2010 - Bridging the Socio-Technical Gap in Decision Support Systems

Lisbon, Portugal, 7-10 July

Proceedings edited by A. Respício, F. Adam, G. Phillips-Wren, C. Teixeira & J. Telhada.


Title Pages
Zardini, A., Mola, L., Vom Brocke, J. and Rossignoli, C.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Action Research Enterprise Content Management

This article provides an analysis of the correlation between a competitive advantage derived from improved decision-making processes and knowledge management through enterprise content management (ECM) platforms. Therefore, it expands literature on knowledge management and explicates the relationships among knowledge management systems, ECM systems, and decision-making processes. In other words our research question is: are the ECM systems able to create value for organizations? If Yes, how?. In the studied case, we have seen that decision makers achieve their best performance through improved quantity and quality of input to the decisional process, as well as better formalization of knowledge included through all phases of the process thank to the adoption of ECM systems.

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3-12
Zoltay-Paprika, Z.
Keywords:Analytical Thinking Intuition Management Skills Decision Making

Strategic decision making is usually conducted by a firm’s top management, led by the CEO or the President of the company. In keeping with this, 40 top level managers from two continents (North America and Europe) were targeted in a comparative research study. In the two countries (California US and Hungary), twelve of the managers were CEOs, Presidents, Vice Presidents or Chief Officers (hereafter referred to as Executives) while eight were founders and majority owners of their own enterprises (hereafter referred to as Entrepreneurs). The research focused on the following 3 areas: 1) How top level managers really make strategic decisions in these two different parts of the world; 2) How Entrepreneurs and Executives differ, if at all, in their approach to strategic decision making when they combine analytical thinking with their intuition; 3) The similarities and differences in management skills and decision making practices between Entrepreneurs and Executives within the investigated management cultures.

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13-24
Zhang, J. and Humphreys, P.
Keywords:Group Communication and Decision Support Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Cluster Building Bottom-Up Approach

An international consensus has emerged on the need for strong and early action on sustainable development, involving creative initiatives aimed at improving the quality and diversity of life in new ecologically and creatively informed developments. But there has been relatively little research completed on how the collaboration and internationalization of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) from emerging markets like China can power this process. In particular, SMEs are more vulnerable to the threats of globalization than larger companies despite their important role in the local economy. Hence this paper will take a bottom-up approach, focusing on the needs in this respect of Chinese “stigmatized” cities, which have benefited economically from industrial development over the past decade, but with severe consequences for the inhabitants, ranging from air pollution, transportation nightmares, ant-social housing, lack of diversity of indigenous services and facilities, and community destruction. The first part of this paper will describes the current problems/ developments of the creative industries context in China and how this impacts on SMEs. Then it identifies deficits and problems on existing theories and practice regarding to SME cluster building in the face of globalization, taking a critical social psychological perspective. After addressing shortcomings of the traditional, mainly top-down, approaches and how they may be overcome by taking a bottom- up creative approach to building collaboration between SMEs, the paper confronts the question: how can GDACS (Group decision authoring and communication support) provide a suitable facilitating infrastructure for SMEs’ cooperation in a creative industries cluster integrating both top-down and bottom-up perspectives and activities? It considers in particular the case of the building of a multinational SME cluster by the International Creative Industries Alliance (ICIA) of Beijing, following the ICIA’s aim to “engage in real-world implementation cases, achieving results and producing outputs in ways that give new social, community, ecological and economic benefits”.

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35-36
Arnott, D.
Keywords:Business Intelligence Senior Executives Information Behaviours Decision Support Requirements Methodologies Design Science

Business intelligence (BI) is currently the top technology priority of chief information officers (CIOs) and is a major growth area of business IT. BI systems are the IT-based systems that have the greatest impact on organizational strategy. Unfortunately, BI projects are subject to high failure rates and those that are implemented suffer from a utilization problem where only 10 to 20% of intended users actually use the systems. Most decision support systems (DSS) and BI research and practice treats managers as a homogenous group, but management research reports differences between senior executives and other levels of management, and individual differences between managers. This is a significantly more complex development environment than that assumed by current DSS and BI research. There are no specialist methods for analyzing the decision support requirements of senior executives. This paper discusses the rationale and design of a research project that uses a design-science strategy that aims to develop and test such a method. The method will be based on a sound understanding of senior executive information behaviors.

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37-48
Butler, T., Flynn, A. and McGarry, J.
Keywords:Green ICT Institutional Theory Bounded Rationality Climate Change

The growing emission of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) is identified by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as an issue of grave concern. Accordingly, the EU has set ambitious targets for reductions in GHG emissions. The years to 2020 will see increasing regulative, normative and socio-cultural pressures on all organisations to adopt Green Strategies that leverage the direct and enabling effects of Green ICT to reduce, monitor and report on GHG emissions. Hence, the contexts in which decisions are made in organisations must begin to take into account the triple bottom line of economic sustainability, social sustainability and environmental sustainability. This paper argues that while bounded rationality adequately informs decision making around, for example, competitive strategies aimed at profit maximization, accounting for social and environmental concerns requires a different approach. We maintain that in the coming decade broader perspectives on decision support need to adopted, ones that are informed by an institutional rationality which encompasses social, environmental and financial dimensions.

