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This chapter focuses on techniques and technologies to aid groups in making decisions, with an emphasis on computer-based support. Many office workers regularly meet…
This chapter focuses on techniques and technologies to aid groups in making decisions, with an emphasis on computer-based support. Many office workers regularly meet colleagues and clients in virtual meetings using videoconferencing platforms, which enable participants to carry out tasks in a manner similar to a face-to-face meeting. The development of computer-based platforms to facilitate group tasks can be traced back to the 1960s, and while they support group communication, they do not directly support group decision making. In this chapter we distinguish four technologies developed to provide support to group decisions, clustered into two main traditions. Technologies in the task-oriented tradition are mainly concerned with enabling participants to complete tasks to solve the group's decision problem via computer-supported communications. Group Decision Support Systems and social software technologies comprise the task-oriented tradition. Alternately, in the model-driven tradition, participants use computers to build and use a model that acts as a referent to communicate, mostly verbally, about the group's decision problem. System modeling and decision-modeling technologies constitute the model-driven tradition. This chapter sketches the history and guiding ideas of both traditions, and describes their associated technologies. The chapter concludes with questioning if increased availability of online tools will lead to increased use of group decision support technologies, and the differential impact of communication support versus decision support.
Information and communications technology (ICT) offers enormous opportunities for individuals, businesses and society. The application of ICT is equally important to economic and non-economic activities. Researchers have increasingly focused on the adoption and use of ICT by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as the economic development of a country is largely dependent on them. Following the success of ICT utilisation in SMEs in developed countries, many developing countries are looking to utilise the potential of the technology to develop SMEs. Past studies have shown that the contribution of ICT to the performance of SMEs is not clear and certain. Thus, it is crucial to determine the effectiveness of ICT in generating firm performance since this has implications for SMEs’ expenditure on the technology. This research examines the diffusion of ICT among SMEs with respect to the typical stages from innovation adoption to post-adoption, by analysing the actual usage of ICT and value creation. The mediating effects of integration and utilisation on SME performance are also studied. Grounded in the innovation diffusion literature, institutional theory and resource-based theory, this study has developed a comprehensive integrated research model focused on the research objectives. Following a positivist research paradigm, this study employs a mixed-method research approach. A preliminary conceptual framework is developed through an extensive literature review and is refined by results from an in-depth field study. During the field study, a total of 11 SME owners or decision-makers were interviewed. The recorded interviews were transcribed and analysed using NVivo 10 to refine the model to develop the research hypotheses. The final research model is composed of 30 first-order and five higher-order constructs which involve both reflective and formative measures. Partial least squares-based structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) is employed to test the theoretical model with a cross-sectional data set of 282 SMEs in Bangladesh. Survey data were collected using a structured questionnaire issued to SMEs selected by applying a stratified random sampling technique. The structural equation modelling utilises a two-step procedure of data analysis. Prior to estimating the structural model, the measurement model is examined for construct validity of the study variables (i.e. convergent and discriminant validity).
The estimates show cognitive evaluation as an important antecedent for expectation which is shaped primarily by the entrepreneurs’ beliefs (perception) and also influenced by the owners’ innovativeness and culture. Culture further influences expectation. The study finds that facilitating condition, environmental pressure and country readiness are important antecedents of expectation and ICT use. The results also reveal that integration and the degree of ICT utilisation significantly affect SMEs’ performance. Surprisingly, the findings do not reveal any significant impact of ICT usage on performance which apparently suggests the possibility of the ICT productivity paradox. However, the analysis finally proves the non-existence of the paradox by demonstrating the mediating role of ICT integration and degree of utilisation explain the influence of information technology (IT) usage on firm performance which is consistent with the resource-based theory. The results suggest that the use of ICT can enhance SMEs’ performance if the technology is integrated and properly utilised. SME owners or managers, interested stakeholders and policy makers may follow the study’s outcomes and focus on ICT integration and degree of utilisation with a view to attaining superior organisational performance.
This study urges concerned business enterprises and government to look at the environmental and cultural factors with a view to achieving ICT usage success in terms of enhanced firm performance. In particular, improving organisational practices and procedures by eliminating the traditional power distance inside organisations and implementing necessary rules and regulations are important actions for managing environmental and cultural uncertainties. The application of a Bengali user interface may help to ensure the productivity of ICT use by SMEs in Bangladesh. Establishing a favourable national technology infrastructure and legal environment may contribute positively to improving the overall situation. This study also suggests some changes and modifications in the country’s existing policies and strategies. The government and policy makers should undertake mass promotional programs to disseminate information about the various uses of computers and their contribution in developing better organisational performance. Organising specialised training programs for SME capacity building may succeed in attaining the motivation for SMEs to use ICT. Ensuring easy access to the technology by providing loans, grants and subsidies is important. Various stakeholders, partners and related organisations should come forward to support government policies and priorities in order to ensure the productive use of ICT among SMEs which finally will help to foster Bangladesh’s economic development.
