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Decision support systems in action: integrated application in a multicriteria decision aid process

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We describe a real application of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) in which several Decision Support Systems (DSSs) were harmoniously integrated in the interactive learning process of tackling the complex strategic problematic situation faced by the Santa Catarina textile industry, in the south of Brazil. We feel that two significant conclusions can be drawn from our conjoint use of Graphics COPE, MACBETH, V.I.S.A, and EQUITY in building a model of values: (1) Providing decision-support is much more than merely applying a technical tool to “solve” a well-defined decision problem; it is, at least it was in our case, a complex (but exciting) activity of someone (the facilitator) who, with the support of adequate methodological and technical tools, progressively tried to shed light on an initially ill-structured decision-making process. (2) Under a constructive attitude in decision-aid, DSSs became effective tools for helping the facilitators to help the decision-actors, both in the structuring and evaluation phases of the process, and in creating new decision opportunities. In particular, visual man–machine interaction greatly contributed to the actors' learning about their problem and values. Moreover, visually appealing sensitivity analyses increased the problem-owners' trust in the recommendations elaborated from the model.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/7364/

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