiveness," Academy of Management Journal, (14:2), 1971. Group facilitation methods.

Van deVen, A. H., and Delbecq, A.L., "The Effectiveness of Nominal, Delphi and Interacting Group Decision Making Process", Acad., Management Journal, 17, 1974.

Vennix, Jac A.M., Jan W. Gubbels, Doeke Post, and Henk J. Poppen, "A Structured approach to Knowledge Elicitation in Conceptual Model Building," System Dynamics Review, (6:2), Summer 1990, 31-45. Structural modeling using system dynamics.

Warfield, J.N., "Toward interpretation of complex structural models," IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, (SMC-4), 1974, 405-417.