This experiment investigated the conditions under which a member with information critical for making the best group decision will positively influence the group's final choice. The impact of two factors on group decision quality, information exchange, and perceptions of influence was examined: (a) status differences among members (equal-status vs. mixed-status groups) and (b) communication media (face-to-face vs. computer-mediated communication). Three-person groups were composed such that the critical information required to make the best decision was given only to the low-status member in the mixed-status groups and randomly assigned to one member in the equal-status groups. The results indicated that the mixed-status groups made poorer decisions and made fewer references to critical information than equal-status groups, regardless of the communication medium. Computer-mediated communication suppressed information exchange and the perceived influence of group members, suggesting that the relation between status and communication media is more complex than proposed in past research.