Alleviating convergence problems in Group Support Systems
Not all Group Support Systems are identical, as is demonstrated by their software implementations. We discuss two existing implementations of group support tools and the process models underlying them. We demonstrate that fundamental to both processes is the merging or integration of individual data. Based on this and other empirical research, the Shared Context Model (SCM) of cooperative work is adopted and we show that it supports existing processes and others. We expect that groups will find merging their work easier with the SCM. This model is presented and embedded in the architecture and implementation of four group tools. Because these tools are destined to be used by dispersed groups, synchronously or asynchronously, an object-based communication and control mechanism is incorporated. Finally, as graphics and multi-tasking have been shown to be increasingly important, the tools are implemented in Microsoft Windows for personal computers attached to local area networks.