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49-60
Zamfirescu, C.-B., Duta, L. and Cândea, C.
Keywords:Group Decision Support Systems Group Facilitation Design for Emergence

In the general context of Group Decision Support System (GDSS), the paper investigates the possibility to externalize and support, from a metacognitive perspective, the effective use of facilitation knowledge with self-development capabilities. The experimental results make evident that these capabilities may be easily engineered by adopting the basic principles of the design for emergence in constructing an e-meeting facilitation tool that act as a stigmergic collaborative environment for the participants. Basically, the GDSS needs to provide a minimal structure for modeling the group decision process (GDP) which enables a participant-driven approach to group facilitation and magnify the sense of social participation. In this way the GDSS may provide a collaborative environment where unpredictable and more effective models of GDP design will emerge through the exploration of the problem space.

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61-72
Sammon, D., Nagle, T. and O'Raghallaigh, P.
Keywords:Theory Literature Review/Analysis Theory Development Doctoral Research Contribution

Making a theoretical contribution can be viewed as one of the most important and confusing objectives for a doctoral researcher. Focusing on the literature review process, this paper highlights the need to develop a tool that will enable doctoral researchers to assess the theoretical strength of the literature they survey. Through synthesizing theory development literature, from both a general research and IS perspective, we propose a tool to aid ‘new’ doctoral researchers in understanding the theoretical landscape within a domain. We then discuss how the tool can be utilized in the wider doctoral research process to combat the issues of rigor and relevance that have permeated the fabric of Information Systems (IS) research, through aiding in a two step literature review process of [1] categorizing the literature and [2] developing a theoretical framework to guide making a theoretical contribution.

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73-84
Baroni, P., Fogli, D., Giacomin, M., Guida, G., Parasiliti Provenza, L., Rossi, M., Bohanec, M. and Žnidaršič, M.
Keywords:User-Centred Design Decision Support Systems Requirement Analysis Evaluation Socio-Technical Gap Emergency Management

This paper presents a user-centered design methodology for Decision Support Systems (DSSs), which is specifically built to face the socio-technical gap that often impedes DSS acceptability by end users in real work environments. The methodology has been experimented in two case studies in the field of health- related emergencies, namely earthquake and pandemic flu management. Methodology application and results are described with specific focus on the phases of requirement analysis and system evaluation.

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87-98
Stanek, S.
Keywords:Creativity Decision Support Decision Making Ubiquitous Computing

The paper explores the idea of addressing computer support to human creativity within a ubiquitous computing framework as advanced information technologies and electronic devices continue to spread across our immediate environment. The author briefly describes the conceptual background and illustrates the viability of his approach by providing examples from his research efforts as well as from his development and implementation experiences with a number of models and prototype systems.

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99-107
Arnott, D. and Pervan, G.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Group Support Systems Data Warehouse Business Intelligence Design Science Fieldwork Review

Recent reviews of DSS research have indicated a need to improve its quality and relevance. Design science has an important role to play in this improvement as this research strategy can engage industry and the profession in intellectually important projects. DSS has a long history of design science, although most of this research was not conducted under this rubric. Recent publications have clarified what is required for quality outcomes in IS design science. A central issue in these publications is the evaluation of the design artifact, especially the use of the artifact in a field setting. Successful fieldwork is perhaps the most difficult, and most rewarding, aspect of design science. This paper presents research that used bibliometric content analysis to examine evaluation strategies, especially fieldwork, in a representative sample of 362 DSS design- science papers in 14 journals. The analysis found that DSS design-science papers whose artifacts are used in actual field environments are of significantly higher quality, have significantly higher organizational impact, and have significantly higher relevance with both IS professionals and managers. The major conclusion is that rigorous fieldwork should be the ultimate goal of DSS design-science evaluation.

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108-119
Kiss, F. and Török, M.
Keywords:Visiting Scenario Virtual Exhibition Visual Experience Content Video Observation

We have established virtual exhibitions on the web to preserve and present displays. Now, we would like to present objects and exhibits in a way that it does not only reflect museologists’ points of view of visiting the showcases but, with the help of cameras, we are following the regular visitors’ movements in the physical space and can make the classification of them. With this system, we will be able to produce visits of a virtual exhibition that will be very close to real-life personal visits of an exhibition as there can be various stopover and direction selections reproduced that provide the same experience and feeling as in the course of a real visit.

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120-125
Meredith, R. A. and O'Donnell, P.
Keywords:Business Intelligence Web 2.0 Social Media Business Intelligence 2.0

The marketing departments of the major business intelligence (BI) software vendors have been quick to associate their products with the popular term ‘Web 2.0,’ branding the new releases of their product suites ‘BI 2.0.’ This paper argues that beyond its value as a device to enhance sales and marketing, the functions typically found in Web 2.0 web sites can be usefully applied to BI applications. It explores the application and role of Web 2.0 concepts within BI applications. The paper develops a simple framework to help understand the collaboration that is afforded by Web 2.0 applications. It classifies the functions that are provided in social media platforms to foster user collaboration and contribution. The framework is then used to examine how these forms of collaboration can be used to create more effective and ‘active’ BI applications.

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129-140
Neville, K., Emerson, W. and Walsh, E.
Keywords:Wikis Knowledge Networks Design Dimensions

Knowledge based social networks are regarded as valuable learning tools, particularly in their ability to promote collaborative learning, and high level of adaptability. This research-in-progress investigates key factors in the design of a Wiki-based knowledge sharing tool to support teaching and learning in a third level institution. To determine these factors, five higher education institutions were selected and within these institutions, a number of individuals were selected for interview, based on their extensive experience with technology-supported learning and collaboration. This paper develops a development model for a knowledge community and proposes key development decisions that should be taken into account, such as pedagogy, technology, and the integration of these two core areas to provide a holistic learning experience. The paper concludes with a plan for the creation and evaluation of a knowledge base for a learning community.

