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Decision Support System Effectiveness: A Review and an Empirical Test

  • 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)

Registered author(s):

    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.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.34.2.139
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    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 34 (1988)
    Issue (Month): 2 (February)
    Pages: 139-159

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:34:y:1988:i:2:p:139-159
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