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Research has indicated the importance of matching Information Technology (IT) applications or manufacturing systems with the competitive strategy of a company. Selection of the right type of IT application is, however, a challenging task. When a company, with a given dominant process structure, emphasizes two or more competitive priorities, such as quality, product flexibility, etc., an unaided manager faces a complex decision problem in choosing from alternative IT applications available in the areas of product design through distribution. In this paper, we developed an Intelligent Decision Support System (IDSS) that would assist managers with: assessment of the relative importance of competitive priorities in their organization, evaluation of the fit between the competitive priorities and their dominant process structure, and identification of the IT applications that are consistent with both the competitive priorities and the process structure. The IDSS is comprised of an interactive user interface, a knowledge database, a decision model, and a Knowledge-Based System (KBS) that was developed using the 1st class KBS shell. Validation of the system illustrates that its performance is good as the human expert, and it has the potential to facilitate effective and swift decision-making in the selection of appropriate IT applications that best match an organization’s manufacturing strategy. The choice and use of the right type of IT application should provide a company with a competitive edge.


This is the accepted version of the following article:

Kathuria, R., Anandarajan, A. and Igbaria, M. (1999). Linking IT applications with manufacturing strategy: An intelligent decision support system Approach. Decision Sciences, 30(4), 959-991.

which has been published in final form at DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-5915.1999.tb00915.x. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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Decision Sciences Institute


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