Decision Support System Example Thesis Essays

Every day, managers are faced with decisions about how best to run their organizations in order to gain or maintain a competitive edge. Although some decisions are simple, many are quite complex and require the manager to consider many variables. To help managers in decision making processes, many organizations employ the use of computer-aided decision support systems. These systems can help managers make decisions about semi-structured and even unstructured problems where not all the information is known in advance. Several different types of decision support systems are available. These include model-driven systems, data-driven systems, knowledge-driven systems, and group support systems. These decision support systems can be quite effective in aiding managers in making decisions and improving the effectiveness and performance of organizations.

Keywords Artificial Intelligence (AI); Database; Decision Support System (DSS); Executive Information System; Expert System; Groupware; Spreadsheet; Systems Theory

Information Technology: Decision Support Systems


The world around us is constantly changing. Market needs are shaped by numerous factors including political realities, advances in technology, and changing cultural expectations. To be competitive in this environment, businesses cannot be static, but need to grow and change to meet the needs of the marketplace. To do this, businesses need to be able to make good decisions in response to the changing needs of their environment. In some cases, these are simple decisions: Do we produce more widgets in response to increase market demand? Should we order more raw materials so that we can continue to produce gizmos? In other cases, however, the decision is not so simple. The demands of the marketplace may not be easily deciphered. As exemplified by the 8-track tape systems and the Beta video recorder of the latter half of the 20th century, decoding trends and translating them into business strategies is neither a simple nor an obvious process. In addition, management decisions can have far reaching impact within the organization. For example, the decision to increase the production of widgets may mean that more employees are needed for the widget production line. Management is now faced with another decision: Should new production workers be hired or should employees be transferred from the gizmo production line? If the former decision is made, where does the money come from to hire the new workers? If the latter decision is made, what is the impact on the gizmo production line? Considerations of the production rate for new gizmos or even the viability of the gizmo line also need to be taken into account in order to understand the ramifications of the decision in context.

In most complex business situations, it is important to understand the factors of decision making in context. Organizational behavior theorists tend to view the organization as a system, where changes in one subsystem can have far ranging impact throughout the organization as a whole. In this view, an organization is an interactive system in which the actions of one part influence the functioning of another. Rather than merely focusing on the needs of one part or subsystem within the organization in isolation (e.g., the widget production line) when making a decision, it is important to look at the impact of the decision on all subsystems and levels within the organization.

According to systems theory, organizations are systems comprising numerous subsystems. Rather than viewing an organization as a collection of disassociated parts acting independently, systems theory posits that the functioning of each subsystem impacts the functioning of the other subsystems. For example, in the illustration above, the decision to increase production of widgets can affect other parts of the organization. If more production workers are hired for the widget line, there might also be a concomitant need to hire more human resources and accounting personnel to take care of issues and tasks related to a larger work force. Other considerations in the decision might include whether or not suppliers could deliver sufficient raw materials to make the widgets or sufficient boxes to package the widgets so that they could be sold to consumers. In addition to hiring more workers for the widget production line, the organization would also more than likely also have to hire additional supervisors or managers for the new production lines. The increase in workers for the widget line might also cause conflict between the new workers and the workers already working on the widget production line or between the widget workers and the gizmo workers. Such conflict or job dissatisfaction could affect the functioning of the organization as a whole. Personnel issues are not the only factor that needs to be taken into account in this decision. Management would also have to consider where the new production lines would be located. If there was insufficient room in the current production plants, new facilities would need to be bought or leased. Similarly, new lines would probably require additional equipment. If, on the other hand, the organization decides that it is not cost effective to incur the expenses associated with starting new production lines, there would be other impacts on the organization. If workers are transferred from the gizmo line to make widgets, what happens to the gizmo product line? Even if the organization's management decides to convert some of the gizmo lines into widget lines and transfer some of the existing employees to the new line, these employees would have to be trained to become widget line operators; a necessary activity that would also cost the organization money. Each subsystem within the organization (e.g., the various production groups, accounting, human resources, management) affects the ability of the other groups — as well as of the organization as a whole — to do their jobs. Systems theory also recognizes that the organization is not only made up of interlocking subsystems, but is also part of a larger system itself that depends on inputs of raw materials, human resources, and capital and that needs to export goods or services, employee behavior, and capital in order to continue to the viability of other organizations.

