Strategic Management: Formulation and Implementation

Decision Support Systems (dds)

A decision support system (DDS) is a computerbased information system that supports the process of managerial decision making when these decisions are semistructured, unique, rapidly changing, and not specified easily in advance.

The difference between DSS and other systems and the ideal configuration of DSS systems are described in Figure 810.

Distinguishing between an MIS and a DSS is not always easy. A MIS usually reports summaries of basic business transactions; it uses simple analytical tools and solves structured, repetitive problems; its output is usually routine reports. A DSS, on the other hand, uses more sophisticated analytical and data modelling tools to solve semistructured problems. It provides data and models for decision making and provides interactive answers to nonroutine questions.

Executive Support Systems (ess)

Executive support systems (ESS) support the strategic level by providing a generalized computing and communications environment to assist senior management's decision making. The questions ESS must assist in answering include: What business should we be in? What are the competitors doing? What new acquisitions would protect us from cyclical business swings? Which units should we sell to raise cash for acquisitions? What is the impact on earnings of proposed changes in the investment tax credit?

Figure 811 illustrates a model of an ESS. It consists of workstations with menu, interactive graphics, and communications capabilities that can access historical and competitive data from internal corporate systems and external databases such as Dow Jones News/Retrieval or the Gallup Poll.