2006 - Creativity and Innovation in Decision Making and Decision Support

London, UK, 29 June - 1 July

Proceedings edited by F. Adam, P. Brézillon, S.A. Carlsson & P. Humphrey.

Title Pages
McCosh, A. M.
Keywords:Business Processes Innovation Selection

Seven companies agreed to permit a research team to study the process innovations which the companies were putting into operation during a period of significant capital investment. The goal of the research was to study the changes made to business processes concurrently with the installation of the new machinery. Unfortunately, with two important exceptions, the companies did not change the business processes at all, except to the extent that such a process change was forced upon them by the demands of the new machinery. The two exceptions behaved quite differently from the rest. They took significant financial risk to make sure that the new machinery would be immediately effective and would create a substantial competitive advantage. The most important behavioural differentiator between the companies that innovated effectively and those which innovated less effectively was the determination and focus brought to bear on the innovation project by the most senior executives of the enterprise. The top executives of the other firms allowed themselves to be distracted by other (perhaps quite important) matters, while those of the firms which innovated successfully built the progress of the innovation firmly into their diaries, sometimes for several years. All the companies did a sound job of ensuring that the innovative project was adequately funded, and all of them eventually got a result which was satisfactory to them. The research group felt that some of the companies could have achieved considerably better results if there had been closer top management vigilance.

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Vidal, R. V. V., Sørensen, L., Holmetoft, U. and Gottfredsen, M.
Keywords:Creativity Innovation Framework Organisations IT Companies

The need for companies to focus more of their resources around creativity and innovation in order to keep up with an increased global competition has probably never been greater. Still many leaders struggle to realise their organisations true creative potential and optimise the innovative process, simply because they don’t know how. What they need is a framework that provides systemisation and structure to the development of organisational creativity and innovation. This paper presents such a framework, which was the result of a research study on how to improve the creativity and innovation level of the Danish IT-industry. The paper concludes that organisational creativity and innovation are best developed through a systematic and structured effort within a wide variety of areas. Focusing on recent studies nine parameters essential for creativity and innovation have been defined. Based on these parameters a framework for improvement of organisational creativity and innovation has been developed.

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Meredith, R. A.
Keywords:Autonomy Creativity Decision Support Systems

An important aspect of creative decision-making is the ability to exercise creative freedom. DSS provide structure and support for the decision process, but this may introduce effects that limit the decision-maker’s freedom and creativity. This paper argues for the importance of autonomy for any kind of decision, but in particular, for creative decisions. It concludes by suggesting that multiple small, highly customised DSS that contribute to a flexible, adaptive decision environment are more likely to successfully support creative decision-making than generic, monolithic DSS.

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Raisey, D., Tan, K., Swatman, P. and Blackburn, T.
Keywords:Creativity Creative Teams Ill-Structured Problems Syntactic Models Catastrophe Cycle

The research programme which underlies this paper focuses on understanding the process of addressing “creative” or ill-structured problems – an economically significant process and one which pervades the professional lives of teams of professionals such as software engineers, managers and strategic planners. This class of problem is poorly understood and, consequently, there is little effective support (leverage without constraint on flexibility/creativity) currently available. In this paper, we present a preliminary study of creative teams in action – a study in which we have access to both data describing the dynamics of “evolution” of the focal artefact and data describing the process undertaken by the team.

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Blackburn, T., Nguyen, V., Swatman, P. and Vernik, R.
Keywords:Creative Processes Distributed Cognition Any Time and Place Multi-modal Infrastructure

A significant body of research exists within domains such as Groupware and collaborative work that describes many well known properties of “same or different” “time or place” group activities, such group size, group performance, and many others. In this research, we investigate ICT-mediated support approaches for domain-agnostic, group work processes in “any” “time and place” activities. This unbounded set of human activities includes decision making, activity ordering, goal redefinition, information gathering, problem reconceptualisation and solution evaluation. Our emphasis is focused on the creative or unstructured processes within these activities (almost) to the exclusion of the structured, procedural frameworks that guide the processes. We observe these group (communicative) work processes through a multi modal lens and use a variety of techniques for recording the raw data, which is analysed for inherent syntactic structure. We have created a conceptual explanatory framework called Cognitive Dust from External and Distributed Cognition theories and use this to interpret semantic meaning, which is extracted from the syntactic models, to infer possible future actions. In this paper, we review our research agenda and discuss initial indications from two approaches we have used to observe, model and analyse these creative processes within the ambit of providing group ICT support. In the first study a concept mining technique was used to analyse the artefacts created from an asynchronous group writing exercise. An established complexity model (as a proposed analog for creativity) measured the complexity of the resultant artefacts and this was expressed over time through changes in the number of written concepts. This enabled us to reason about the same levels of complexity in synchronous activities, which can also be measured over time through verbally articulated concepts. In addition, naturally (human) observed models of these synchronous activities, supported by our theoretical framework, might be usefully related to the discovered, ICT mediated models in the second study. In this study, it was difficult to discern inherent syntactic structure from raw data at varying levels of abstraction and, in a reverse approach, relating these syntactic models to known semantic models may provide a way forward.

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Garcia-Lorenzo, L.
Keywords:Partnerships Innovation Collaborative Work Knowledge Process Voluntary Sector Organisations

This paper is based on the research being carried out with a partnership of seven charity organisations in the U.K. –the Collective. The environment in which voluntary sector organisations (VSO) operate is very dynamic and subjected to rapid changes. Uncertainty about the future is a common feature of all organisations but it is exacerbated across VSO by short and irregular funding patterns. Within this increasingly uncertain environment, the partners of the Collective are striving to improve their services focusing their attention on deciding how they could ‘manage’ what they know in new and innovative ways. In the paper, both knowledge and innovation are considered as dynamic, emergent and intrinsically linked to social action. While knowledge is generated, shared and transformed through participation in social interactions; innovation cannot be separated from the work, decision-making and learning that takes place as people engage in everyday social life. The results suggests that in the Collective’s case innovating on organisational practices has to do more with managing conflict and collaboration among the different partners than with accumulating and managing knowledge.

