Journal of Systems and Information Technology

Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Emerald Publishing
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journal article
LitStream Collection
A framework for interpreting decision support system use in organisations

Doolin, Bill

1997 Journal of Systems and Information Technology

doi: 10.1108/13287269780000735

Traditional definitions of decision support systems emphasise their support role in individual decision making and utilise notions of rational choice. By considering decisions as an organisational activity, the interpretation of decision support systems use in organisations can move beyond this technical rational understanding, to include potential political and legitimating roles for these systems. These three possible interpretations are discussed in relation to the implementation of a large decision support system in a local government context described by Dutton 1981. In its technical role, the system was used as part of a rational planning agenda. However, the system was clearly also used politically, to promote particular interests and as a lever in negotiations between various groups. Part of the appeal of the decision support system was the appearance of rationality and technical neutrality that it gave to the planning and decision making process, and the legitimation it provided with external constituents. The paper concludes that an unquestioning acceptance of the technical received view of decision support system use is limiting, and that a more reflective approach to their development, implementation and use is required.
journal article
LitStream Collection
Application of a scoring method for measuring the value of knowledgebased systems to key employees

Clark, Jeffrey; Soliman, Fawzy

1997 Journal of Systems and Information Technology

doi: 10.1108/13287269780000736

This paper presents a method designed to measure the value of Knowledge Based Systems KBSs to the employees involved in their development, implementation and use at an organisation. The method is based upon the scoring approach to valuation. The major advantage of using this approach stems from the fact that many KBSs are typified by numerous intangible benefits and costs. Traditional cost benefit models are unable to account for the contribution of intangible benefits to the value of an evolving KBS project. The method presented here overcomes this difficulty by using managers, users, and experts involved in a KBS project to measure its perceived value from both tangible and intangible sources. It produces an overall measure of value which is separated into three critical categories time, finances, and quality. Time and finances are tangible, while quality is intangible. These categories are meaningful to decision makers at all organisational levels and are critical in making an informed investment decision. The paper applies the method to two KBS projects from a large manufacturing and sales organisation. Suggestions are made for practical uses to which the method can be applied.
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