To help management make such complex decisions, many organizations use decision support systems. Although there is no universally accepted definition of the term, in general a decision support system is an interactive computer-based system that helps managers and others make decisions. Decision support systems are used both by individuals and groups, and can be stand alone systems, integrated systems, or web-based.

Decision support systems are used when organizations are faced with unique, complex situations where a decision needs to be made. Decision support systems help decision makers better understand the issues underlying the situation and to make decisions in situations where the extent to which certain variables influence the activity or outcome are not initially clear or only part of the information is available in advance. This condition is referred to as an unstructured situation. To answer unstructured questions, decision support systems must be flexible so that the impact of various variables and conditions can be tested and the analysis returned to the user in a form that is useful for the specific situation. The unstructured nature of the problem also means that the use of a decision support system is an iterative process: The answers to the questions are not ends in themselves, but raise other questions for consideration that need to be run through the decision support system.

Decision support systems can help decision makers in such situations by providing the information and structure needed to make a rational decision. The decision support system creates a quantitative model of the situation and then processes data to show the impact of the variables under consideration on the outcomes. Decision support systems can help decision makers answer questions concerning conditions under which an outcome might occur, what might happen if the value of a variable changes, or how many potential customers have certain characteristics. Decision support systems can also help to trim inefficiencies from organizational systems, such as the supply chain, which further can take into account other company priorities such as carbon emmissions reduction. Frequently, decision support systems require the processing of data from multiple files and databases.


Decision Support Systems In Organizational Decision Making

Decision Support Systems in Organizational Decision Making
Decision making refers to the process of finding and selecting options according to the priorities and values of the person making the decision. Since there are many choices involved, it is important to identify as many options as possible so as to pick the option that best fits a company’s target, goals, values and vision. Due to the integral role of decision making in company growth and financial progress, many firms such as and EBay are pumping in huge investments in business intelligence systems, which are made up of certain technological tools and technological applications that are created for the purpose of facilitating improved decision making process in business. In this paper, I take a critical look at Decision Support Systems and how they affect organizational Decision making.
Advantages of Decision Support Systems
Decision Support Systems (DSS) help with time management. All groups of DSS enhance reduced time circle involved in the decision making process. At, DSS enhance the productivity of employees and facilitate timely acquisition of information that is necessary for the decision making process.
DSS facilitate enhanced interpersonal communication among those responsible for decision making. Communication-Driven Decision Support Systems and Group Decision Support Systems lead in more lubricated communication process and sharing of information. Moreover, Model-Based Decision Support systems offer a platform for sharing certain facts and suppositions regarding the decision making process. At Data-driven Decision make certain information about the company available to managers to make it easy for them to make decisions that ensure the company’s growth and continued success.
DSS improve the effectiveness of decision making and leads to informed, and applicable decisions. The quality of decisions made and effectiveness of the effectiveness of the decision making process are, however, not easily computable. DSS also provide companies like with competitive age over their rivals. Web-based DSS used at, for instance, provides the company with original, high risk, company-wide DSS that ease decision making and company growth in the highly competitive e-commerce market.
DSS also increase the satisfaction level of the decision maker by minimizing the frustrations involved in the process. In addition, DSS also reduce the costs associated with decision making in a company. This is good news to managers and decision makers. DSS (especially Data-driven Decision Support Systems) also increase the level of control that managers and decision makers have over the company.
Decision Support Systems promote a learning culture in an organization. Employees and managers learn new concepts and more efficient ways of improving the organization, either as a byproduct of the application of DSS or from the...

