What's the problem? : how groups can develop a shared conception of a problem using an electronic meeting system

S. Ottenheijm, Jac Geurts, M.J.I.M. Genuchten, van

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


A frame is the way a person perceives a particular situation. It is constructed by the information one has available, the alternatives one can think of, the personal value trade-offs and the logic to put these elements together. In order to take effective and efficient action in joint problem solving, all the participants should have the same frame. Therefore the participants need to develop a shared understanding of, and agreement on, the elements of the decision base. Looking at groups developing a shared frame on a problem four possible situations can occur: 1. agreement and shared understanding: decide now 2. understanding but no agreement: conflict 3. agreement but no shared understanding: groupthink 4. no agreement and no (shared) understanding: uncertainty and ambiguity This paper describes the way to guide groups from these different situations to agreement and shared understanding and the use of an EMS to support this process. The results indicate that EMSs can be very useful to support groups in this process, however, that the process should be carefully prepared and guided by an experienced facilitator.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCollaboration systems and technology track, Proceedings of the 31st Annual Hawaii international conference on system sciences
Place of PublicationLos Alamitos, California
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
ISBN (Print)0-8186-8233-7
Publication statusPublished - 1998


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