M.C. ER attempts to untangle data management from the impact of data use. In doing so, though, he attributes far more value to Decision Support System than it merits. The age of the paper (1988) may have something to do with this, but the idea that DSS will be able to support all levels of decision-making is excessive. Furthermore, the description of DSS makes it seem that it will eventually become autonomous. At least, that seems to be the goal. By that point DSS will have to be relabeled, DMS, Decision Making System. The reason being that M.C. ER describes systems that can act on their own decisions. He even furthers the narrative by mentioning artificial intelligence in the concluding statements.
As for GIS, System or Science, it still has not quite reached the point of making decisions in place of top management. Let alone the fact that GIS has a very narrow spectrum of applications. If we were to use GIS as a case study of the success or failure of DSS, it would fall short of making decisions for management, but is definitely useful in supplementing the knowledge set of the decision maker.
Then again, that is not to say that it has failed or succeeded as a DSS, in that the definition of a DSS is, according to M.C. ER fluid and open to interpretation, considering the numerous attempts at classifying the field.
One assertion of the paper that caught me off guard was this, “It is important to know that human decision makers generally do not make decisions based on the probability of success, because the penalty for a vital decision that turns out to be wrong is normally substantial.” If this were the case, how else would people make decisions? Gut feeling? If gut feelings do not take probabilistic guesses of success into account, than they are no better than random guesses. In that case, creating a DSS is easy. Unfortunately, I do not believe this is the case. The user is a vital source of information and decision-making along the way, and is unlikely to be stripped from the process.



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