Review of prior related research: A DSS engineering perspective
The literature surveyed in this chapter demonstrated the strong interest among researchers from various disciplines to tackle group decision-making and group decision support systems. It also underlined the complexity of the problem that has led to a lack of, or impossibility to define, a general and coherent approach to group decision problem.
From a group DSS perspective, the sophistication of the game theoretic approach — as well as its restrictive assumptions — has discouraged the average decision maker. Also, discussions on the theory of elections and social choice seem to suggest a pragmatic avenue to group problem solving. Ordinal and cardinal rankings remain basic elements for determining collective choice. However, defining collective norms that are specific to a particular context has become a requisite for a satisfactory use of group decision techniques.
Moreover, growing findings by organizational psychologists as well as early attempts to design computer based MCDM and group DSS seem to emphasize on the process of group decision-making. The analysis of this process ranges from the understanding of various media (e.g., electronic communication media, or human mediator) to the use of information systems technology (e.g., DSS and artificial intelligence). It remains, however, unclear how these findings can be systematically pooled together to formulate a synthetic approach to group decision support. As a point of departure, a better understanding of the roles and functions of decision support systems in group decision-making would help DSS researchers concentrate their effort on the most crucial group decision support issues and on the continued identification of computer technology for GDSS use.
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