Issues and Concerns about Computer-Supported Meetings: The Facilitator's Perspective

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Meeting facilitators, regardless if the meeting format is electronic or traditional, can prove invaluable in boosting meeting productivity and success. Given their rich insights about what makes a meeting successful, facilitators represent a valuable source of information for anyone desiring to better understand the dynamics of traditional or electronic meetings. In a study, 37 practicing facilitators were interviewed in order to better understand the factors that underlie effective meeting behaviors and the conditions under which group support systems can be successfully used to improve meeting effectiveness. Seventeen of these facilitators had considerable GSS experience, while 20 had little or no such experience. The findings strongly support both prior research and anecdotal reports regarding the factors of most importance to meeting effectiveness.