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Executive Support Systems: Organizational Decisions Tool.

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Executive Support Systems:  Organizational Decisions Tool

Executive Support Systems:  Improving Organizational Decisions


  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  1. Definition of Executive Support Systems (ESS)
  2. Why implement an ESS
  1. Internal factors
  1. Organization strategy
  2. Need for timely information
  3. Desire for accurate information
  1. External factors
  1. Increase competition
  2. Change in product demand
  3. Government regulations
  1. Types of ESS
  1. Communication
  2. Data
  3. Scenarios
  1. Characteristics of ESS
  1. Replace paper reports
  2. Provide information in a timely manner
  3. Ease of access
  4. Satisfy desire for processed information
  1. Creating an Executive Support System
  1. “Starting Lineup”
  1. Executives
  2. IS/IT Personnel
  3. ESS Support Team
  4. Executive Assistants
  1. Data
  1. Internal
  1. Existing databases
  2. Other Sources
  1. External
  1. Stock Markets
  2. Industry Data
  3. World Wide Web
  4. Customers
  1. Hardware
  1. Type
  1. PC
  2. Mainframe/Server
  1. Determining the System Requirements
  1. Ask questions
  1. Executives
  2. Executive Assistants
  1. Conduct meetings
  1. Executive Assistants
  2. IT/IS Personnel
  3. ESS Support Team
  1. Purchasing vs. Developing in-house
  1. Purchasing
  1. Advantages
  1. Quick Installation
  2. Upgrade capabilities
  1. Disadvantages
  1. Adaptation
  2. Modification cost
  3. “Unstructured support”
  1. Developing in-house
  1. Advantages
  1. Specifications
  2. Integration with existing system
  1. Disadvantages
  1. Development delays
  2. Increased costs
  1. Improving ESS after implementation
  1. Track decisions
  1. Cause and effect relationships
  1. Monitoring
  1. Advantages/Disadvantages of ESS
  1. Advantages
  1. Drill Down abilities
  2. Direct personal access to data
  3. Monitor performance
  4. View strengths & weaknesses
  1. Disadvantages
  1. Slow response time
  2. Unable to interface with current systems
  3. Subordinate resistance
  1. ESS Misconceptions
  1. Organizational effectiveness
  2. “The Answer”
  1. Conclusion

Executive Support Systems:  Organizational Decisions Tool


        Executive Support Systems (ESS) are useful tools in supporting executives with their decision making process.  This report reveals the characteristics of ESS, the participants in creating the system, determining the system requirements and the advantages/disadvantages of ESS.


        The survival of an organization relies heavily on the decisions made by top executives that could result in either success or failure.  Over the years, many organizations has implemented a concept, that was introduced in the early 1980’s, to assist top-level executives with their decision making process; that concept is known today as Executive Support Systems.  Executive Support Systems (ESS) is an information system at the strategic level of an organization designed to address unstructured decisions making through advanced graphics and communications (Laudon & Laudon, 2002, 420).  ESS brings structure to the decision making process, piecing together vital information to support the final decision.  There are several internal and external factors that cause an organization to consider implementing an ESS.  

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According to Chiusolo & Kleiner, an ESS should replace paper reports, provide internal/external information in a timely manner, easily accessible and satisfy the executive desire for processed information (1995, 25).  There is without a doubt that the ESS should replace paper reports since most organizations strive to maintain a paperless environment.  User friendliness is a must, allowing an executive unfamiliar with computes access data swiftly and in a timely manner.  Lastly, the executive may be unwilling to spend countless hours extracting data and converting it into visual aids.  The ESS can furnish the executive with processed data immediately and comprehendible.

        Once it has been determined that an Executive Support System will be beneficial to the organization’s executives and their decision making process, the next step involves creating the system.

Creating an Executive Support System

        The difference between a well developed and a mediocre system that might not be used depends on the team assembled to create the system.  The ESS should be created so that it requires little to no training with the appropriate personnel in mind.  The ESS Planning team should consist of executives, IT/IS Personnel, an ESS Support Team and executive assistants.  The executive is a very important member of the team, especially since the system will be configured with the in them in mind.  Instances may occur when the executive is unable to participate in the creation process on a continual basis; in which case, someone should be assigned to participate for the executive.  The assignee keeps the executive informed of the progress and provides the team with the executive’s feedback.  The assignee also attempts to generate support and interest of the new system by conducting meetings with peers with the intentions that the peers will back the implementation and accept the new system.

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        The advantages of ESS are numerous providing executives use it full potential.  Executives will see improved management performance, greater availability of data, ability to view the organization’s strengths & weaknesses and improve organizational effectiveness providing the system supports the organization’s strategy.  

        The tool for success is out there; organizations have to ask themselves if they want to take advantage of it and move forward within their industry or continue to be followers, walking in another’s steps.


Bartholomew, Doug  “When Will EIS Deliver?” Industry Week, 37-39 (March 1997)

Chiusolo, Eric and Kleiner, Brian H.  “The most useful software for executives”

Industrial Management & Data Systems 25-29 (December 1995)

Dauer, Christopher  “EIS helping execs to keep an eye on their business” National Underwriter

        Life & Health-Financial Services Edition p.2 (August 1991)

Fitzgerald, Brian and Murphy, Ciaran  “Introducing executive information systems into

        organizations:  separating fact from fallacy”  Journal of Information Technlogy,

288-296 (1994).

Holohan, James  “Use of excutive information systems in measuring business

performance” Journal of Information Technology , 177-186 (1992)

van den Hoven, John  “Executive support systems & decision making”  Journal of Systems

        Management 48-55 (March/April 1996)

Laudon, Kenneth C. & Jane P.  Management Information Systems:  Managing The Digital

        Firm p.420 (2002)

Nord, G. Daryl & Jeretta Horn  “Why managers use executive support systems:  selecting and

        using  information technology for strategic advantage”  Industrial Management &

        Data Systems 24-29 (September 1995)

Tang, Victor  “The organization implications of an EIS implementation” Journal of Systems

        Management  p.10 (November 1991)

Watson, Hugh J. and Frolick, Mary N.  “Determining Information Requirements for an EIS”

        MIS Quarterly (September 1993)

Watson, Hugh J., Rainer, R. Kelly, and Koh, Chang  “Executive Information Systems:

        A Framework for Development and a Survey of Current Practices”

MIS Quarterly, 13-30 (March 1991)

Worcester, Barbara  “EIS used as data-management tool” Hotel & Motel Management 78-80

        (November 1997)

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