Effects of source and participant anonymity and difference in initial opinions in an EMS context

Surinder S. Kahai, Bruce J. Avolio, John J. Sosik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

This laboratory experiment studied the effects of source and participant anonymity, and differences in initial opinions in an electronic meeting system (EMS) context. Results indicated that (a) inhibition to participate did not mediate the effect of anonymity on participation as suggested in prior deindividuation and EMS literature; and (b) the effect of anonymity on participation, satisfaction, and postdiscussion agreement depended on the level and type of anonymity involved and whether initial opinions among group members were similar or different. A mechanism that suggests that anonymity may cause participants to focus more on their task by turning attention away from other participants partly accounts for the effects of source and participant anonymity on participation in this study. Future work should focus on determining how different types and levels of anonymity influence process and outcomes in different types of groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-458
Number of pages32
JournalDecision Sciences
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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