Loading: Checking Spelling


Read more

Emotions in decision-making Essay

579 words - 2 pages According to Boone and Kurtz, the best leadership style to adopt often depends on the organization's corporate culture, its system of principles, beliefs, and values. Managerial philosophies, communications networks, and workplace environments and practices all influence corporate culture. The culture is shaped by the leaders who founded and developed the company and by those who have succeeded them. Mangers use symbols, rituals, and...

Business Intelligence Systems in the Decision Making Process

2456 words - 10 pages The most common purpose for (BI) systems is to aid in the decision making process. BI systems collect data, store the gathered information in data warehouses, analyze the data and then present the data in easy to understand applications for the decision making process. The following studies research the role that BI systems play in the decision making process. The Role of BI in Decision Making Overview. Isik, Jones, and Sidorova (2013)...

Effective leadership, ethics in decision making, and the systems approach

1138 words - 5 pages In the current state of our economy and educational system of today, many individuals and organizations are currently looking towards how to resolve the issues revolving around the leadership within the organizations. The traditional ways of leading the organizations proves to fail, and new means are being created through innovation and adaptability (Laurie & Heifetz, 2003). The purpose of this paper is to consider the effective leadership,...

Decision making

3049 words - 12 pages INTRODUCTIONDecision-making is the critical key to the survival of an organisation, more so in this present time where we see economic boundaries between countries crumble and businesses become more complex, global and knowledge-driven. Managers need to ensure that their organisations are continuously innovated and improved in order to achieve and...

Decision Making

3287 words - 13 pages Decision making can be described as a process of making a decision or decisions, based on choices made amongst two or more competing course of actions. The ‘Decision making’ also requires making a define choice between two or more alternatives course of actions that are available. In every decision making, there is said to be a positive and negative outcome as future consequence(s). The importance of decision making in individual daily life...


1658 words - 7 pages Running head: DECISION-MAKING PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT 1 DECISION-MAKING PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT 4 Decision-MakingMichael Lemke512December 5, 2011Michele BradfordDecision-MakingDecision-making is a tool that an organization can use to accomplish their goals and vision...

Decision Making

628 words - 3 pages Making good decisions is a critical aspect of every day life. Almost every thing we do involves making a decision. To improve the quality of decisions we make, one must utilize a sequence of steps often called a decision-making model. A decision-making model is a step-by-step guide to help an individual make the best possible decision.McCall and Kaplan outline six steps to critical thinking and decision-making (McCall and Kaplan,...

Decision Making

720 words - 3 pages Decision Making Assignment Description: For this assignment think of an important business decision you have made in the past in which the results of your decision turned out poorly. Your manager is concerned and wants to make sure that you learned from this mistake and the likelihood of this happening in the future is minimal. Therefore she would like you to email her a reflective analysis about that decision. Be sure to address the...

Decision making

510 words - 2 pages Decision MakingMaking decisions is one of the most important function of managers.The work of managers, of scientists, of engineers or lawyers is largely work of making decisions and solving problems. It is work of choosing issues that require attention, setting goals, finding or designing suitable courses of action, and evaluating and choosing...

Decision Making

2509 words - 10 pages Decision Making PAGE 1 Decision MakingLearning Team "A""Shane East, Kandra Spivey, Darrell Twitty, Tariff Hudson, Amy Schumacher"MGT 350Sofi ChoiMarch 14, 2009University Of PhoenixNo matter what type of organization that a person might work for there is always someone that has to make a decision concerning a problem within that organization and somehow this decision...

Decision Making - 1053 words

1053 words - 4 pages According to Lussier (2010), meeting planning is needed in five areas, which include the objectives, the participants and assignments, the agenda, the time and place for the meeting, and leadership. I recently attended a meeting with a group of architects and clinicians at a Boston area hospital where it was evident the project manager used meeting planning. For instance, the project manager outlined the objectives at the beginning of the...


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *