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dc.contributor.authorPervan, Graham
dc.contributor.authorArnott, David
dc.identifier.citationPervan, Graham and Arnott, David. 2005. A critical analysis of decision support systems research. Journal of Information Technology 20: 67-87.

This paper critically analyses the nature and state of decision support systems (DSS) research. To provide contest for the analysis, a history of DSS is presented which focuses on the evolution of a number of sub-groupings of research and practice: personal DSS, group support systems, negotiation support systems, intelligent DSS, knowledge management-based DSS, executive information systems/business intelligence and data warehousing. To understand the state of DSS research an empirical investigation of published DSS research is presented. This investigation is based on the detailed analysis of 1,020 DSS articles published in 14 major journals from 1990 to 2003. The analysis fund that DSS publication has been falling steadily since its peak in 1994 and the current publication rate is at early 1990s levels. Other findings include that personal DSS and group support systems dominate research activity and data warehousing is the least published type of DSS. The journal DSS is the Major publishing outlet, US 'Other" journals dominate DSS publishing and there is very low exposure of DSS in European journals. Around two-thirds of DSS research is empirical, a much higher proportion than general IS research. DSS empirical research is overwhelming positivism, and is more dominated by positivism than IS research in general. Design science is a major DSS research category. The decision support focus of the sample shows a well-balanced mix of development, technology, process, and outcome studies. almost half of DSS papers did not use judgement and decision-making reference research in the design and analysis of their projects and most cited reference works are relatively old. A major omission in DSS scholarship is the poor identification of the clients and users of the various DSS applications that are the focus of investigation. The analysis of the professional or practical contribution of DSS research shows a field that is facing a crisis of relevance. Using the history and empirical study as a foundation, a number of strategies for improving DSS research are suggested.

dc.publisherPalgrave Macmillan
dc.subjectbusiness intelligence
dc.subjectgroup support systems
dc.subjectdecision support systems
dc.subjectdata warehousing
dc.subjectexecutive information systems
dc.titleA critical analysis of decision support systems research
dc.typeJournal Article
dcterms.source.titleJournal of Information Technology

Pervan, Graham and Arnott, David (2005) A critical analysis of decision support systems research, Journal of Information Technology 20:67-87. Palgrave Macmillan.


Reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan.


This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript. The definitive published version of this extract may be found at

curtin.accessStatusOpen access
curtin.facultyCurtin Business School
curtin.facultySchool of Information Systems

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