Looking Back on a Framework for Thinking About Group Support Systems

  • Viktor DörflerEmail author
Living reference work entry


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, and 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.


Political feasibility Transitional object Artificial intelligence Intuition Creativity Emotions 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Management Science DepartmentUniversity of Strathclyde Business SchoolGlasgowUK

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