As managers spend more time in meetings, the study of information technology to support meetings becomes increasingly important. Several unique systems to support meetings electronically have been developed, including the PLEXSYS systems at the University of Arizona. A new term, electronic meeting systems (EMS), is proposed for information technology systems that support group meetings. The EMS combines the task orientation of group decision support systems and the communication orientation of computer-based systems for cooperative work. EMS stresses the role of information technology instead of just computers, the support of meetings across time and space instead of just in one room, and the support of various tasks instead of just decision making. A model of the EMS concept is developed that consists of group process and outcomes, methods, and environment. A taxonomy of 12 different environments is introduced under EMS environments.
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