Looking back on a framework for thinking about group support systems

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This chapter is an update to the thinking framework for Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS) proposed by Colin Eden 30 years ago. As the source paper, this chapter is a personal take on the topic, however it is a personal take rooted in substantial experience in the broad area of decision making and modelling and in some specific narrow areas of decision support. There have been major developments in the broad context surrounding GDSS, including the improved understanding of decisions on the conceptual side, and many aspects of computer development, such as artificial intelligence and big data on the technical side. Considering the volume of these changes it is surprising how much the observations, arguments and conclusions offered in the source paper are still valid today. The most important component of any GDSS is still the facilitator, and the most valuable ingredients of the GDSS process are the participants’ intuitions, creativity, opinions, arguments, agendas, personalities, networks. The outcome of the GDSS process is only valuable if it is politically feasible. Today we have a better understanding of transitional objects and their role in the GDSS process; their significance is the second after the facilitator. Artificial intelligence can be useful for GDSS in several different ways, but it cannot replace the facilitator.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Group Decision and Negotiation
EditorsD. Marc Kilgour, Colin Eden
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783030496296
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2021

Publication series

NameLiving reference works
PublisherSpringer Nature


  • political feasibility
  • transitional object
  • artificial intelligence
  • intuition
  • creativity
  • emotions
  • group decision support
  • group decision support systems
  • causal mapping
  • SODA


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