AN EMPIRICAL EXAMINATION OF THE FACTORS AFFECTING COLLECTIVE ACTION, SOCIAL CAPITAL, AND GROUP DEVELOPMENT IN THIRD SECTOR ORGANIZATIONS: A LONGITUDINAL CASE STUDY

Open Access
Author:
Lee, Roderick Lamar
Graduate Program:
Information Sciences and Technology
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
June 25, 2008
Committee Members:
  • John Millar Carroll, Committee Chair
  • Mary Beth Rosson, Committee Member
  • Brian K Smith, Committee Member
  • Gerald Susman, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • Social capital
  • social networks
  • group development
  • user-centered design
  • group effectiveness
  • case study
Abstract:
User-centered design methodologies have gained increasing attention as a way to support the goals of small groups in a variety of use contexts. A central tenet of user-centered design is the direct participation of actual or potential users in the design process. As user participation becomes more prevalent, it becomes increasingly important to understand why some groups engaged in user-centered design projects are more effective, while others are not. Social capital and group development provide two very different explanations for group effectiveness. Despite calls to integrate social capital and group development, very little research has actually been conducted. To address the temporal shortcomings, this study develops a multi-faceted theoretical framework that integrates social capital and group development. Specifically, this research proposes that social capital and developmental processes are reciprocal constructs that enhance (or constrain) group effectiveness. In order to investigate these relationships, a descriptive case study of two groups engaged in sequential user-centered design projects was conducted. The research employed a multiple-case design. The logic of literal replication was used in order to determine if the same outcomes were observed in both cases. Three conclusions that contribute to the literature on user-centered design and implementation of information systems in small group contexts can be drawn from this study. First, there is weak support that the stage model appropriately characterizes the development of newly formed self-organizing groups. Second, there is marginal support that social capital and developmental processes are mutually enforcing concepts. Third, there was evidence that the role of the primary stakeholder in the first case had a negative impact on the user-centered design process. As a result, there is partial support for the theoretical pattern.