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Brown, R. V.
Keywords:Decision Research Planning Research Usefulness Motivation

Decision research planning is often guided by professional priorities other than usefulness. This leads researchers (and their sponsors) to neglect both problem-oriented explorations driven by decision-aiding practice and the more conventional follow-up studies that would result. These could include the development of aiding tools and specialty research in supporting disciplines (such as statistics or psychology). This imbalance has held up the practical success of decision-aiding. Realistic appraisals of the usefulness of research projects could refocus the attention of research planners, restore balance, and lead to more effective aid. Corresponding quantitative evaluations can be based either directly on an appraiser’s judgments, or indirectly through “simple” decision theoretic models. The scope of any appraisal depends how similar the projects to be compared are. An analytic approach is explored and illustrated from author’s research planning experience.

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Hossain, L. and Wu, A.
Keywords:Network Centrality Measurements Coordination Correlation

In this study, we explore the correlation between different measures of network centrality and coordination. A text-mining tool is designed and implemented to measure coordination from a large dataset of emails. Here, we construct social network matrices using different centrality measures and applied the measurements for exploring the association between network centrality and coordination score. We argue that network centrality affects the ability of an individual to coordinate the actions of others. The following questions guide this study--What is the effect of network centrality on coordination? How is the actor’s ability to coordinate projects related to their structural position in the communications network? We developed multi- layered test designs to explore this relationship in a project-based and cross- project level. We suggest three major findings from the analysis of communication data from Enron email corpus. Firstly, it is concluded that centrally positioned actors show more coordinative activity. Secondly, it is found that betweenness index of centrality is the most potent predicate for coordination. Lastly, the influence of an actor is associated with coordination more so than the actor’s prominence.

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Huyskens, C. and Loebbecke, C.
Keywords:Netsourcing Decisions Decision Model Strategic Management Transaction Cost Economics Empirical Survey

Among the broad range of outsourcing offerings, netsourcing presents a relatively new one. Netsourcing allows companies to selectively source software applications from external providers via the Internet. External providers claim cost advantages over in-house development and operations of software applications. Theory however lists a number of arguments against outsourcing, leaving organizations with a decision problem of whether to netsource or not. We introduce a decision model encompassing decision criteria from Strategic Management and Transaction Cost Economics, two theoretical approaches prominently applied to full IT outsourcing. We test seven hypotheses based on a 2004 survey among the 500 largest companies nationwide. Finding support for the decision criteria from Strategic Management and for four out of five from Transaction Cost Economics, Technical Specificity, Human Capital Specificity, Transaction Frequency and Transaction Uncertainty. We conclude with managerial recommendations concerning organizational netsourcing decisions and suggestions for future research.

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Humphreys, P. and Jones, G.
Keywords:Group Decision Support Systems Group Decision and Communication Support Interaction Context Proceduralised Context Enrichment of Context Rhizome Decision Process Design Collaborative Authoring of Outcomes Decision-Hedgehog

This paper proposes a fundamental evolution of the group decision support model from the single ‘decision-spine’ which focuses on a single proceduralised context, to provide comprehensive Group Communication and Decision Support (GDACS). We show how GDACS can support creative decision-making through collaborative authoring of outcomes, within a plethora of decision spines, and also within the rhizome which constitutes the body-without-organs of the decision-hedgehog in which these spines are rooted. We position decision making through the construction of narratives with the fundamental aim of enriching contextual knowledge for decision- making. Localised processes developing proceduralised contexts for constructing and exploring specific prescriptions for action (‘pricking the real’ at the tip of a decision spine) are rooted in this rhizome. The paper identifies the variety of contexts that are involved in group decision-making and includes a case study that provides a comprehensive account of process design for GDACS.

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Garcia de la Cerda, O. and Saavedra Ulloa, M. S.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems CLEHES Autonomy Observer and Enaction Innovation

The purpose of this paper is to present an innovative and creative approach to the solution of problems in decision making, based on the understanding of decision makers as human beings, and decision making processes as human networks, in an organizational context. This approach basically consists of the development of a powerful ontological tool for the observation, self-observation, design and innovation of human beings from passive observers towards enactive observers, who have to make decisions and solve problem situations through the interactions in which they participate. This tool named CLEHES© (Body – Language – Emotion – History – Eros – Silence) allows to develop not only all the human potential inside us, but also to bring all organizational resources, such as information technology and communications, into the decision makers bodies, to invent and re-invent new human practices that can create value to our organizations. Several applications of this tool have taken place in different domains and organizational contexts with amazing results, which have been the focus of continuous research projects and instances of managerial education.

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Stenfors, S. and Tanner, L.
Keywords:Decision Support Corporate Decision Making Creativity Innovation Practice of Management Tools

Decision support tools that are used to support major decisions in companies have become increasingly popular. This study investigates the role of decision support tools in high-level corporate decision-making. Executives working in Finland’s 500 largest companies were asked about the decision support tools they use when making major decisions. The responses received indicated that executives actively use a variety of tools, with an average of five different tools per company. The main finding of the study is that executives mainly use support tools for the purposes of improving efficiency not for the purposes of enhancing creativity. Furthermore, innovation and creativity are key ingredients in creating and sustaining strategic advantage, yet not many tools, used for major decisions are specifically designed to support creativity and innovation. Tools which support creativity and innovation are needed.

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Garavelli, A. C., Gorgoglione, M. and Palmisano, C.
Keywords:Creativity Support Systems Innovation Taxonomy

Economic competitiveness is more and more related to creativity and innovation. The question tackled by this research is to understand whether firms have the opportunity to increase their creative capabilities using creativity support systems. The purpose of this research is threefold: (1) to propose a taxonomy of CSSs based on the current knowledge on creativity support; (2) to analyze a set of existing applications to creativity support and classify them based on their characteristics, (3) to identify issues that should be tackled by researchers interested in developing more effective CSSs. The taxonomy is carried out based on the analysis of the literature on creativity support. The experimental survey includes 145 commercial applications aimed at supporting creativity.

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Hasan, H. and Crawford, K.
Keywords:Socio-Technical Systems Activity Theory ICT Tools Complex Decision Making

This paper views the complex activities and decision-making of self-directed groups as socio-technical systems. Seven innovative ICT-based tools are presented that underpin such activities. Three projects are then described where suitable selections of these tools are used creatively in harmony with human and social processes. The Activity Theory hierarchy is used to explain how, in these three projects, the capacity of technology is exploited, where appropriate, to automate operations, while the choice and execution of actions remain with the people engaged in the activities. This provides a picture of decision support systems as socio-technical in nature, involving the exploitation of collective tacit knowledge rather than just the use of explicit information. The paper concludes with the proposition that this is not just a conceptual and theoretical issue, but is also highly practical in consideration of the creative decision-making processes of self-directed, innovative groups.

