Decision support systems evaluation: A systemic approach

Moncef Belhadjali, University of Pennsylvania


The emergence of decision support systems (DSSs) has brought forth a real challenge for researchers in the field. The evaluation problem presently remains one of the most overlooked and consequentially unresolved issues within the scope of DSS. In the past recent years, software labeled DSS has been significantly produced and notably absorbed by the corporate world, thus, managers have become increasingly eager to obtain a useful DSS, yet their time restrictions do not allow for any sufficient evaluations of the system. The literature reviewed in management information systems (MIS) and DSS reveals the lack of contribution to the evaluation problem, due to its complexity. The evaluation techniques identified have been tested through interviews with DSS users of various companies; the results were consistent with the literature. The methods were found to lack clarity of usage and did not adequately meet the users' needs. Users primarily rely on unstructured techniques and intuition. In addition, no follow-up process was established to verify if the DSS expectations were met. A laboratory experiment with students was conducted to test the effectiveness of merely proposing the evaluation criteria to users. The results of the experiment suggested that if the evaluation criteria are not delivered through a structured process and in an employable form, they are not likely to be utilized by DSS users. Considering these results, a new model for DSS evaluation has been proposed. Within the systems approach, the method proposes DSS evaluation as a learning process through which decision makers evaluate their decision making processes and the DSS used. A prototype of computer-based version of the model has been offered through the systemic evaluation system (SES).

Subject Area

Business community|Management

Recommended Citation

Belhadjali, Moncef, "Decision support systems evaluation: A systemic approach" (1989). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9004764.