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141-151
Phillips-Wren, G. and Wygant, J.
Keywords:Personalisation Decision Making Socio-Technical Web 2.0

Web based technologies have enabled companies to reach out to their customers and influence decision making in new and different ways. Personalization has shown promise as an approach to attracting an individual's interest and influencing their decision making, and it can be effectively delivered over the Internet. New technologies allow a rich mix of media, interconnected streams of social conversation between users, and one on one interaction between the user and the technology delivering the message. These characteristics can be used to influence a decision maker based on research suggesting that consumers will respond more favorably to individualized messages than generalized ones. This paper focuses on socio technical aspects of personalization by addressing human and technical issues in the implementation and impact of personalization. We provide a Understand Measure Deliver theory of personalization and report a case study of a global company that successfully used personalization to influence consumer decisions in the tourism industry. The findings are that customization based on relevant data provides a personalized experience; customers become product designers and product testers with Web 2.0 technologies; and interaction between a human and the technology amplifies user experience.

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152-162
Bogg, P., Finnegan, P., Land, L. and Barney, H.
Keywords:Enterprise 2.0 Social Networking Software Network Governance Social Mechanisms

While the potential advantages of Web 2.0 tools for improving organizational collaboration, innovation and knowledge management is recognized, there is little understanding of how developers should design Enterprise 2.0 applications and processes to leverage the collective intelligence of web-based communities. This paper focuses on one form of Enterprise 2.0 application, social networking software, and explores design challenges emerging from the nature of the software. We argue the importance of ‘sociality’ rather than ‘functionality’ as the key design concept, and highlight challenges in relation to the identification of users, the specification of user requirements, and the nature of success in relation to social networking software. Drawing on research on the successful development of online communities, we posit that the success of social networking software can be regarded as the degree to which it facilitates the development of social capital in an online environment. We then use the theory of network governance and an analysis of social networking software to hypothesize the factors that lead to the development of online social capital. Working from this model, the paper concludes that the design of social networking software should focus on restricting access, allowing participants to assess the reputation of others, and implementing collective sanctions for those that violate the norms and values developed by the community.

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163-171
Sammon, D., Adam, F., Nagle, T. and Carlsson, S. A.
Keywords:Master Data Management Data Warehouse ERP Implementation

This paper presents an insight into the emerging concept of Master Data Management (MDM) and highlights issues that both academics and business managers should consider to better understand the meaning of this ‘hot topic’. This critical reflection paper is forward looking and attempts to make sense of the MDM concept and highlight the issues associated with implementation. We argue that both the Data Warehousing and ERP concepts are the forerunners to the emergence of MDM. We argue that MDM is effectively Data Warehousing branded with ERP market rhetoric and contains an added repository of ‘master data’. We see MDM as another attempt at data integration due to the failure of previous Data Warehousing, ERP and ERPII/BI initiatives. Finally, we argue that more research should be conducted to fully appreciate the true meaning of the concept of MDM and MDM implementation.

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175-186
Sharma, R., Reynolds, P., Scheepers, R., Seddon, P. B. and Shanks, G.
Keywords:Business Analytics Data Warehouse Data Analysis Performance Gains Competitive Advantage Dynamic Capabilities

Business analytics has the potential to deliver performance gains and competitive advantage. However, a theoretically grounded model identifying the factors and processes involved in realizing those performance gains has not been clearly articulated in the literature. This paper draws on the literature on dynamic capabilities to develop such a theoretical framework. It identifies the critical roles of organizational routines and organization-wide capabilities for identifying, resourcing and implementing business analytics-based competitive actions in delivering performance gains and competitive advantage. A theoretical framework and propositions for future research are developed.

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187-198
Gibson, M. and Arnott, D. R.
Keywords:Business Intelligence Participatory Case Study Systems Development

This paper presents an exploratory case study of a large-scale business intelligence systems development project. Using participant observation as the data collection approach, the case is discussed and a number of emerging issues are identified. There are very few examples in the literature of participatory case research into BI systems development. The authors argue that this approach helps to promote a rich, contextual understanding of data, and it should be more widely adopted in applied disciplines such as BI.

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199-210
Mendes, A. B.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Data Mining OLAP Operations Efficiency

This paper reports two projects for supporting decisions of the Company of Electricity in Azores Islands, Electricidade dos Açores. There were several decisions to support, such as whether communications between islands should moved from the present telephone lines to VoIP, and if better models to support forecast power consumption should be adopted. The solution established integrates OLAP cubes in a data mining project, based on CRISP-DM process model. Both for strategic and more operational decisions the objective was always to get accurate data, build a data warehouse and to get tools to analyze it in order to properly inform the decision makers. These DSS’s translates big CSV flat files or acquire data in real time from operational Data Bases to update a data warehouse, including importing, evaluating data quality and populating relational tables. Multidimensional data cubes with numerous dimensions and measures were used for operational decisions and as exploration tools in the strategic ones. Data mining models for forecasting, clustering, decision trees and association rules identified several inefficient procedures and even fraud situations. Not only was possible to support the necessary decisions, but several models were also displayed so that control decision makers and strategists could support new problems.