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Tijus, C. and Brézillon, P.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Contextual Categorisation Contextual Graphs Decision Making

Aid for Innovative decision-making is one of the techniques Decision Support Systems should provide to the user. Contrary to modeling analogy, we propose an approach based on problem solving through the finding of substitutes with contextual graphs that could help having insight solution and through the use of contextual graphs to evaluate how much a substitute is of help.

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Handzic, M. and Loy, A.
Keywords:Creative Thinking Brainstorming Creative Decision Support System Innovative Product Design

This paper describes and empirically tests a specific decision support system aimed at stimulating creative and innovative performance of decision makers in the context of software product design. The system is based on a solo brainstorming method that provides users with external stimuli and exposes them to a large number of inputs over a short period of time. An empirical test was conducted using 45 volunteer student subjects. It reveals a highly beneficial effect of the system on the participants’ ability to produce the requirements model for a new software product. In particular, interaction with the system resulted in a significant increase in the total number of ideas generated by the participants, but within similar categories of ideas. The findings suggest that the system may be useful in facilitating performance in working contexts involving creative thinking and problem solving.

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Stanek, S., Sroka, H. and Twardowski, Z.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Creativity Communication Hybrid Architecture Multi-Agent Systems

The aim of the paper is to present the findings and practical outcomes of research on DSS capable of supporting the user’s creativity. The authors’ approach to building a creative decision support system is founded on a five- element paradigm: data – dialog – modeling – communication – creativity. They admit to being indebted for this concept to Sprague and Carlson’s seminal idea put forward in1982. The addition of communication and creativity to the Sprague-Carlson triad represents the outcome of the authors’ ongoing research and an attempt to modify the classical paradigm toward the requirements of contemporary businesses. Along with the discussion of their approach, the authors offer a brief historical outline and examples of implementation in business organizations. The central section of the paper describes their most recent application of the concept presented – a financial consulting support system.

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Chin, R. T. H. and Verbraeck, A.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Port Planning Dynamic Models

The planning of land allocation to customers in large ports is a very complex task. Shifts in customer demand, lack of available space, planned expansions, environmental constraints, and the involvement of multiple disciplines all contribute to the complexity of the land allocation process. Specific challenges that were identified for the land allocation process in the Port of Rotterdam were reducing the time required for planning, increasing the possibilities to learn from previous projects, and providing an integral view on the various aspects involved. We developed a suite of decision support services for an innovative DSS, aimed to support port planners in effectively and efficiently conducting port planning processes. Four important services will be discussed in this paper, respectively named Map, Sketch, Matchbox and Aspect Explorer, which are made available through a web portal. We implemented the suite and tested it at the Port of Rotterdam. The outcomes of the test were promising especially regarding the perceived usefulness (added value) of the suite. Further research will focus on increasing the ease of use and the actual usage of the suite within the port organization.

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Acton, T., Golden, W. and Van Der Heijden, H.
Keywords:Usability Decision Aid Small Screen Performance Decision Making

This paper reports the results of an experiment as part of a study assessing the impact of decision aid use on performance-based decision-making and usability. We examine the effect of a single-user decision support mechanism for multi-attribute preferential choice in the context of large- and small-screen systems, in terms of decision maker performance together with perceptive usability attitudes towards ease-of-use, usefulness, decision satisfaction, and decision confidence. Using an apartment selection task similar to Häubl and Trifts (2000), the study gauges the effect of screen size on decision performance and usability, and the moderating impact of a decision aid, through a single task scenario implemented on large computer screens and small PDA screens. Results indicate that the implemented decision aid influences the decision strategy employed to reach a decision, which impacts decision accuracy, and verifies a time-accuracy tradeoff found in research elsewhere (Benbasat and Todd, 1996). Furthermore, results indicate that a decision aid can moderate the effect of diminished screen size on decision performance, and positively impact some aspects of usability.

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Agahi, F.
Keywords:Organisational Memory Decision Transparency Decision Information Board of Directors

Boards of directors as a group are the unit of analysis in this case study. This paper discusses developing an organizational memory system prototype for supporting the transparency of the board decision: to allow related people who are interested in a decision to understand what is being decided and why. It shows the promising potential for computer-based group support for promoting decision-making and developing organizational memory. The case study highlighted the absence of similar characteristics in existing support systems. Current recording systems are only able to trace one specific issue or one document and return a limited amount of information. The study showed that several individuals and groups may be involved in the evaluation and consultation processes. This shows the need for more effective memory systems to support consultation networks, particularly with respect to policy- related work. A database system was deemed to be a suitable foundation for a collective memory system as well as a requirement for the transparency of decision information. An effective organizational memory system can promote transparency by helping to track decision activities over time, by linking decision processes and documents to specific locations, by integrating information from many sources into a single location, and by describing the context of decisions.

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Gao, J. and Chen, M. X.
Keywords:Perspectival Thinking Natural Language Processing Natural Language Interface Problem Solving

Human activity problems may not be solved simply by using a few mathematical models or equations. Solving such problems often involves systematic and creative thinking. Computer software, such as creativity support systems or idea processing support systems, has been proven useful in assisting the problem solving process. However, the way to construct a user interface that is able to enhance human creativity remains a popular research question. The proposed computer software system, MindTrack, is a system that combines a natural language interface with human activity problem solving theory. It includes perspectival thinking, questioning techniques, problem picturing, and has the potential to aid in human activity problem solving.

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Dias, J., Captivo, M. E. and Clímaco, J. N.
Keywords:Location Problems Decision Support Systems Multi-Objective

In this paper we will propose a decision support system able to integrate several models and algorithms applied to location problems. We consider a multi-objective, multi-decision makers environment. The first problem addressed is the difficulty of finding one single mathematical model that can be accepted as a good model by all decision makers. To tackle this problem, the system considers as possible the coexistence of more than one mathematical model. These models suffer changes during the group decision process. The system integrates several different algorithms (like primal-dual heuristics and memetic algorithms, developed earlier by the authors), that can be used interchangeably.

