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organizational decision support system (ODSS)
was ﬁrst deﬁned by Hackathorn and Keen (1981), who discussed three levels of decision support:individual, group, and organization. They maintained that computer-based sys-tems can be developed to provide decision support for
of these levels. Theydeﬁned an ODSS as one that focuses on an organizational task or activity involv-ing a
of operations and decision makers, such as developing a divisionalmarketing plan or doing capital budgeting. Each individual’s activities mustmesh closely with other people’s work. The computer support was primarilyseen as a vehicle for improving communication and coordination, in additionto problem solving.Some decision support systems provide support throughout large and com-plex organizations (see Carter et al., 1992). A major beneﬁt of such systems isthat many DSS users become familiar with computers, analytical techniques,and decision supports, as illustrated in
Online File W12.12.
The major characteristics of an ODSS are: (1) it affects several organizationalunits or corporate problems, (2) it cuts across organizational functions orhierarchical layers, and (3) it involves computer-based technologies and usuallyinvolve communication technologies. Also, an ODSS often interacts or integrateswith enterprise-wide information systems such as executive support systems.For further information on a very-large-scale ODSS, see El Sharif and ElSawy (1988) and Carter et al. (1992).The majority of personal DSSs support the work of professionals and middle-level managers. Organizational DSSs provide support primarily to planners,analysts, researchers, or to some managers. For a DSS to be used by top man-agers it must meet the executives’ needs. An executive information system(EIS), also known as an executive support system (ESS), is a technologydesigned in response to the speciﬁc needs of executives, as shown in the
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