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211-222
Remington, S., O'Donnell, P. and Arnott, D.
Keywords:Business Intelligence Market Strategy Innovation IT Industry Cognos IBM

Business intelligence (BI) is the dominant technology for decision support in medium and large organizations. Unfortunately, there has been no rigorous academic research on the market and innovation strategies of the leading vendors. This is surprising as BI is a key technology priority for CIOs and unusually in a major global financial downturn it is an area of significant growth in IT spending. This paper presents a preliminary study of market strategy and innovation in one of the four leading BI vendors, Cognos/IBM. The case study uses data from archived press releases and statutory financial returns to analyze Cognos’s activities from 1995 to 2009. The results illuminate a complex commercial environment. Based on the case study and background literature a research agenda structured around eight key questions is proposed.

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223-234
Spyridakos, A.
Keywords:Disaggregation - Aggregation Multicriteria Approach Decision Support Systems Multivariate Data Analysis

The selection of the reference set in the frame of Disaggregation Aggregation (D-A) methods (UTA*, UTA II, UTADIS), constitutes one of the most important steps of the process, while it influences the accuracy and reliability of the assessed preference model. The reference set ought to satisfy two conditions: a) the alternatives of the reference set should be familiar to the Decision Maker (DM) so as to express his/her preferences from a known situation; and b) the selected alternatives have to be representative of the total set, so that all the different points of view of the decision space to be taken into consideration. This paper presents a clustering technique that is embedded in the Multicriteria Decision Aid Systems MINORA and MIIDAS, which incorporates threshold of dissimilarity in order to support DMs or Decision Analysts (DAs) to select a representative reference set. This technique is compared with the most familiar multivariate data analysis clustering methods, such as k-means and hierarchical. Also, the technique is illustrated through a real world case study.

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237-248
Aguarón, J., Escobar, M. T., Moreno-Jiménez, J. M. and Turón, A.
Keywords:Multicriteria AHP Social Software Uncertainty Stability Intervals Internet

This work presents the updating to the global economy context of the discrete multicriteria prioritization tool, based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process, which is known as PRIOR [1]. The new decisional tool (PRIOR-Web) allows, using the internet, the secure incorporation of the judgments of the spatially distributed actors implicated in the resolution process. Jointly with the previous treatment of uncertainty developed by means of interval judgment and preference structures, the inclusion of functionalities as the priority and consistency stability intervals, the consistency consensus matrix and group decision making options provide new information for the construction of agreement paths between the participants involved in any multiactor decision making problem. A numerical example is used for illustrating how this social software works.

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249-258
Ventura, A., Dias, L. C. and Clímaco, J. N.
Keywords:Multicriteria Decision Aid VIP Analysis Software Cognitive Maps MAUT Action Research

This paper presents a summary of a research done in a Portuguese network of travel agencies, as part of a PhD Research in Multicriteria Decision Aiding - MCDA. This study is a first contribution to suggest an Implementation Model of Decision Support with the VIP Analysis software, including the proposal of using Cognitive Maps as a Problem Structuring Method (PSM) and using Multi- Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT) to elaborate additive value functions. Action Research was selected as a Research Method in this case, because it enables the assessment of acceptability VIP Analysis Software in Organizations, at the same time that it makes possible the implementation of a decision aiding process by the researcher.

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259-270
Fernandes, S., Captivo, M. E. and Clímaco, J. N.
Keywords:Bicriteria Location Problems Decision Support Systems Geographical Information Systems

In this paper we describe and exemplify the embedment of a Geographical Information System (GIS) platform in a decision support tool previously developed for bicriteria location problems. When the facilities to be located have environmental effects, they usually depend on different factors like the altitude and the morphology of the potential locations, the winds, the temperature, the humidity, etc., most of which can be more easily evaluated with a GIS. Given that Geographical Information Systems can be used to manipulate different kind of data from various sources, they can be a significant aid to obtain and manage information quite useful in location problems, particularly if they involve the installation of facilities with environmental effects.

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271-281
Taghezout, N. and Zaraté, P.
Keywords:Intelligent Decision Support System Multi-Agent Systems UVA Method Performance Multi-Agent Based Simulation

This paper presents an approach which takes into account robustness and flexibility of a real time scheduling, by integrating agents into an IDSS. The proposed system mainly includes six components: Resource Agent (RA), Planning Agent (PA), Performance Evaluation Agent (PEA), Database Management Agent (DMA), Rules and Criteria Selection Agent (RCSA) and User interface Agent (UIA). The multi agent simulation is used to allow agents to cooperate with an intelligent behaviour, and to coordinate their goals and action plans to solve a problem. We use UVA methodology to calculate the production costs. This method provides the enterprise with new information on its performances, the profitability of its customers, markets, product, which will generate decisions in all business functions for a permanent progress. One objective of this work is to demonstrate that the UVA method is not an accounting method of repartition and that it is built on the choice of one measuring unit and one specific analysis approach. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed IDSS could implement effective production control decision making for solving the flow shop manufacturing system. The study reports the basic design principles of the system as well as details of the application.