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Power, D. J.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Planning Support

A research project is in progress to develop a process-oriented, role-based planning decision support system. The broad vision for building the website PlanningDSS.com was to create a comprehensive, general purpose system for structuring a collaborative contingency planning and decision-making process. The intention is to support analysis and choice of competing courses of action associated with a contingency either when the contingency occurs or when it is anticipated. This article summarizes the history, the design concept, and current status of this design research project.

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Lim, J. and Yang, Y. P.
Keywords:Decision Making Negotiation Support Systems Mediation Pre-Negotiation Negotiation

Mediation is an effective way to resolve conflict and business negotiation disputes. While it has traditionally been performed by human mediators, computerized systems – characterized by their task-focused mode and advanced information processing capability and capacity – can arguably better assume the role. The systems facilitate negotiators in overcoming cognitive limitations and social-emotional conflicts, so as to arrive at more rational and better decisions. This paper explores the possibility and addresses design issues on Negotiation Support Systems (NSS) that could effectively regulate negotiation process, as well as empower negotiators with greater scope to jointly reach optimal agreements. Specifically, it provides an analysis of mediated negotiation process, and describes a negotiation support system that supports multi-stage negotiations, coupled with features that provide mediation between parties. The system consists of tools aimed at addressing both pre-negotiation activities as well as the actual negotiation. Preliminary results of a pilot study are presented which shows an increase in the joint outcome with the aid of the system. Implications of the findings are discussed.

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Tang, X. and Liu, Y.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Meta-Synthesis Xiangshan Science Conference Complex Problem Solving

Despite of tremendous development in information technology (IT) which is bringing revolutionary changes toward computerized support for decision making, effective support is still at thirst requirement by decision makers who are in morass of overwhelming flow of data, information and even knowledge. And “people problems” still contribute most to those unimplemented goals of DSS instead of technology-related problems, and sometimes increase uncertainties to decision making process. Therefore endeavors are taken to develop computerized support to face those people problems and identify possible structures to deal with uncertainties during unstructured problem solving. Computerized supports for groupwork are one of those kinds of supporting tools, among which supports for group argumentation and sense-making for problem structuring are especially challenges in dealing with those people problems and have to be undertaken by multiple disciplinary approaches. In systems science or systems engineering field, unstructured problems are also considered as complex system problems. As traditional analytical approaches to complex problem solving have met difficulties and systemic approaches or even new approaches have been proposed to emphasize the effect of integration, synthesis and more concerns about the emergence of new features. Meta- synthesis system approach (MSA) is one of such kind of system approaches proposed by a Chinese system scientist. The salient feature of the approach lies on more emphasis on human active roles as with so tremendous advances in IT and pursuing to harness the collective knowledge and creativity of diverse technical experts for complex problem solving. One of principal MSA studies then focus on how to show IT supports for human active roles in problem solving process, as one active way to face people problems. In this paper, our developed platform group argumentation environment (GAE) is addressed with an example of supporting a high-level scientific forum in China. The elaboration of functions of GAE in visualization of expert thinking/opinion structure, clustering of contributed opinions, stimulation of inactive discussions by facilitator agent, idea viewer by keyword network, etc., illustrate how GAE supports facilitating idea generation, exposing problem structures or perspectives of the concerned issue by different ways, which shows an operable way of applying MSA toward complex problem solving, especially on qualitative meta-synthesis.

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Brézillon, P. and Pomerol, J.-C.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Groupware Context Contextual Graphs

Context is an interesting concept in the field of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work already acknowledged in other areas. A more common keyword in CSCW field is the term awareness that is traditionally used without explicit association to context. Borges et al. (2004) tried to clarify the relationship between the concepts of context and awareness. In particular, they proposed a framework to understand how context and awareness are connected to other concepts used in group work. The framework is useful to consider some groupware systems from the perspective of context and to obtain some insight on possible improvements for users. This paper first presents an extension of the framework with a particular emphasis on the role played by context, and, second, revisits the two examples in (Borges et al., 2004), which illustrate the application of the framework, to discuss in more details the role of context.

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Dodson, G. R., Arnott, D. R. and Pervan, G. P.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Client User Review

This research-in-progress paper identifies an important but under researched area of decision support systems (DSS). DSS of all types are focused on supporting, not replacing, a human decision maker for important decision tasks. It follows that DSS researchers should have a good understanding of the role and nature of DSS clients and users. However, prior research has shown that this is not necessarily the case. This paper provides a review of the factors important to understanding DSS clients and users and augments this with a detailed analysis of the client and user construct in DSS research from 1990 to 2004. Following this review and analysis, an agenda for investigating this under-researched area of DSS practice is identified.

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Fisher, J., Burstein, F., McKemmish, S. and Manaszewicz, R.
Keywords:User Centred Design Health Portals Internet Breast Cancer

The Internet has become an important source of health information particularly for those with a life-threatening illness. Health information portals have become an important strategy to help the health consumer locate information; however there are issues around information quality, reliability and the ability of portals to deliver timely and relevant information. Often no formal development methods are used in developing portals and few if any have been described for the development of information based portals. The Breast Cancer Knowledge Online portal described in this paper sought to address the problems many women with breast cancer face such as information overload and a lack of personalisation, when searching the Internet for information. The resulting portal allows users to describe their own information needs thereby providing individualised access to carefully selected and described information resources. A user centred design approach was undertaken to build a personalised portal. This paper describes the application of a user centred design approach its use and outcomes from a user perspective. The paper evaluates the development approach and argues that to build a personalised health portal a user centred design approach is critical.

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O'Donnell, P. A.
Keywords:Business Intelligence Learning Styles OLAP Pivot Table

In the field of educational psychology a number of theories have been developed to classify an individual’s learning style. This paper presents the results of a study that examines whether learning styles can be used to predict if a user is likely to successfully use a pivot table to access OLAP-based data. Previous research has shown that that the majority of end-users are not able to successfully use a pivot table - the standard interface to OLAP-based data - for simple analysis tasks. The study uses a model of learning styles called the VARK model which classifies information processing preferences of individuals as visual, aural, reading or kinesthetic. The results show that individuals with a preference for visual and kinesthetic learning modes do better at using a pivot table for simple analysis tasks than those with a preference for aural or reading learning modes. However, the results are not clear-cut as many individuals have no strong preference for any single learning mode.

