ABSTRACT: Although a significant body of research has focused on understanding the effect of media differences on group behaviors and processes, little is known about how media differences influence groups' risk-taking behaviors. This study reports on a laboratory experiment designed to understand the effects of the group communication environment (face-to-face or computer-mediated) on group risk-taking behaviors while subjects performed a hidden profile decision-making task. Results indicated that computer-mediated groups make riskier decisions than face-to-face groups, and their decisions shift farther away from the positions held by individual group members prior to interaction than in face-to-face groups. Consistent with prior research, computer-mediated groups reported lower process satisfaction, higher and more even participation, and higher intra-group conflict. Two rival theoretical explanations are put forth as to why computer-mediated groups made riskier decisions.
System Sciences, 2002. HICSS. Proceedings of the 35th Annual Hawaii International Conference on; 02/2002