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285-296
Abrahams, B. and Zeleznikow, J.
Keywords:BATNA Bayesian Belief Networks Integrative Negotiation Multi-Agent Systems Negotiation Support Systems

The paper describes the development of an integrated multi-agent negotiation decision support system designed to assist parties involved in Australian family law disputes achieve legally fairer negotiated outcomes. The system extends our previous work in developing negotiation support systems Family_Winner and AssetDivider. In this environment one agent uses a Bayesian Belief Network expertly modeled with knowledge of the Australian Family Law domain to advise disputants of their Best Alternatives to Negotiated Agreements via a percentage property split. Another agent incorporates this percentage split into an integrative bargaining process and applies heuristics and game theory to equitably distribute marital property assets and facilitate further trade-offs. The purpose of the system is to add greater fairness to family property law negotiations.

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297-308
Adla, A., Zaraté, P., Soubie, J.-L. and Taghezout, N.
Keywords:Model-Based Reasoning Case Based Reasoning Collective Memory Task-Method Paradigm Group Decision Support Systems

Several organizational decision-making situations are critical and recurring in nature. The processes involve groups performing periodic and repetitive activities. It appears logical that the development of a shared repository that stores the experience invoked in prior decisions and retains the rules, policies and procedures of an organization can be useful for subsequent groups engaged in similar decision-making activities. We describe, in this paper, an approach that combines a case-based reasoning method and a model based reasoning method. The main goals are to reduce the time required to come to a decision, particularly, in a contingency situation, to compensate for lack of experience of young operators, and to distribute available experience to different sites.

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309-320
Amrani, F. and Bouamrane, K.
Keywords:Regulation Urban Transport System Case Based Reasoning Cellular Automation for Symbolic Induction Classical Indexing Decision Support System for Regulation SARRT Platform

This article concerns the regulation of an urban transportation system using a case based reasoning. This reasoning allows us to associate a profile scenario compared to the disturbances that appear on an urban transportation system. The Transport is essential for measuring the life quality of citizens; local officials have always given special attention. The proposed work contributes to advancing the issue of traffic regulation in an urban transportation system. The latter proposes a new indexing technique called cell technique compared to the classical indexing usually used in case based reasoning approaches. The result of the calculation of similarity between the disturbances is refined through a cell indexing process. This refinement is done by a Boolean Modelling Language (BML) adopted by the cell inference engine (CIE).

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321-332
Fan, X., Brézillon, P., Zhang, R. and Li, L.
Keywords:Context Scientific Workflow System Decision Making Grid Computing Virtual Screening

Scientific workflow (SWF) system is gradually liberating the computational scientists from burden of data-centric operations to concentration on their decision making. However, contemporary SWF systems fail to address the variables when scientists urge to deliver new outcomes through reproduction of workflow, including not only workflow representation, but also its “context” of use. Thus, current failure is mainly due to lack of representing and managing the “context”. We propose a context-oriented approach to create a SWF system more adaptive to the dynamic research environment. We present the feedbacks from interviews of multi-national virtual screening scientists, and illustrate a case study in which their decision making processes are modelled by contextual graphs as a uniform representation of knowledge, of reasoning, and of contexts. Finally, we conclude and highlight that sharing SWF intellectually with its context would make SWF as a complement to paper-based publications.

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335-345
Pereira, A. C. T. D. and Santoro, F. M.
Keywords:Cognitive Process Decision Process Context Information

Organizations are concerned about capturing their workers’ knowledge in order to reuse internal knowledge. Since knowledge is directly related to the context in which it is produced, this work considers the cognitive process as part of context information. Decision-making is especially regarded. We argue that, in order to transform tacit into explicit knowledge, professionals should be able to register their cognitive decision-making process related to any activity performed. Therefore, we propose a model and guidelines to support this task.

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346-357
Brézillon, P. and Pomerol, J.-C.
Keywords:Decision Making Context Management Contextual Graphs Actors' Behaviour Modeling Practice Activity Task Procedure Road Safety

We propose a modeling of decision making that offers a unified framework for what are generally contrasted procedure versus practice, task versus activity, logic of functioning versus logic of use, and allows the identification of two types of contextualization. Human behavior often is described on policy, strategy, tactic and operation levels. From the upper level (policy) to the lower (operation), the decision making process goes through two successive contextualizations. At the first level, decision making has a fix part (policy and strategy) and a dynamic part (tactic and operation) at the second level. Real-time aspects of a decision making are on the dynamic part, i.e. in strong connection with the context in which an actor makes his decision. A contextual methodology has been proposed in road safety domain (in which the car driver is continuously in situation of real-time decision making) and now used in another application in Open Source domain.

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358-368
O'Raghallaigh, P., Sammon, D. and Murphy, C.
Keywords:Theory Theory Building Typologies Innovation Knowledge

Literature reviews of innovation in organizations continue to demonstrate how the determinants of innovation are ambiguous and inconsistent across studies. In order to simplify the conceptualization of innovation processes, we propose a typology of innovation activities. We contend that typologies are more than simple classifications but are theories. In using typologies we don't assume that all activities are unique but neither do we consider all activities to be identical. Instead our theorizing is enriched by adopting a finer focus based on categories of activities, which will provide more meaningful conclusions about the determinants of innovation. It is the purpose of this paper to be one of the first to offer assistance through developing a blueprint, informed by principles of ‘good’ theory, for building theory through typologies. We concur with Doty & Glick (1994 p.248) who suggest that such a typology is “intuitively appealing and holds considerable promise for helping management researchers to understand complex, holistic phenomenon”.