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Brézillon, P.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Context Contextual Graphs Context-Based Reasoning Multi-Level Decision

This paper sums up the investigation made in (Brézillon and Gonzalez, 2006) that compared and contrasted Context-based Reasoning (CxBR) and Contextual Graphs (CxGs), two context-based paradigms used to represent human intelligence. The specific objectives of this investigation were to increase understanding of both paradigms, identifying which, if any, excels at a particular function, and to look for potential synergism amongst them. This paper presents the main results of this comparison of the paradigms in ten different aspects, with some indication of which one excels at this particular facet of performance. It begins with a short description of both paradigms, points out how they are complementary and finishes with a recommendation for a new synergistic approach. The main result of this study is that, even if the explicit use of context in the representation of the knowledge and reasoning is crucial, it appears that the granularity at which a decision is mae must be taken into account in the choice of the relevant representation formalism.

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Ochoa, S. F., Neyem, A. and Pino, J. A.
Keywords:Contextual Framework Group Decision Support Systems Emergency Management

Disasters affecting urban areas have shown the need to improve the group decision-making process and the coordination of efforts carried out by organizations participating in disaster relief efforts. If not adequately processed, however, the variety of contexts presented in these situations can work against the overall relief. This paper presents a contextual framework composed of the local context for the mitigation effort, group decision support and extreme event (and relationships among these contexts). The information represented in the contextual framework supports the group decision making during disaster relief efforts. Decision-making processes carried out in similar extreme scenarios, such as police and military operations, and security operatives during events, can take advantage of the proposed framework.

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Zhuang, Z. Y., Churilov, L., Burstein, F. and Sikaris, K.
Keywords:Data Mining Knowledge Discovery Case Based Reasoning Pathology Ordering General Practice

In this paper we demonstrate how combined use of data mining and case based reasoning can facilitateintelligent decision support for pathology ordering that is both patient-oriented and deeply rooted in practical peer- group evidence. In particular, we argue that combining case-based reasoning principles that are inherently close to GPs’ daily practice, and data-driven knowledge discovery mechanisms that can be applied to massive amounts of the pathology requests data routinely available at professional pathology companies, can lead to more informed evidential decision making by doctors. Comprehensive data collected by professional pathology companies provide a system-wide profile of patient-specific pathology requests by various GPs as opposed to that limited to an individual GP practice. Using the real data provided by XYZ Pathology Company in Australia that contain more than 1.5 million records of pathology requests by general practitioners (GPs), we illustrate how knowledge extracted from these data through data mining constitutes the base that, with the assistance of modern data visualization tools and on-line processing interfaces, can provide “peer-group consensus” evidence support for solving new cases of pathology test ordering problem.

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Phillips-Wren, G., Mora, M., Forgionne, G. and Gupta, J. N. D.
Keywords:Intelligent Decision System System Evaluation Analytic Hierarchy Process i-DMSS IDEF-DMSS

The evaluation of decision-making support systems’ overall effectiveness has been a relevant topic in the DMSS literature from the 1980s. Despite the useful and relevant insights generated by the main frameworks reported in the literature (Keen 1981, Sharda et al. 1988, Santhanam and Guimaraes 1995), each framework offers a fragmented and incomplete view of evaluation. Research that seeks a complete and integrated evaluation has been reported to link the organizational and decision-maker upper-level with the service, architectural and computational lower-level (Forgionne 1999; Wren 2002, 2004; Mora et al. 2005). This paper integrates such a perspective through an AHP model of evaluation. To illustrate the utilization of the IDEF-DMSS framework. an implementation of the AHP model is developed to evaluate the overall decisional value of a projected or existent DMSS that hypothetically is required or already utilized to evaluate financial credits in a bank. The framework offers a methodology to trace the source of the decision value through process, outcome, service support, architectural components, and down to the specific intelligent mechanism to be used in the design of an intelligent DMSS or in a general DMSS from a user-centered perspective. The methodology provides the designer and developer specific guidance on the intelligent tools most useful for a specific user with a particular decision problem based in their preferences. Such support can be rendered dynamically and in real time by incorporating adaptive design tools within the designed intelligent DMSS.

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Ionescu, J. and Jagielska, I.
Keywords:Customer Relationship Management Event-Based Marketing Customer-Centric Product Development

CRM systems have become a substantial investment for manufacturing organisations. The main beneficiaries of their CRM initiatives are their marketing, sales, and customer service areas, as existing CRM functionality does not directly support product development applications. Customer-centric product development poses a significant challenge for manufacturing functions which have traditionally been product-centric. Large manufacturing companies that have acquired CRM systems are becoming increasingly interested in exploring the ways in which they can apply these systems beyond the traditional areas. In this paper we explore the opportunities for innovative use of CRM systems, in particular event-based approaches, to support the entire spectrum of product development life cycle.

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Jayaganesh, M., Shanks, G. and Jagielska, I.
Keywords:CRM System Benefits Framework

This paper presents a multi-layered structured framework for understanding the benefits of CRM systems. Analysis of published multiple case studies is used to validate the framework and to operationalise its theoretical constructs into empirical indicators. The framework provides academics with a systematic approach to exploring CRM system benefits. It also provides practitioners with a means of defining objectives for CRM projects during specification of the business case and for conducting post-implementation reviews. An important contribution of this study is that it identifies opportunities for innovative use of CRM systems within and outside conventional areas of marketing, sales and customer service by highlighting potential benefits.

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Sammon, D. and Adam, F.
Keywords:ERP Implementations Change Management Resistance to Change

This paper reports on one of the largest ERP implementation in an indigenous Irish organisation : The Irish Health Service. Whilst many organisations in Ireland have implemented ERP, many of the largest ones have been multinationals operating under instructions from their foreign headquarters. HSE, with its 100,000 staff, offered the opportunity to study the implementation of an ERP application in a complex and nevertheless easily accessible organisation. We studied this project as it developed over time, from the point of view of the problems that arose and the obstacles to achieving any benefit from the project. We also leverage the information we collected in the interviews to gauge the attitude of managers and staff as they undertook the project and their understanding of the extent of the novelty that successfully implementing the ERP was going to require in the HSE over a number of years. Our analysis shows that, in this case, as in many others, implementing an ERP should be regarded as a change management project rather than a software implementation, and that, failure to understand this and prepare for it will have disastrous consequences for the project and even the firm.

