Optimal decisionmaking or optimal trouble-shooting?
The aim of this paper is to view the notion of optimal decision support from the practical perspective of a user — manager. Using this perspective forces one to conclude that optimization techniques in the classical OR sense do not necessarily lead to improved, let alone optimal, decision support. The organizational and environmental contingencies determine what kind of DSS, if any, are feasible to support decisionmaking in a given situation.
For the area of tactical / operational planning decisions, we propose a simple assessment tool to judge which type of DSS could be appropriate. The tool investigates eight aspects from both the context and the object system in a qualitative manner. The possibilities of the tool are demonstrated for two cases: cultivation planning in potted plant nurseries, and physical distribution in a large production company. The present status of the tool is tentative. The tool predicts that in most planning situations highly interactive planning systems, in which the planner has primacy over the automated system, are called for.
KeywordsObject System Physical Distribution Planning Session Planning Situation Problem Owner
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