Decision Support System in Governmental Organizations in Saudi Arabia

Summary of the proposed study

It will be a descriptive survey (Scarbough, & Tenenbaum 2001, p.143) where the researcher shall seek to determine respondents’ perceptions or understanding on the role of DSS in improvement of human resource management in a controlled manner.

Purpose of the proposed study

The study will examine the role of DSS in improvement of human resource management in governmental organizations in Saudi Arabia.

Relevant background literature

Abdul (1987, p.55) observes that Saudi Arabia is on the road to improvement of management of human resources particularly within the government. Investment in decision support system will greatly improve decision making in the civil service. It will do so by providing decision models to those charged with the responsibility of heading Saudi civil service in order for them to manage human resources better (Saudi Ministry of planning, 1997).

According to Mejia (2001, p.746), human resource managers maintain inventories of all employees including their status and history which can be used in reviewing performance with a view to reviewing their salary. However as Keenan (2002, p.433) points out, data on employees is very sensitive and should therefore be protected against unauthorized access and usage. Pinsoneaut and Kraemer (1993, p.213) observed that decision support systems increase a firm’s competitive advantage. By offering managers with an opportunity to gather high quality information in a timely fashion, DSS saves time and resources (Chandler, 1997, p.122).

Alsahlawi (2004, p.144) observes that in Saudi Arabia, annual pay hikes for government employees are constant. Annual increase in salary is not based on productivity: all employees get the same predictable increment irrespective of their output and dedication to work. When it comes to promotions, the date of entry in to the job is the determining factor. The recently introduced decision support system will go a long way in improving human resource planning and management in Saudi Arabia. UNDP Human Development Report of 2002 indicates that Saudi Arabia is faced with problems of wage harmonization and inadequate professional human resource managers. Ross (1995, p.200) cautions that data generated and stored in DSS should not do away with the human interaction that is prevalent in organizations. The human element is essential in realization of Saudi Arabia’s government’s aspirations.

Research questions

  1. To what extent does the decision support system forecast human resource requirements in Saudi Arabia?
  2. To what extent does decision support system reduces risk of loss of sensitive employee data?
  3. To what extent does decision support system centralizes data about all employees in Saudi civil service?

Definitions of key terms

Decision support system: an information system that avails information to managers for employment in decision making.

Decision making: the process of arriving at sound decisions

Forecasting: the process of predicting what is likely to happen in the near or distant future.

Human resources: people that work in any organization.

Research methodology

Questionnaire items will be administered to human resource managers within the Saudi civil service. Oral interviews targeting senior managers will be conducted too.

Significance of the research

Research findings will enable viable planning to enhance human resource management in Saudi Arabia.

Ethical considerations

Identities of people from whom information will be sought shall remain confidential

Respondents shall have the right to abstain from the study

Due permission shall be sought from relevant authorities

Personal biases of the researcher shall be kept at bay.

Timetable for the research

I intend to get necessary permission for collection of data by the end of December 2010, collect data by end of February and finish analysis by June 2011.

Anticipated problems and limitations

The study will be limited to the role of DSS in the civil service and not all organizations in Saudi Arabia. Bureaucratic procedures are likely to hamper progress of the study.


Abdul Rahman, O, 1987, The Dilemma of Development in the Arabian Peninsula, Croom Helm ltd, London.

Alter, S, 2002, Information Systems Foundation of e-Business, 4TH edn, NJ, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River.

Chandler, A, 1997, The Visible Hand, Harvard University Press, Cambridge

Keenan, F, 2002, pp.77-80, ‘You are as Good as Your Password”, Business Week

Mejia, G, 2001, Management, McGraw-Hill, Irwin

Ministry of Planning (MOP), 1997, ‘Sixth Development Plan’, Ministry of Planning Press, Riyadh.

Pinsonneaut, A & Kraemer, K, 1993, ‘The Impact of Information Technology of Middle managers’, MIS Quarterly

Ross, P.2002, ‘Software as a Career Guide’, Forbes, 240-246.

Sauter, V L, 1997, Decision Support Systems: an Applied Managerial Approach, John Wiley, New York.

Scarbrough, E & Tarenbaum, E, 2001, Research Strategies in the Social Sciences, Oxford University Press, New York.

UNDP, 2002, “Arab Human Development Report’. Web.


  • Letter of authorization from relevant ministry to conduct research.
  • Introductory letter from the university.
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