Communications of the Association for Information Systems


This article defines an expanded conceptual framework for classifying and describing Decision Support Systems (DSS) that consists of one primary dimension and three secondary dimensions. The primary dimension is the dominant technology component or driver of decision support. The three secondary dimensions are the targeted users, the specific purpose of the system and the primary deployment or enabling technology. Five generic DSS types are identified and defined based upon the dominant technology component, including Communications-driven, Data-driven, Document-driven, Knowledge-driven, and Model-driven Decision Support Systems. Specific targeted users like individuals, groups, or customers can use any of the five generic types of DSS. Also, a DSS can be created for a decision- specific or a more general purpose. Finally, in the framework, the DSS deployment and enabling technology may be a mainframe computer, a client/server LAN, a spreadsheet or a web-based technology architecture. The goal in defining an expanded DSS framework is to help researchers better identify meaningful, homogeneous categories for research and to help Information Systems professionals describe and explain the various types of decision support systems.





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