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371-382
Heavin, C. and Adam, F.
Keywords:Knowledge Management Knowledge Activity Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Routine Modes Non-Routine Modes Knowledge Processing

With promises of reinventing the organisation, practitioners, consultants and academics alike jumped on the Knowledge Management (KM) bandwagon in the late 1990s. It has typically been larger organisations that have possessed the economies of scale i.e. the financial resources to pursue this strategy, where they perceive they will lose their market share if they do not follow the trend while smaller organisations have not had the same luxury. Ironically, it is these small businesses that have successfully managed knowledge for centuries. However, the success of the KM approach is too tightly linked to the implementation of Knowledge Management Systems (KMS). Although information systems are integral to a KM approach, from an organisational perspective, it is essential that alternative mechanisms which support a formalised KM approach are better understood in order to make a suitable match between the organization’s knowledge needs with the most fitting modes available to support the activity. Consequently, using multiple case studies, this study presents a well rounded view of the KM approach, identifying both routine and non-routine modes of knowledge processing for small software organisations, addressing the balance of usage associated with supporting knowledge requirements, in order to improve the organisation’s ability to be more flexible in the face of change.

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383-392
Bokovec, K., Damij, T., Rajkovič, T. and Rajkovič, V.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems ERP Implementations Evaluation Global Efficiency Factors Critical Success Factors

Efficient management of complex Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) projects is of key importance for their successful implementation. The purpose of this paper is to define global efficiency factors (GEFs) and to apply them to a multi-attribute evaluation model, which allows us to evaluate global ERP implementation projects through their project lifecycle. Based on a study of prevalent critical success factors in the literature were defined five GEFs. They differ from the former by focusing on the global design of the ERP system and less on the project management alone. By the means of the GEFs an evaluation model was defined and used for evaluating five case studies ERP implementation projects. The model is based on the multi-attribute utility theory. The analysis of the evaluation results showed which GEFs in were not defined according to the global design in specific projects, what the relationships among the evaluation criteria are and which measures should be undertaken to bring the projects back on track. The results show that such an evaluation model could be used in every project phase in order to assess if the ERP implementation is in accordance with the global design. In this way we can impact the complexity of the project management and ensure the expected business performance benefits. At the same time, the required improvements are recognized thus reducing the time span and the costs of the implementation.

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395-406
Carton, F. and Adam, F.
Keywords:ERP Integration Decision Making Organisational Goals

Previous research has illustrated the difficulty in understanding the impact of new technologies on the work of managers, e.g. their decision making. The breadth of functionality and level of integration in ERP applications means that research on their impact on organisations is particularly difficult to conduct without looking at a very granular level of business process. This paper reports on two in-depth studies of mature ERP applications in two organisations, from the point of view of managers in charge of managing key business processes. The key objective was to construct a framework to represent the impact of ERP on the ability of firms to make good decisions rapidly. We found that, although ERPs are sold as tools to increase speed and visibility of operations, they don’t always deliver such benefits. They can distort the reality they seek to represent. Our cross case analysis show that much of the benefits associated with real time access to key operational data is compromised by the use of other technologies, such as off- line data warehouses, business intelligence tools and spreadsheets that are required to correct the distorted reality represented in ERP applications. Thus, decision makers still need to manually combine data from a variety of information systems, thereby losing out on the integration promised by ERP technology.

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407-418
Eom, S. B.
Keywords:Inter-Organisational Decision Support Systems Supply Chain Planning ERP

Over the past decade, many firms invested in their core information technology infrastructures including the business intelligence system. The infrastructure includes data warehousing, business intelligence software tools, pre- packaged analytical applications, and telecommunications and internet technologies. A noteworthy development in decision support systems, among others, is the emergence of inter-organizational DSS. The second generation of ERP systems consists of several modules to deal with supply chain planning activities. However, there are a large number of issues in supply chain management that cannot be adequately managed by ERP systems. This paper discusses those issues in supply chain management and introduces various decision support systems that has been proposed, or developed to augment the functionalities of the second generation of ERP planning systems.

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419-427
Csáki, C. and Adam, F.
Keywords:Decision Support Decision Support Systems Public Procurement Supplier Selection European Public Procurement Directives Strategic Procurement

In recent times, managers have been faced with increasing levels of regulations which constrain their decision making and introduce unprecedented requirements for transparency and compliance. Public Procurement (PP), which is an important economic activity, as well as a powerful governmental policy tool, is one area where the level of regulation has reached unparalleled proportions with serious implications for decision makers and organisations. However, current literature does not offer an adequate discussion of public procurement as a decision making problem. This paper looks at PP in the context of Hungary to try and indentify the implications of the PP European and Hungarian legal frameworks for decision makers and for developers of decision support tools. The paper concludes that the highly regulatory setting for PP creates for decision makers, a normative framework which goes well beyond simple constraints on how to select suppliers. This in turn poses challenges for DSS which are discussed.

