Contingency Theory, Agent-Based Systems, and a Virtual Advisor

Contingency Theory, Agent-Based Systems, and a Virtual Advisor

John R. Burrett, Lisa Burnell, John W. Priest
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-553-5.ch102
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In this article, we investigate the potential of using a synthesis of organizational research, traditional systems analysis techniques, and agent-based computing in the creation and teaching of a Contingency Theoretic Systems Design (CTSD) model. To facilitate understanding of the new design model, we briefly provide the necessary background of these diverse fields, describe the conceptualization used in the integration process, and give a non-technical overview of an example implementation in a very complex design environment. The example utilized in this article is a Smart Agent Resource for Advising (SARA), an intelligent multi-agent advising system for college students. To test all of the potential of our CTSD model, we created SARA utilizing a distributed instructional model in a multi-university, multi-disciplinary cooperative design process.

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