Information Technology (IT) tools are a very important part in Group decision making. These tools consist of groupware, DSS capabilities, and telecommunications. Decision makers will need a ”DSS” to help them in making quick decisions. A DSS ” Decision Support System ” is defined as ” a computer-based system that aids the process of decision making” Using a DSS ,decision makers will be in position to confront issues through a direct interaction using provided data and analysis models. A decision support system is very good at supporting the solution of a non-structured problem which simplifies decision making.

The team will need to use groupware tools to aid them in the process of decision making. Groupware is a general term for any kind of software that allows teams to communicate and share documents.  A group decision support system (GDSS) groupware is a special kind of groupware designed to accommodate team decision making. IT has capabilities that support the three phases of team decision making and these include:

  • Brainstorming:  Your team members generate ideas in this step. Your team could be identifying the strength, weakness, opportunities or threats faced by your organization. At this point GDSS groupware allows you and your team members to enter comments and suggestions simultaneously and anonymously. The GDSS groupware then collects the various contributions and displays them either on a viewing screen or on the individual team member’s computers.

  • Issue categorizing and analysis:   During this step, you and your team members arrange ideas into manageable classifications. Then you further discuss those ideas, clarify and unresolved issues, and evaluate the worth of each idea. Based on key words, the GDSS software sorts and classifies the team’s ideas. Each set of ideas then goes into a separate electronic folder. You can open any or all of the folders and add your comments. You can also refine and reorganize the topics in the folders.


  • Ranking and voting:  When your team has seen, discussed, and analyzed the ideas, each member assigns weights to each idea. After prioritizing them, the team votes on the final ranking. You assign weights to the various ideas, and then the GDSS groupware calculates the outcome and shows these results numerically or graphically to the team.


In conclusion:

Many organizations are depending Information technology as a main driver of both production and decision making with in an organization as a way of gaining competitive advantage. Most traditional definitions of GDSS ”group decision support systems they do provide a small perspective on which information technology can be used in group decision making. When making a decision as a group , you will need a broad view of the topic at hand and use ”IT” to dig deep , each group member will have to make a detailed case study on that particular ”Topic” and use ”Information Technology to analyze the facts in those case studies to help you as a group to make a final decision in time.

However, specialized GDSS groupware is not the only kind of groupware you can use to improve group decision making. You can use any type of groupware that facilitates communication and decision making including, but not limited to , electronic mail, electronic bulletin boards, videoconferencing ,  and language translation groupware.  Also document management groupware is particularly helpful because it allows the team to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets and other projects.

Read more about this topic here .IGI Global 


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