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431-442
Carlsson, S. A., Skog, L.-M. and Tona, O.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Evaluation Success Public Organisation

Decision Support Systems (DSS) are used in the public and private sectors. Most DSS research has focused the private sector and few DSS evaluation studies have been conducted in public organizations. Police organizations are in need of functional DSS to support the employees in their work. Given this, we did an evaluation study of the success of a DSS in the context of a police organization. The DSS is used for a variety of tasks and decisions, for example, operational resource management as well as long-range planning. The question for this study is: How successful is the DSS in the police organization. The evaluation study is based on DeLone and McLean’s Information System (IS) success model. For each of the model’s six dimensions, we based on a literature review generated questions for the questionnaire distributed to the users and potential users of the DSS. The questionnaire was made available to the employees using the police organization’s intranet. We got 367 useable questionnaires back; 103 of these were from users and these questionnaires were used in the evaluation study. We also conducted a group interview. The study shows that system quality, information quality, user satisfaction, individual impact and organizational impact are at satisfying levels. The use of the system in general is low and primarily depending on external factors rather than system quality, information quality and user satisfaction. The overall conclusion is that the DSS can be considered quite successful, but that there is room for improvements.

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443-454
Gambelli, D., Vairo, D. and Zanoli, R.
Keywords:Scenario Analysis Cognitive Evaluation Expert Assessment Organic Food Market

Scenario analysis is a qualitative tool for policy analysis and business planning support that enables stakeholders and policymakers to consider decisions with enhanced awareness, due its cognitive implications for planned behavior. In this study, the scenario analysis is used to discuss the future development of the market of organic food products in Europe. A deductive-qualitative approach to scenario has been used, based on experts’ assessments. Results of the scenario analysis may provide a basis for decision making under different scenarios outlined, and are integrated by an innovative attempt to evaluate scenario plausibility through cognitive process evaluation.

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455-460
Norese, M. F. and Salassa, F.
Keywords:Public Sector Cognitive Mapping Interviews Knowledge Acquisition Decision Structuring

When facing decisional problems in a public domain, the organization players often have a specific knowledge of their area of work and most of the time this know-how is neither recognized nor mapped for future utilization. In many situations, the good practice of knowledge documentation or experience collection through pre-established rules are not taken into due account; knowledge transfer is not always a priority for organizations. When the need to record and track the point of view of the actors in organization processes becomes a key point for the decisional structure, a methodology to easily and transparently produce a map of the situation is not available. The presented work concerns the acquisition and use of organizational knowledge in a multi actor public context, the university sector, in relation to a radical change called the “Bologna Process”. The aim of the work was to understand students’ perception of the new courses supplied by an engineering faculty and to structure a set of organized and useable information elements pertaining to the main problematic areas, from the students’ point of view. Free interviews appeared to be the most effective and easiest way of gathering the needed information elements, but the organization of these interviews and the treatment of all the acquired information elements required the activation of a planned and transparent procedure. The aim of this paper is to propose a methodological answer to the problem of acquiring, analysing, structuring and presenting knowledge and information obtained from a set of free interviews by demonstrating a case study. With the proposed cognitive mapping approach, it was possible validate, synthesize and visualize what emerged during the interviews. Moreover, when suggestions on a specific subject were made, the methodology allowed them to be collected, organized and reported to the diverse decisional structure players who were involved in the specific decision. The proposed procedure is a subset of the activities that are included in MACRAME, a decision support system that can be applied when a multi-actor and ill-structured situation needs to be analysed in order to generate a clear problem formulation, a structured and reliable model of the problem and the application of the model to evaluate and propose decision actions or solutions.

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461-472
Fenu, G. and Picconi, M.
Keywords:Multicriteria Decision Making Problem e-Learning Application Cost Organisation and Classification Model Development Cost Decision Support

New forms of communication techniques are used by universities to offer new services to teachers and students. E-Learning solutions are often integrated into traditional learning courses. A process of implementation of an e-Learning solution requires a comparative analysis of alternative options, in order to produce a synthetic conclusion on the allocation of budgets and on the enhancements of effectiveness of the learning services. The purpose of this paper is to describe a methodology to structure and arrange the different aspects to be taken into account in a process of implementation of an e-Learning solution. In particular, the evaluation variables involved in the analysis of an e-Learning solution and the automatic decision-making tool are described.

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473-484
O'Leary, D. E.
Keywords:Activity Theory Extreme Events Decision Support Systems

Usage of activity theory has emerged in other applications in computer science, including human computer interfaces. This paper applies activity theory as a theoretical framework for the analysis of DSS for extreme events. An example, based on computer support on the web for hurricane response, is used to illustrate how activity theory might be applied to extreme events in a decision support system environment.

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487-497
Borges, M. R. S., Ochoa, S. F., Pino, J. A. and Vivacqua, A.
Keywords:Decision Support Emergency Management Information Delivery Mobile Computing

Urban emergency situations require accurate and timely decisions in order to reduce the impact of these incidents on human lives and civil property. Decision making in this time critical scenario is a challenging task because there are several variables influencing the process, and some of them change quickly. This process characteristic requires that decision makers monitor and adjust their decisions almost permanently until the situation is under control. Therefore, information availability and understandability become a key issue to improve the decision making process. This paper presents two decision support systems that implement a decision making model. The model helps determine which information must be used to support the decision making process, and also how frequently such information must be updated. The systems are intended to help allocate ambulances and fire trucks to urban emergencies.

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498-509
Kim, K. D. and Hossain, L.
Keywords:Coordination Emergency Preparedness Network Structure Learning

This study seeks to discover how a network structure prior to catastrophic disasters affects disaster response in terms of property damage in community. In order to do this, coordination theory and network concepts are drawn to explore the problem of effective emergency preparedness coordination (EPC). Although previous coordination models bring useful perspectives in their own domains, they focus on managing coordination based on conditions which are stable and being aware of goals and other actors. Through presenting a new EPC network model suitable for dynamic disaster environments, it is hoped to better understand the value of coordination from the perspective of network concepts. This study empirically investigates the relationship between the network and the potential for coordination: facilitating network performance correlates to increasing the capacity for preparedness. The findings suggest that training and education among responders correlate to preparedness and the effectiveness of a response network.

