An Experimental Investigation of the Effects of Group Size in an Electronic Meeting Environment

Alan R. Dennis, Joseph S. Valacich, J. F. Nunamaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Group meetings are an important part of organizational life. Experiences of managers and professionals suggest that traditional large-group meetings are not as productive or satisfying to members as small group meetings. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the use of computer technology to support groups that meet at the same place at the same time, with a number of organizations building special-purpose meeting rooms that use information technology to support group work. Groups using these rooms in the field report that larger group meetings are more productive than smaller group meetings, and that members of larger groups are very satisfied. The research used a laboratory experiment to investigate the effects of group size on idea-generation performance and member satisfaction in an electronic meeting room in which computer-supported electronic communication replaced verbal communication. Three sizes of groups were used: small (three-member), medium (nine-member) and large (18-member). The findings of this study contradict those of prior non-computer-supported idea-generation studies: in this electronic meeting environment, larger groups generated more ideas of greater quality and were more satisfied than smaller groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1049-1057
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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