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Cronquist, B.
Keywords:Knowledge Management Practices Knowledge Workers Environmental Scanning Systematics Continuity Organisational Intelligence

Traditionally Information Systems research has focused on the use of information providing support to decision making. The data-processing view reduces the decision maker to a rather passive recipient of information. This perspective is being challenged as organizations increasingly are concerned with the production of knowledge. Organizations pursue intelligence. This pursuit involves processing of information, interpreting environments, generation of strategies and decisions and monitoring experiences and learning from them. Organizational Intelligence (OI) is especially about the systematic processing of information from external sources in order to enhance the ability to foresee the future and to adapt in relation to the changing environment. By recognizing “a third wave” in OI, this research puts focus on the urge for systematics and continuity in intelligence work as a prerequisite for innovation based on a decentralized responsibility among knowledge workers in organizations. A perspective on intelligence based on organizational processes and routines rather than viewing intelligence as a function for information-provision is presented. A framework describing key- dimensions of the potential contribution from motivated knowledge workers engagement in organizational intelligence activities is derived from literature and an empirical investigation, the case of Bend&Weld Ltd is presented to demonstrate examples of knowledge management practices supporting the organizational pursuit of intelligence. A more practice oriented view on Organizational Intelligence is suggested.

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O'Leary, D. E.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Taxonomy Ontology

Abstract Taxonomies play an increasingly important role in knowledge management, providing a basis by which to find and communicate knowledge. However, knowledge does not stand still. Knowledge continues to evolve over time. As a result, taxonomies also must continue to evolve. Best practice taxonomies are used to capture and communicate knowledge about best practices. Reportedly, firms customize best practice taxonomies to meet their unique organization needs. Accordingly, we might expect organizations to generate dissimilar best practice taxonomies. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the change of a taxonomy for best practices, empirically analyzing the innovation and change of the well- known “process classification framework,” from its original version to two evolved versions. The original taxonomy had 271 items, with four different levels. The two evolved taxonomies are substantially different in terms of different complexity measures. Of the two evolved versions, one version evolved to 217 items with three levels of categories, while the other evolved to 520 items, and five levels of categories. However, this research found a number of similarities between the taxonomies, apparently based on organizations’ responses to changes in knowledge about best practices. I found that the portions of the taxonomy that stayed the same, stayed the same in both organizations’ taxonomies. I also found that the portions of the taxonomy that changed, changed in both organizations taxonomies. Finally, I also found that the changes in knowledge in both taxonomies was correlated with a metric of knowledge change. Accordingly, organizational innovation mirrored general knowledge innovation, rather than just changes specific to the particular organization.

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Carlsson, S. A. and Kalling, T.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Decision Support Knowledge Management Knowledge Sharing

This paper evaluates a KMS-enabled decision support initiative in a Swedish MNC. The purpose of the KMS was to support production improvement decision making through knowledge sharing. The study focus “Net Benefits” and we describe and explain why and how the KMS works or breaks in supporting decision making. We identify a process consisting of three phases: 1) knowledge sharing through the use of the KMS, 2) managing the conversion of knowledge, and 3) improving profit margins. We also identify eight critical success factors and link them to the different phases. We use both quantitative and qualitative data in the study.

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Arnott, D.
Keywords:IT Governance Data Warehouse Business Intelligence Case Studies Failure

Data warehouse (DW) and business intelligence (BI) systems are among the most important IT-based systems in organizations. This paper reports the results of a longitudinal case study that investigated the nature of DW/BI development and use in a financial services company. As the project failed, the focus of the research was an attempt to understand why the project was unsuccessful given a promising start-up. An interesting aspect of the case was the outsourced provision of IT and major changes in IT management during the life of the project. The theory lens that was used to frame and analyse the research was IT governance theory, in particular the matrix approach of Weill and Ross (2004). The case suggests that DW/BI governance is likely to require significantly different approaches to those appropriate for large-scale operational IT systems.

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Chatjoulis, A.
Keywords:Problem Solving Personal Decision Support Frames Knowledge Representation Scenarios

This article presents a Problem Solving Process Model for counseling (PSPM-C) and psychotherapy. The model has been used to provide personal decision support for the counseling and psychotherapy of young adults facing difficulties in the accomplishment of their separation-individuation processes, and having particular problems in their career decision making, their intimate relationships, their choice of friends and life style, as well as, their academic or job performance. It was also used as a consultancy methodology in the human resource department of two middle-size companies helping employees at all levels to cope with personal and interpersonal problems and conflicts within their organization. For the creation of the model, decision theory, as well as systems thinking and soft system methodologies concerning the modeling of the decision making process was used. The decision support model postulates two basic principles: first, each individual perceives, structures and represents a problem according to his own subjective way. This subjective way is based on the individual’s small world (prejudices, past experiences, future plans, expectations) and his interactions with the social and cultural context that contains him and the solution of his problem. Second, the different subjective perceptions of a problem may result in more than one representation of the same problem and thus in more than one solution of the problem. The PSPM-C model is constituted of the three generic phases of the decision making process, i.e. problem awareness, problem structuring, and problem evaluation, incorporating within them three different ways of problem representation, i.e. Future Scenarios frame, Multi-Attribute-Utility (MAU) frame, and Rule-based frame. The counseling process follows these phases and is based on the different ways individuals conceptualize and represent their problem during the counseling sessions. It is proposed that an elaboration of the model could be used as a Decision Support System, DSS, in organizational or group decision-making.

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Farah, M., Rosenthal-Sabroux, C., Saad, I. and Vanderpooten, D.
Keywords:Knowledge Management Information Retrieval Multicriteria Decision Aid Sorting Problem Decision Support Systems

Companies increasingly invest in engineering methods and tools in order to preserve the knowledge needed in decision making processes, especially those related to design projects. Such knowledge is to be used primarily to solve similar problems. Identifying “crucial knowledge”, that is, the most valuable knowledge to be preserved and used is of the utmost importance in an environment of limited resources. At the same time, it is important to make effective use of this kind of knowledge. In this paper we present a multicriteria approach that plays an important role in locating and retrieving crucial knowledge. First, a preference model, which is a set of “if...then...” decision rules, is inferred from exemplary assignment of some “reference knowledge” to two decision classes. This model is used in a multicriteria sorting of “potential crucial knowledge” in order to identify “crucial knowledge”. To make effective use of this already preserved knowledge and to improve the quality of decision making processes, a multicriteria retrieval model, which is an outranking model, is developed. It ranks crucial knowledge items in decreasing order of relevance to respond a decision maker natural language query. The method has been applied and validated in a car company.