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510-519
Delir Haghighi, P., Burstein, F., Zaslavsky, A., Arbon, P. and Krishnaswami, S.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Decision Making Ontology Medical Emergency Management

Mass gatherings are common events that typically attract large crowds of people. If such events are not properly planned, coordinated and managed with regard to health and safety issues, they can become hazardous and lead to injuries, illnesses and deaths. Conducting a safe and successful mass gathering event requires effective planning and management including the provision of timely medical care and response. To achieve these goals, there is a need for a unifying and formal model/framework of mass gatherings that can be applied across all the emergency agencies and events, and used in support of time-critical decision making for medical emergency management in this context. However, the absence of a common knowledge structure and conceptual model in Medical Emergency Management in Mass Gathering (MEMMG), acknowledged in the literature, limits our understanding of such events and impedes the effectiveness of decision support systems in these environments. In this paper, we propose domain ontology for MEMMG that represents main concepts of mass gatherings and their characteristics and relationships in a standard and formal manner. The proposed domain ontology is an instantiation and extension of DOEM (Domain Ontology for Emergency Management) that represents major generic concepts in the emergency management and can be used as information structure for the development of various emergency management decision support systems. We illustrate application of such an ontology to the classical Intelligence-Design- Choice-Implementation decision support model.

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520-531
Loebbecke, C., Weiss, T., Powell, P. and Krooss, C.
Keywords:B2B Software Purchase Decisions Information-Related Decision Drivers Software Industry

Organizations are increasingly turning to large, enterprise-wide software systems as potential solutions to managing complex business-to-business (B2B) relationships. These systems become so embedded into the business that they are best understood as socio-technical. The procurement process for such systems needs to be better understood. The purchase decision is seen as being based upon information-related and feature-related drivers. This paper develops a model of software purchase decisions and investigates seven resulting hypotheses. Testing with a sample of customers from a major, global software supplier demonstrates that information-related drivers, customer references and expert network recommendations, and feature-related drivers, price performance, functionality, and sales team service, play a major role in B2B software purchase decisions.

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535-546
Dabrowski, M. and Acton, T.
Keywords:Decision Making Preference Relaxation Decision Performance Soft Preferences E-Commerce

In online shopping scenarios, it can be difficult for consumers to process the vast amounts of information available and to make satisfactory buying decisions. Interactive decision aids are a potential solution to this problem. However, decision aids that filter a very large set of alternatives based on initial preferences may eliminate potentially valuable alternatives early in the decision process and possibly negatively impact decision quality. To address this issue we introduce a new kind of decision aid that enables consumers to consider high- quality alternatives they initially eliminated. We develop a model of such a decision aid and evaluate it on a set of 2650 car advertisements gathered from popular used car advertiser website. We discuss the potential impact of our decision aid on decision quality and consideration sets parameters, and give an overview of implications of our study for practitioners and researchers.

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547-558
Scholz, M.
Keywords:Recommender System Signal Detection Theory Multi-Attribute Utility Theory

Identifying products which are appropriate to fit the con- sumer’s preferences has become a crucial process in electronic commerce. Many recommender systems have been examined to ensure adequate product recommendations. Some of these systems try to estimate the utility each product may provide to a particular consumer. Since select- ing the best product is mostly not possible, the question of how many and which products are recommendable is imperative. In this paper we present an approach to distinguish between recommendable and not recommendable products based on their expected utility. Our approach uses signal detection theory to facilitate a theory-driven procedure for the distinction.

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559-570
Claassen, G. D. H. and Hendricks, T. H. B.
Keywords:Decision Support Systems Paper Production Industry Fractional Programming Multicriteria Decision Making

We describe the development and continuous improvements of an OR- based Decision Support System (DSS) in the paper production industry. The first pilot system was handed over to the R&D-department of a Dutch paper production company in 1990. After two decades the basic concepts of the initial system are still used on a regular basis. However, the constantly advancing technology and physical knowledge of large scale paper production did have a substantial impact on the latest upgrade in which mixed integer (0-1) fractional programming in a multi criteria decision making context, was introduced. We describe the main characteristics of the DSS, the application of a new combination of OR-techniques in a practical context including the impact of the system on different levels within the company.

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573-582
Hernández, J. E., Mula, J., Poler, R. and Lario, F. C.
Keywords:Collaborative Replenishment Collaborative Decision Making Supply Chain Management Logistics

Fulfilling the order requirements from costumers at the right time and with minimum costs has been an important study approached by supply chain management researchers. One of the main aspects addressed is the replenishment process which considers demand forecasting, customer orders, inventory levels, and production and transport planning. Generally, replenishment processes are carried out traditionally by no considering sharing information among the nodes and neither by coordinating the transport planning with the production planning. With this in mind, this paper mainly focuses on proposing a novel decentralized collaborative replenishment model applied to the automobile sector in order to support the decision-making process among automobile supply chain decision- makers. This has been based on the replenishment information that is already used by supply chain members. This work hypothesizes that a collaborative replenishment process could imply a reduction in inventory levels and, in turn, in inventory costs, and that the number of trucks needed to support the replenishment process would be optimized.

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583-593