Chapter9 ANSWERS TO DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. Is the form and use of information and decision support in e-business changing and expanding? Why or why not?
Yes, the form and use of information and decision support in e-business is changing and expanding. Certainly changes are taking place in traditional MIS, DSS, and EIS tools, and these changes are being driven by the rapid developments in end user computing and networking. Internet, Web browser, and related technologies, and the explosion of e-commerce activities are also causing rapid change. The growth of corporate intranets, extranets, as well as the Web, has accelerated the development of “executive class” interfaces like enterprise information portals, and Web enabled decision support software tools, and their use by lower of management and by individuals and teams of business professionals. The expansion of e-commerce has increased the use of enterprise portals and DSS tools by the suppliers, customers, and other business stakeholders of a company.
2. Has the growth of self-directed teams to manage work in organizations changed the need for strategic, tactical, and operational decision making in business?
Although there has been tremendous growth in the use of self-directed teams in organizations in order to manage the work, the basics for decision making have not changed that much. Strategic, tactical and operational decision-making continues to be carried out in organizations regardless of how the work is completed. What has changed is the way in which the work is being completed. Through technology, self-directed teams now have new and creative ways of completing their duties. Technology has created an environment where communication, collaboration and teamwork environments have increased importance.
3. What is the difference between the ability of a manager to retrieve information instantly on demand using an MIS, and the capabilities provided by a DSS?
Managers have traditionally relied on the capabilities of MIS to obtain the data that they required. However, the information for these requests had traditionally been structured in advance, and was designed to address the requirements of structured requests. In a DSS support system, the capabilities are much broader. Now managers can query the information in a number of ways, and these systems can handle the ad hoc queries that come about. DSS provide the capabilities for a manager to participate in interactive analytical modeling in order to make more informed decision. DSS software is capable of supporting semistructured and unstructured decisions that are both candidates for a manager’s attention. DSSs are designed so that the decision maker’s can use their own insights and judgments to conduct ad hoc, interactive, analytical modeling process which will lead them to a specific decision.
4. Refer to the Real World Case on International Rectifier, Blair, and Pillsbury in the chapter. Are e-business decision support products evolving into hybrid systems that combine MIS, OLAP, DSS, AI, and other related capabilities? Give examples to illustrate your answer. Definitely, e-business decision support products are evolving into hybrid systems that combine a number of capabilities of all of the other powerful systems. It cannot be emphasized enough to students, that no “one part” of an organization works in isolation from the other parts. For example, sales cannot work in isolation from manufacturing and vise versa. Neither department can work without the input from the Human Resource department which must make sure that the company has well trained and qualified employees. Shareholders want dividends, organizations want profits, employees want work, etc. Internal and external factors affect an organization, and a multitude of demands and decisions must be undertaken – all requiring access to data products.
In what ways does using an electronic...
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