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Decision Support System Effectiveness: A Review and an Empirical Test

Author

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  • Ramesh Sharda

    (College of Business Administration, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078)

  • Steve H. Barr

    (College of Business Administration, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078)

  • James C. McDonnell

    (Arthur Andersen and Company, 1345 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10105)

Abstract

Despite the increasing popularity of decision support systems (DSS), effectiveness of such systems remains unproven. Past research claiming usefulness of the DSS has relied largely on anecdotal or case data. The relatively few laboratory experiments report mixed results regarding the effects of a decision aid. This study reviews the results of prior investigations and examines the effectiveness of DSS-aided decision makers relative to decision makers without a DSS over an eight-week period. An executive decision making game was used in two sections of a business strategy course. Three-person teams in one section used a DSS while the teams in the other section played the game without such an aid. Various measures of decision quality were recorded. Overall, the groups with access to the DSS made significantly more effective decisions in the business simulation game than their non-DSS counterparts. The DSS groups took more time to make their decisions than the non-DSS groups at the beginning of the experiment. However, the decision times converged after the third week. The DSS teams reported investigating more alternatives and exhibited a higher confidence level in their decisions than the non-DSS groups, but these differences were not statistically significant.

Suggested Citation

  • Ramesh Sharda & Steve H. Barr & James C. McDonnell, 1988. "Decision Support System Effectiveness: A Review and an Empirical Test," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 34(2), pages 139-159, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:34:y:1988:i:2:p:139-159
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.34.2.139
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ian I. Mitroff, 1972. "The Myth of Objectivity OR Why Science Needs a New Psychology of Science," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(10), pages 613-618, June.
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    1. repec:cbu:jrnlec:y:2017:v:5:p:4-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Salo, Ahti A., 1995. "Interactive decision aiding for group decision support," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 134-149, July.
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    4. Stone, Dan N. & Kadous, Kathryn, 1997. "The Joint Effects of Task-Related Negative Affect and Task Difficulty in Multiattribute Choice," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 159-174, May.
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    10. Vetschera, Rudolf & Walterscheid, Heinz, 1993. "A process-oriented framework for the evaluation of managerial support systems," Discussion Papers, Series I 264, University of Konstanz, Department of Economics.
    11. Sarv Devaraj & Rajiv Kohli, 2003. "Performance Impacts of Information Technology: Is Actual Usage the Missing Link?," Management Science, INFORMS, pages 273-289.
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    14. repec:spr:grdene:v:6:y:1997:i:4:d:10.1023_a:1008664812184 is not listed on IDEAS
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    18. repec:spr:infosf:v:13:y:2011:i:3:d:10.1007_s10796-009-9225-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:7:p:1186-:d:103873 is not listed on IDEAS
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