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Petrovsky, A. B.
Keywords:Group Decision Analysis Inconsistent Individual Preferences Multisets Multiset Metric Spaces

There are many practical MCDA problems where objects are described with inconsistent and contradictory attributes, which convolution is either impossible or mathematically incorrect. Another source of inconsistencies and contradictions in MCDA area is different preferences of several decision makers. For instance, such problems arise when objects are estimated differently by several experts upon multiple qualitative criteria. In this paper, new methods for ordering and classifying multi-attribute objects by contradictory preferences of several decision makers are suggested. These methods are based on the theory of multiset metric spaces. The proposed techniques are applied to case studies: ranking companies and a competitive selection of projects, which have inconsistent multi-attribute descriptions.

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Mikhalevich, M. and Koshlai, L.
Keywords:Nontransitive Preference Optimisation Innovative Decision Making Subgradient Methods

New models of nontransitive preferences are considered as a tool for innovative and creative developments and usage of Decision Making and Decision Support Systems. An example of their application in economy is presented and analyzed. For instance, a domestic products improvement problem is formulated as a problem of multicriteria optimization with nontransitive preferences. An approach to its solution based on preference indicator construction is proposed. The Pareto set generalization is given, using the nondifferentiable parametric optimization methods. Some aspects of approach application to real-data problems are discussed.

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Sousa, P., Pimentão, J. P. and Ribeiro, R. A.
Keywords:Fuzzy Logic Multicriteria Inference Contingency Management

This paper presents an intelligent decision support system for Incidents Contingency Management based on fuzzy logic. The main objective of the Contingency Management Tool (CMT) is to support the decision-making process when critical/disaster events occur. The CMT model uses a hybrid approach of operational conditions (top/down) and technological conditions (bottom/up). The CMT contemplates both severity level and possibility of occurrence of events and suggests repair priorities for the assets (equipments). The mathematical approach of CMT is formalized with fuzzy (and crisp) relations and by using a multi-criteria inference mechanism, which provides a flexible but consistent way to handle the type of problem addressed.

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Žnidaršič, M., Bohanec, M. and Zupan, B.
Keywords:Decision Support Model Revision Qualitative Multi-Attribute Decision Models Higher-Order Uncertainty

Model revision is a procedure of modifying a model according to newly obtained knowledge. In this paper, we present a method for the revision of probabilistic qualitative multi-attribute models that are mainly used for decision support purposes. The particular modelling technique we use includes parameters that estimate the confidence in probability assessments, and the proposed revision method deals with updates of these parameters. The particular advantage of our method is the possibility for the user to control the level of revision in every single rule of the model.

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Respício, A., Antunes, L., Balsa, J. and Coelho, H.
Keywords:Decision Support for Public Policies Tax Compliance Individual Rationality Social Simulation

We introduce social simulation as a methodology to tackle a high complexity problem arising in the field of public policy decision making: tax compliance (evasion). The core of the problem is that the standing general economic theories cannot even explain why people comply as much as they do, much less make predictions or support prescriptions for the public entities. The compliance decision is a challenge posed to rational choice theory, and one that defies the current choice mechanisms in social systems. Our proposal is to simulate rationally-heterogeneous individuals immersed in a highly social environment. We aim at understanding what is really involved in the individual decision process, with the perspective of sketching some of the inter-influences between the individuals’ behaviour and the whole society behaviour. We propose a series of individual/social models. Results of some exploratory simulations are presented and discussed. We establish some preliminary conclusions: social imitation and local neighbourhood enforcement and reputation are far more important than individual perception of expected utility maximising, in what respects compliance decisions.

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Chugunov, N., Shepelyov, G. and Sternin, M. Y.
Keywords:Uncertainty Quantification Expert Decision Support Expert Knowledge Elicitation

In many real-life problems analysis, some initial data for the models needs to be derived from experts. This requires specific methods for expert knowledge elicitation, interpretation and processing. We develop a method to elicit and represent expert knowledge on quantitative parameters in problems under uncertainty – the method of Generalized Interval Estimations (GIE). We suggest an interactive procedure (the REX-approach) to check consistency in expert’s judgments on integrated model output and initial model parameters, which might contribute to expert’s deeper understanding of the problem and making justified assessment. We present the Expert Decision Support System (EDSS) for hydrocarbon reserves evaluation at the exploration stages and describe a framework for Web-based prototype of this EDSS.

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Bednar, P. M. and Welch, C.
Keywords:Structuring Uncertainty Systemic Analysis SST Framework

Dynamic and complex decision-making environments may involve high levels of uncertainty. Such uncertainty may lead to difficulty within decision- making processes. High levels of uncertainty in decision-making occur in a dynamic and complex environment. While decision-making is needed as a response to uncertainty, this may lead to difficulty within decision-making processes. Furthermore, there are problems inherent in organizational decision-making, which require special attention e.g. a temptation to seek a premature consensus, a dearth of sufficiently creative ideas and inhibition that may be felt among decision makers, in circumstances where suggestions could be controversial. In order to address these challenges, we need to develop the problem spaces within which decisions are required. This, in turn, will require us to make attempts at structuring uncertainty. In this paper, the authors offer a framework for helping a range of narratives to surface, and to provide support for sense making. The aim is to promote development of discourse, rather than to close on an immediate consensus. The authors suggest that a major challenge to be addressed is not about making decisions, but about being able to make informed decisions.