Smart card-based E-payment systems are receiving increasing attention as the number of implementations is witnessed on the rise globally. Understanding of user adoption…
Smart card-based E-payment systems are receiving increasing attention as the number of implementations is witnessed on the rise globally. Understanding of user adoption behavior of E-payment systems that employ smart card technology becomes a research area that is of particular value and interest to both IS researchers and professionals. However, research interest focuses mostly on why a smart card-based E-payment system results in a failure or how the system could have grown into a success. This signals the fact that researchers have not had much opportunity to critically review a smart card-based E-payment system that has gained wide support and overcome the hurdle of critical mass adoption. The Octopus in Hong Kong has provided a rare opportunity for investigating smart card-based E-payment system because of its unprecedented success. This research seeks to thoroughly analyze the Octopus from technology adoption behavior perspectives.
Cultural impacts on adoption behavior are one of the key areas that this research posits to investigate. Since the present research is conducted in Hong Kong where a majority of population is Chinese ethnicity and yet is westernized in a number of aspects, assuming that users in Hong Kong are characterized by eastern or western culture is less useful. Explicit cultural characteristics at individual level are tapped into here instead of applying generalization of cultural beliefs to users to more accurately reflect cultural bias. In this vein, the technology acceptance model (TAM) is adapted, extended, and tested for its applicability cross-culturally in Hong Kong on the Octopus. Four cultural dimensions developed by Hofstede are included in this study, namely uncertainty avoidance, masculinity, individualism, and Confucian Dynamism (long-term orientation), to explore their influence on usage behavior through the mediation of perceived usefulness.
TAM is also integrated with the innovation diffusion theory (IDT) to borrow two constructs in relation to innovative characteristics, namely relative advantage and compatibility, in order to enhance the explanatory power of the proposed research model. Besides, the normative accountability of the research model is strengthened by embracing two social influences, namely subjective norm and image. As the last antecedent to perceived usefulness, prior experience serves to bring in the time variation factor to allow level of prior experience to exert both direct and moderating effects on perceived usefulness.
The resulting research model is analyzed by partial least squares (PLS)-based Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) approach. The research findings reveal that all cultural dimensions demonstrate direct effect on perceived usefulness though the influence of uncertainty avoidance is found marginally significant. Other constructs on innovative characteristics and social influences are validated to be significant as hypothesized. Prior experience does indeed significantly moderate the two influences that perceived usefulness receives from relative advantage and compatibility, respectively. The research model has demonstrated convincing explanatory power and so may be employed for further studies in other contexts. In particular, cultural effects play a key role in contributing to the uniqueness of the model, enabling it to be an effective tool to help critically understand increasingly internationalized IS system development and implementation efforts. This research also suggests several practical implications in view of the findings that could better inform managerial decisions for designing, implementing, or promoting smart card-based E-payment system.
IT support for marketing planning can aid in the use of marketing tools, facilitate group planning, and support moves towards continuous planning based on a live marketing…
IT support for marketing planning can aid in the use of marketing tools, facilitate group planning, and support moves towards continuous planning based on a live marketing model of the business. But, amongst other factors, achieving these benefits depends on the style of support provided by the system. After a review of relevant decision support system (DSS) literature, describes here the findings relating to support style from a qualitative evaluation of a system named EXMAR. The findings support Little’s classic rules of “decision calculus”, such as the importance of ensuring that managers understand and can control the system, rather than the objective influenced by management science of prescribing an optimal recommendation. Also emphasises the role of systems in enhancing mutual understanding in a cross‐functional planning team, and hence in building commitment to the resulting plan.
A hybrid approach for integrating group Delphi, fuzzy logic and expert systems for developing marketing strategies is proposed in this paper. Within this approach, the…
A hybrid approach for integrating group Delphi, fuzzy logic and expert systems for developing marketing strategies is proposed in this paper. Within this approach, the group Delphi method is employed to help groups of managers undertake SWOT analysis. Fuzzy logic is applied to fuzzify the results of SWOT analysis. Expert systems are utilised to formulate marketing strategies based upon the fuzzified strategic inputs. In addition, guidelines are also provided to help users link the hybrid approach with managerial judgement and intuition. The effectiveness of the hybrid approach has been validated with MBA and MA marketing students. It is concluded that the hybrid approach is more effective in terms of decision confidence, group consensus, helping to understand strategic factors, helping strategic thinking, and coupling analysis with judgement, etc.
