The Evaluation of Decision-Making Support Systems' Functionality

The Evaluation of Decision-Making Support Systems' Functionality

Giusseppi Forgionne (University of Maryland Baltimore County, USA) and Stephen Russell (University of Maryland Baltimore County, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-677-8.ch013
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Contemporary decision-making support systems (DMSSs) are large systems that vary in nature, combining functionality from two or more classically defined support systems, often blurring the lines of their definitions. For example, in practical implementations, it is rare to find a decision support system (DSS) without executive information system (EIS) capabilities or an expert system (ES) without a recommender system capability. Decision-making support system has become an umbrella term spanning a broad range of systems and functional support capabilities (Alter, 2004). Various information systems have been proposed to support the decision-making process. Among others, there are DSSs, ESs, and management support systems (MSSs). Studies have been conducted to evaluate the decision effectiveness of each proposed system (Brown, 2005; Jean-Charles & Frédéric, 2003; Kanungo, Sharma, & Jain, 2001; Rajiv & Sarv, 2004). Case studies, field studies, and laboratory experiments have been the evaluation vehicles of choice (Fjermestad & Hiltz, 2001; James, Ramakrishnan, & Kustim, 2002; Kaplan, 2000). While for the most part each study has examined the decision effectiveness of an individual system, it has done so by examining the system as a whole using outcome- or user-related measures to quantify success and effectiveness (Etezadi-Amoli & Farhoomand, 1996; Holsapple & Sena, 2005; Jain, Ramamurthy, & Sundaram, 2006). When a study has included two or more systems, individual system effects typically have not been isolated. For example, Nemati, Steiger, Lyer, and Herschel (2002) presented an integrated system with both DSS and AI (artificial intelligence) functionality, but they did not explicitly test for the independent effects of the DSS and AI capabilities on the decision-making outcome and process. This article extends the previous work by examining the separate impacts of different DMSSs on decision effectiveness.

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