Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS)

Modified: 1st Jan 2015
Wordcount: 1069 words

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I would start my arguments with a semi-scientific definition of a group decision support system (GDSS).

Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS) – An interactive, computer-based system that facilitates solution of unstructured problems by a set of decision-makers working together as a group. It aids groups, especially groups of managers, in analyzing problem situations and in performing group decision making tasks.

After this ”unattractive” definition, I would grab his attention by asking this question: WHY USE (GDSS) ?

  • High level managers can spend 80% of their time making decisions in groups. Applied correctly, GDSS can reduce this time, arriving at a better decision faster.
  • GDSS provides the hardware, software, databases and procedures for effective decision making.

Now before listing any benefits or advantages, I would get into the process of the (GDSS) and try to explain it with the simplest way possible.

Some kind of problems has always been observed that are associated more with large meetings, some of the identified problems are:

  • time consuming;
  • dominance over the meeting; and
  • Honesty and participation.

In a GDSS environment, there is usually a big room with something like 40 seats, which means that 40 people can be at the meeting at any one time. There are not only 40 seats but also 40 microcomputers. This enables every participant to have the use of one microcomputer during the course of the meeting. The reason why each participant needs a microcomputer depends on how GDSS works.

In the GDSS, with special computer software, the facilitator of each meeting will first make the agenda of the meeting, which will be projected onto a big screen that everyone can see. Then the participants will type simultaneously in their ideas of the topic of discussion on the individual microcomputers next to them. Then the computer will sort the ideas, and then the participants will then vote or comment on which ideas they like or they dislike. In the course of the whole meeting, GDSS stores, categorizes and prints out all the ideas, comments and vote tallies, so that each of the meeting participants will get a summary of the meeting when it ends.

So the (GDSS) would be very beneficial for the company. and here arew some benefits:

  1. Improves personal efficiency
  2. Expedites problem solving (speed up the progress of problems solving in an organization)
  3. Facilitates interpersonal communication
  4. Promotes learning or training
  5. Increases organizational control
  6. Generates new evidence in support of a decision
  7. Creates a competitive advantage over competition
  8. Encourages exploration and discovery on the part of the decision maker
  9. Reveals new approaches to thinking about the problem space
  10. Helps automate the managerial processes.

And when it comes to analyzing meetings, you will find that it constitutes of a variety of people with different personalities, and this would create a lot of problems such as someone being shy about giving his/her thoughts and opinions, or some someone dominating the meeting.

And this brings us to the advantages of (GDSS):

  1. Anonymity – drive out fear leading to better decisions from a diverse hierarchy of decision makers
  2. Parallel Communication – eliminate monopolizing providing increased participation, better decisions.
  3. Automated record keeping – no need to take notes, they’re automatically recorded
  4. Ability for virtual meetings – only need hardware, software and people connected
  5. Portability – Can be set up to be portable… laptop
  6. Global Potential – People can be connected across the world
  7. No need for a computer guru – although some basic experience is a must

I predict that the CEO’s criticism will revolve around the disadvantages of the (GDSS):

  1. Cost -infrastructure costs to provide the hardware and software/room/network connectivity can be very expensive
  2. Security – especially true when companies rent the facilities for GDSS; also, the facilitator may be a lower-level employee who may leak information to peers
  3. Technical Failure – power loss, loss of connectivity, relies heavily on bandwidth and LAN/WAN infrastructure – properly setup system should minimize this risk
  4. Keyboarding Skills – reduced participation may result due to frustration
  5. Training – learning curve is present for users, varies by situation
  6. Perception of messages – lack of verbal communication could lead to misinterpretation

And I will counter his criticism by saying that the world we live in is changing every day, Early computers were used primarily for computations such as plotting the paths of missiles. As businesses began to adopt computer technology, the use of computers shifted to more for data storage and retrieval rather computational. Recently, computers have been extensively used for communication.

And now I finish my arguments with the future implications of (GDSS) and I hope that he (the CEO) will be convinced.

  1. Integrating into existing corporate framework
    • GDSS brings changes which must be managed
  2. GDSS will incorporate Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems – the software will “learn” and help the users make better decisions
  3. Decreasing cost will allow more organizations to use GDSS
  4. Increasing implementation of GDSS with the customer
    • Customer voice their needs in non-threatening environment
  5. GDSS may play a large role in the future of the virtual companies
  6. GDSS can help the virtual companies do business in the global business environment
  7. GDSS can help promote a culturally diverse work environment
  8. Telework seems to make a lot of sense using GDSS


  1. Group Decision Support System – GDSS
  2. Possibilities, Applications and Benefit


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