Management Support Systems Design: A Competing Values Approach

  • Sven A. Carlsson
  • Jonas Hedman

Management Support Systems (MSS) are computer-based systems that are supposed to be used by, or at least to support, managers. A major problem in MSS development is requirements specification. There exist a large number of systems development methods (SDM) (Avison & Fitzgerald 1999; Jayaratna 1994). Watson et al. (1997) point out that there are differences between traditional SDM and MSS development methods and that the former are not very useful in MSS development. In a study focusing on the MSS development methods used by organizations in the US, Watson et al. (1997) found that only two formal methods were used, namely: the critical success factors (CSF) method (Rockart 1979) and the strategic business objectives (SBO) method (Volonino & Watson 1990-91). They, as well as other less used methods, focus primarily on specifying managers’ information needs and how an MSS can fulfill information needs. Although, they can be useful, they have one major limitation. Since they primarily focus on information needs they are not complete in generating MSS requirements. More complete needs requirements specification can be generated by focusing on managerial roles and how an MSS can support a manager’s different organizational roles. We present an MSS design approach based on a current management theory and model. In doing so, we build on three postulates.


Managerial Role Balance Scorecard Rational Goal Information System Development Requisite Variety 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sven A. Carlsson
    • 1
  • Jonas Hedman
  1. 1.Informatics, School of Economics and ManagementLund UniversitySweden

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