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Katos, V., Bednar, P. M. and Welch, C.
Keywords:SST Framework Epistemic Uncertainty Dempster-Shafer Theory of Evidence

Epistemic uncertainty has been suggested to be fundamental to human experience. The authors of this paper believe that people need to exercise creativity in their conjectures, drawing upon knowledge and experience, in order to generate solutions to both instrumental and epistemic problems, and encourage higher orders of learning. Innovative methodologies are needed which can provide support for individuals in developing both problem spaces and potential solutions. An intrinsic property of human analytical reasoning is that it can allow evidence that may be of a contradictory nature to be considered, within the same problem frame, as a valid part of a resolution. However, many tools and methods designed to support human beings in their decision-making processes are based upon logic which cannot deal with conflicting evidence, e.g. traditional computer software or statistical techniques. This paper explores a special case of the Strategic Systemic Thinking framework as an approach for analysing contextual dependencies, and formulating problem spaces, by employing Dempster and Shafer's mathematical Theory of Evidence (DST). Through DST classical probability is extended so that events can be described at a higher level of abstraction, without a requirement to prove assumptions. However, in our suggested application, this feature which may sometimes be perceived as a weakness becomes a strength. The paper introduces both the SST framework and the principles of DST, and uses an example to show how they can be combined into a potentially useful methodology.

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Bondarenko, M., Solovyova, K., Matorin, S. and Matorin, V.
Keywords:Systemology Conceptual Classification Model of Knowledge System-Object Analysis Method (Unit-Functional-Object Analysis) CASE Instruments of Systems Analysis

Original technology of systemological «Unit-Function-Object» analysis for solving complete ill-structured qualitative problems in low-formalised problem domains is examined. The technology is designed for decision makers information analysis support. The given visual grapho-analytical UFO technology for the fist time combines capabilities and advantages of the system and object approaches and can be also used for project implementation in business reengineering and may be oriented for simulation and designing information and engineering systems. UFO- technology procedures are formalized by pattern-theory methods and developed by embedding systemological conceptual classification models of deep knowledge about simulated subject area into the system-object analysis and the software tools. Systemological knowledge models are based on method which for the first time synthesizes system and classification analysis. It allows to create CASE-toolkits of a new generation representing knowledge- based systems of the analysis, simulation, an design of complex open dynamic systems.

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Fabre, F., Hetreux, G., Zaraté, P. and Le Lann, J. M.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Human Machine Interface Computer-Aided Modelling Environment Object Oriented Software Components Knowledge Management

Simulators are used in Process System Engineering (PSE) to develop new process or retrofit plants considering economics and environmental impacts. However, developing new process models with simulators is not an easy task for process engineers without an expertise in modelling and programming. This paper presents at first the evolution in the aid provided to the user of simulators and then the current solutions proposed to support process engineers. In this framework, the objective of our works is the development of a computer-aided modelling environment for the dynamic hybrid simulation environment PrODHyS. This application offers extensible and reusable object oriented components dedicated to the modelling of processes.

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Arnott, D. and Pervan, G.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Group Support Systems Executive Information Systems Data Warehouse Business Intelligence Research

This paper integrates a number of strands of a long-term project that is critically analysing the academic field of decision support systems (DSS). The project is based on the content analysis of 1,093 DSS articles published in 14 major journals from 1990 to 2004. An examination of the findings of each part of the project yields eight key issues that the DSS field must address for it to continue to play an important part in information systems scholarship. These eight issues are: the relevance of DSS research, DSS research methods and paradigms, the theoretical foundations of DSS research, the role of the IT artifact in DSS research, the funding of DSS research, inertia and conservatism of DSS research agendas, DSS exposure in “A” journals, and discipline coherence. The discussion of each issue is based on the data derived from the article content analysis. The discussion should help DSS researchers to construct high quality research agendas that are relevant and rigorous.

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Eom, S. B.
Keywords:Theory Practice Author Cocitation Analysis Decision Support Systems Research

As the progress in the DSS area continues, a critical issue to be examined is whether DSS theories are useful for practicing managers in guiding the integrated process of designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating the decision support system. To identify the intellectual structure of implemented decision support systems, we compiled a raw cocitation matrix of authors taken from the references of implemented DSS application articles and analyzed it using the factor analysis. This research provides evidence of the theory-practice divide in decision support systems research. The theory-practice divide is not a unique problem in the DSS area. Rather, it prevailed throughout entire business schools as well as other disciplines. It is seen as “the central failing of entire business schools.” We hope that this research will stimulate and promote a dialogue between researchers and practicing managers.

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Pervan, G. and Arnott, D.
Keywords:Executive Information Systems Data Warehouse Business Intelligence Decision Support Systems Industry Relevance

This paper reports on an investigation of executive information systems/business intelligence and data warehousing research in 14 major journals as part of a larger study of decision support systems research (DSS) in general. The findings reveal an apparent disconnect between research and practice in terms of the attention paid to this research. Findings about publication outlets, research paradigm, theory stage, research method, research focus, theory base, and practical relevance are presented. Overall, while practical relevance in EIS/BI/DW research is high, researchers are lagging behind practitioners, they need to develop more theory in the area, and need to generally devote more attention to this area of DSS research which is so important to practitioners and decision makers.

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Briggs, D. and O'Donnell, P.
Keywords:Data Warehouse Success Failure Complexity Evaluation Literature Review/Analysis

In an ever more complex and competitive world the complexity of the organizational context and the management task involving decision-making and assessment of information, has increased. Data warehouse (DW) systems are perceived to be important tools in the modelling of that complexity. However, reports of high failure of DW systems are common. Technical and conceptual complexity, as well as complexity which stems from their social context and organizational change, make development and evaluation of DW systems a complex task. Research into IS failure has demonstrated a similar complexity which is informative of DW evaluation issues. This paper reports on a critical review of DW success/failure literature, assisted by Alavi and Carlson (1992) classification framework. The review has demonstrated patterns similar to those observed with regard to IS failure/success literature. The majority of the literature is authored by the practitioner community and is focussed on factors and strategies to achieve success rather than encompassing the models explaining the phenomena. Whilst more rigour is employed in academic research and publications, the small volume of these studies and articles identified makes it difficult to collate a strong or cohesive theory base with regard to DW evaluation and the failure phenomena. More rigorous research is required.

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Eom, S. B.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Design Implementation Author Cocitation Analysis Intellectual Structure Reference Disciplines

This paper introduces a decision support system (DSS) for delineating the intellectual structure of academic disciplines. The DSS is developed and implemented to aid the process of author cocitation analysis (ACA). The DSS data may come from commercial citation database or custom bibliographic database. This DSS will encourage and help researchers to explore the intellectual structures of academic disciplines, guide future development, and reveal their reference disciplines.

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