Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 2 Number 2 1985 pp. 55-72

Scope/Complexity: A Framework for the Classification and Analysis of Information-Decision Systems

Belardo, Salvatore and Pazer, Harold L

ABSTRACT: A new framework for the clarification and analysis of information-decision systems is presented. It is based upon two key dimensions, Scope and Complexity, each of which can be adequately described in terms of two principal components. For Scope, these are the organizational descriptors of breadth and depth, while for Complexity they are the problem descriptors of uncertainty and variety. This framework is shown to be a logical extension and synthesis of previously presented frameworks. The Scope/Complexity framework is sufficiently flexible to accommodate a variety of information system perspectives and to enable the analyst and researcher to graphically and algebraically portray the existing system and to evaluate various strategies for process improvement. An example of the application of the Scope/Complexity construct in the context of a vehicle scheduling decision support system is presented. In the final section, the Scope/Complexity framework is employed to identify a series of research hypotheses which directly parallel the problems of analysis and design encountered by the practitioner.

Key words and phrases: scope/ complexity classification, decision support systems