Modeling the Didactic Core of 'Contemporary' Decision Support Systems

25 Pages Posted: 19 May 2018

Date Written: March 20, 2018


The contemporary decision making contexts where Decision Support Systems (DSSs) are applied are increasingly more dynamic, complex, “wicked” and digitally enabled. The resurgent research interest in DSSs is linked to recent developments in Big Data & Analytics (BDA), the sharing economy, and increasingly, application of DSSs outside management scenarios that were relatively stable. Thus, over time, there has emerged a ‘design-reality’ mismatch, in which DSSs design archetype recognizes the complexity of decision making environments; while praxis has largely assumed complicated, but more stable, structured and semi-structured decision making contexts. Prior research also confirms that there has been a perfunctory engagement of the implications of such a mismatch to didactic concerns related to the content, methods or expected outcomes of contemporary DSSs education. The central concern of this conceptual elaboration is to unpack the ‘black box’ of contemporary DSSs didactic concerns by applying the Theory of Synergetics, which reifies complexity and self-organization as core concepts. A proposition is made that DSS education should be approached as a self-organized process; an approach that offers new insights and provides explanatory concepts relevant for advancing DSSs education. Notably, the insights that are likely to influence developments in DSSs are linked to the sharing economy, Singerian paradigm, data-driven developments and a decision making context that augments the utility based perspective towards cognitive decision-based processes.

Keywords: Decision Support Systems, Information Systems, DSS, IS, Complexity Theory, Theory of Synergetics

JEL Classification: I20, I21

Suggested Citation

Ochara, Nixon Muganda and Odhiambo, Nancy Achieng, Modeling the Didactic Core of 'Contemporary' Decision Support Systems (March 20, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Nixon Muganda Ochara

University of Venda ( email )

Thohoyandou, Limpopo 0950
South Africa

Nancy Achieng Odhiambo (Contact Author)

University of Venda ( email )

Private Bag X5050
Thohoyandou, Limpopo Province 0950
South Africa

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