Integrating Decision Technologies: Implications for Management Curriculum

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Abstract

The essence of management is decision making. Decision making requires the availability and proper use of data. Three evolving technologies relate to the support of decision making: information processing, decision science methods, and organization of decision makers and decision processes. More and more, because of technological developments and increased understanding of complex decision situations, these technologies must be seen as an integrated whole in order to support efficient and effective decision making. Within organizations, different groups are often charged with each of the three technologies that should support decision making. As a result, we often experience problems where the data is unavailable, is not compatible with the analyses desired, or is not relevant to the decision-making processes that managers wish to use. A substantive integration of these support groups and their expertise would help.

Acting as a change agent, business and management schools can develop a conceptualization of the three technology areas that integrates them with respect to terminology. They can also develop a unified set of general constructs that carry throughout each of the areas. Further, a new series of core courses can be developed that present the integrated technology subjects in a logical sequence.

Management schools have been concerned with teaching concepts and skills related to data acquisition, manipulation, and presentation to their students for some time. However, in organizing the delivery of data-handling concepts and skills, these schools have relied on courses from various disciplines such as decision sciences (DSci), management information systems (MIS), and managerial decision making (MDM). These courses in management school curricula are generally redundant, use similar terminology differently, and are not mutually supportive.

This article focuses on the design and delivery of an integrated sequence of core courses that addresses the three technology areas. Drawing on experience at our own schools, we address general course design principles, resolution of issues on content requirements and delivery, implementation issues, and current and future problems related to the effective integration of topics that have traditionally been addressed in DSci, MIS, and MDM courses.

Additional Details

Author Carl R. Adams and Jae Hyon Song
Year 1989
Volume 13
Issue 2
Keywords Managerial decision making, managerial use of decision technologies, business core courses, MIS education, decision sciences education
Page Numbers 199-209