A Descriptive Analysis of Decision Support Systems Research Between 1990 and 2003

David Arnott, Graham Pervan, Gemma Dodson


This paper is the first major report of a project that is investigating the theoretic foundations of decision support systems (DSS). The project was principally motivated by a concern for the direction and relevance of DSS research. The main areas of research focus are the decision and judgement theoretic base of the discipline, the research strategies used in published articles, and the professional relevance of DSS research. The project has analysed 926 DSS articles published in 14 major journals from 1990 to 2003. The findings indicate that DSS research is more dominated by positivist research than general information systems (in particular experiments, surveys, and descriptions of specific applications and systems), is heavily influenced by the work of Herbert Simon, is poorly grounded in contemporary judgement and decision-making research, and falls down in the identification of the nature of clients and users. Of great concern is the finding that DSS research has relatively low professional relevance. An overview of the direction of further analysis is presented.


descriptive; decision support systems; theory; literature review

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3127/ajis.v12i2.90

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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