Why Real-Time Transaction Processing Fails to Capture the Context Required for Decision Support
This chapter considers the problems in providing real-time decision support to managers using our observations of the distribution process in a case study of a multinational manufacturing firm. This firm is characterised by its reliance on an ERP (enterprise resource planning) package for transaction processing, but is also known for its use of more complex technical architectures for decision support. Our observations reveal that, despite the existence of a standardised and centralised ERP architecture, aligning this real-time transaction processing system with the reality of doing business is subject to constraints arising from both the business and virtual context of the firm. We explain the gradual and inevitable emergence of gaps between the inflexible ERP system and the decision support needs of managers. On the basis of the case studied, we conclude with a theoretical framework for the relationship between real-time transaction processing and decision support, differentiating between an information processing level and a decision process level.
KeywordsReal-time decision support ERP Transaction processing Case study Middle managers Impact of information systems.
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