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A collective artefact design of decision support systems: design science research perspective

Shah J. Miah (Department of Management and Information Systems, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia)
Don Kerr (Department of Informatics, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast, Australia)
Liisa von Hellens (School of Information and Communication Technology, Griffith University, Meadowbrook, Australia)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Article publication date: 29 July 2014




The knowledge of artefact design in design science research can have an important application in the improvement of decision support systems (DSS) development research. Recent DSS literature has identified a significant need to develop user-centric DSS method for greater relevance with respect to context of use. The purpose of this paper is to develop a collective DSS design artefact as method in a practical industry context.


Under the influence of goal-directed interaction design principles the study outlines the innovative DSS artefact based on design science methodology to deliver a cutting-edge decision support solution, which provides user-centric provisions through the use of design environment and ontology techniques.


The DSS artefact as collective information technology applications through the application of design science knowledge can effectively be designed to meet decision makers’ contextual needs in an agricultural industry context.

Research limitations/implications

The study has limitations in that it was developed in a case study context and remains to be fully tested in a real business context. It is also assumed that the domain decisions can be parameterised and represented using a constraint programming language.

Practical implications

The paper concludes that the DSS artefact design and this development successfully overcomes some of the limitations of traditional DSS such as low-user uptake, system obsolescence, low returns on investment and a requirement for continual re-engineering effort.

Social implications

The design artefact has the potential of increasing user uptake in an industry that has had relevancy problems with past DSS implementation and has experienced associated poor uptake.


The design science paradigm provides structural guidance throughout the defined process, helping ensure fidelity both to best industry knowledge and to changing user contexts.



The authors would like to acknowledge the Australian Research Council for funding this research and the following individuals; Professor Tom Cowan for dairy research knowledge; Professor John Gammack for earlier work in this research and the initial conceptual approach; Dr Kay Bryant for mentoring assistance; and first author's mother who has been provided huge inspiration throughout this project.


J. Miah, S., Kerr, D. and von Hellens, L. (2014), "A collective artefact design of decision support systems: design science research perspective", Information Technology & People, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 259-279.



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