Considerable attention in recent years, especially in the US, has been paid to computer based Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS). These systems expect to capitalise on the benefits provided by computers and networks. These computer based GDSSs are heralded as being relatively new, however systems for supporting group decision making developed in the UK which use only manual methods and techniques have been available for much longer. This paper aims to examine these two types of group decision support system, and suggest a third type — that of the partially computer based system. The paper considers aspects of GDSS design such as location, flexibility of design, levels of participation in data capture, presentational difficulties, managing complexity of data, client control, and management of group dynamics. By so doing the paper aims to demonstrate that all three types of system can benefit from consideration of the other types, that each type has both positive and negative features, and that some combination of all of the types could provide groups with the best form of support.
- group decision making
- interactive modelling
- group decision support systems