This article is concerned with the decision process and examines the relationships among information attributes, strategic alternatives’ evaluation and group decision…
This article is concerned with the decision process and examines the relationships among information attributes, strategic alternatives’ evaluation and group decision support systems (GDSS) in the context of database management. The evaluation of strategic alternatives with multiple criteria is very useful for the management of enterprises and business organisations. The whole evaluation and comparison process includes two phases: the establishment and selection of basic strategic evaluation criteria and the appreciation of the ranking of the strategic alternatives. A GDSS has been developed and used to support the evaluation of strategic alternatives. The experimental results show that the proposed GDSS produces better results in evaluating strategic alternatives with multicriteria methods. The major findings are discussed and directions for future research are suggested according to the proposed model.
Focuses on consulting experiences utilizing simulation approachesthat capture decision‐making processes in formulations that aretransparent to the general manager…
Focuses on consulting experiences utilizing simulation approaches that capture decision‐making processes in formulations that are transparent to the general manager. Examines the dual benefit of modelling in terms of not only providing forecasts and an objective framework for quantitative evaluations, but also in the softer sense of building consensus in management teams. Casts these experiences against theories of effective group decision making, and other decision support examples which focus on the use of models. Reconciles the circumstances of the case with the conditions specified for effective group working and suggests that the greatest contribution may be made to consensus decision making when the whole modelling approach, not just access to model outputs, is integrated into the decision‐making process, and where the model complexity is commensurate with the task complexity and the task familiarity of the management group.
The purpose of this paper is to provide an integrated group decision support system (GDSS) that will select the appropriate human resource (HR) capabilities for a firm by…
The purpose of this paper is to provide an integrated group decision support system (GDSS) that will select the appropriate human resource (HR) capabilities for a firm by using existing decision algorithms and information technology (IT) software systems.
The proposed GDSS is constructed by taking advantage of the characteristics of some existing analytical and mathematical methods, including electronic focus groups, value chain, HR scorecard, synergy analysis, gap analysis, analytic hierarchy process based on genetic algorithms (GA‐AHP), similarity measures, fuzzy set theory, and fuzzy mathematics programming. A case study is performed to test and evaluate the performance and usability of the GDSS and to identify whether or not it achieved its designed purpose.
The results show that the proposed GDSS can create a flexible and user‐friendly environment that aids managers and other relevant staff members in evaluating all relevant factors in selecting a firm's HR capabilities.
HR capabilities have a significant effect on business performance in the long term. However, not every firm can easily develop suitable HR capability strategies due to lacking of the adapted support tool. The proposed GDSS is proposed to provide a complete procedure to support managers using a strategy‐oriented perspective to decide the right HR capability to be developed. As the result of using the proposed GDSS, tasks are simplified and the time for HR capability analysis can be significantly reduced.
Few studies have discussed the application of IT to the selection of HR capabilities in facilitating managers in the strategic formulation process. This paper particularly focuses on the question of how firms can actually identify HR capabilities. Thus, the model‐developing nature‐oriented support system is provided for managers in solving such decision‐making problems.
To complete the general multi‐criteria decision‐analysis process and extend it to the process of requisitely holistic generating ideas and developing them into…
To complete the general multi‐criteria decision‐analysis process and extend it to the process of requisitely holistic generating ideas and developing them into innovations. Also, in terms of dialectical systems thinking, to recommend the use of individual and group methods and software supporting this process.
In 1974, Mulej invented and introduced the “Dialectical System” concept (DS), and in 1998 Mulej and Kajzer fortified DS with “the Law of Requisite Holism.” The concept was well‐verified in practice, but lacked the support of quantitative versions of systems thinking. In this paper, we eliminate that deficiency: we complete and extend Belton and Stewart's general multi‐criteria decision‐analysis process to a process of generating ideas and developing them into innovations.
Methods and software supportive of creativity can help generate ideas. Multi‐criteria decision‐making (MCDM) methods can be used to complement intuition, verify ideas, and support their development into innovations. The point is in reaching the requisite holism with only a requisite effort by applied systems thinking and innovation.
Quantitative methods are considered necessary and helpful, but are not sufficient conditions for innovations or for holism.
This paper demonstrates that the modern operations research methods can help strengthen innovation and holistic thinking capacity much more than traditional ones.
The innovative aspect of this paper is that it extends a general multiple criteria decision‐analysis process to the process of generating ideas and developing them into innovations. It combines the Dialectical Systems Theory and the MCDM methods, which provides an interesting new synergy.