This paper explores the limits of decision support systems ( DSS) using a case study of fashion purchasing to elicit the range of needs for which support might be required. In particular, it highlights the extent to which issues such as vision, creativity and future thinking are management problems for which systems would be useful. The paper looks at the attributes of vision and relates components of a vision-based decision to the development and use of DSS. Vision is defined, and its constituents, foresight, culture, change and strategic intellf, discussed. The needs of senior decision makers and the drawbacks of DSS in supporting vision-based decisions are analysed. Management techniques suitable as model bases for such DSS are briefly examined. Some are useful for assessing the impact and importance of future developments, yet, currently available development techniques are more suitable for planning than for supporting of vision-based decisions. An example taken from the fashion industry illustrates the shortcomings of a new, so-called, DSS, already considered indispensable for fashion purchasers and sales managers, with regard to vision support. Finally, a new tool, or hybrid, vision support systems, VSS, is suggested.

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Journal of Decision Systems
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Loebbecke, C., Powell, P., Eardley, A., Avison, D., & Jelassi, T. (1997). The limits to DSS: Supporting vision, creativity and future thinking. Journal of Decision Systems, 6(4), 317–331. doi:10.1080/12460125.1997.10511732