GMS Chapter 13 Notes:
- Organizations also send out vast amounts of public information to stakeholders and the external
environment. This serves a variety of purposes, ranging from image building to product
advertising to financial reporting.
- People need vast amounts of information to make decisions and solve problems in their daily
work. They need information to act individually and in team; they need information from their
immediate work setting, from other parts of the organization, and from the organization’s
external environment. The ability of IT to gather and move information quickly within an
organization can be a great aspect to decision-making.
- Information systems; use IT to collect, organize and distribute data for use in decision-making.
- Management information systems; meet the specific information needs of managers as they
make a variety of day-to-day decisions.
- People working in different departments, levels, and physical locations now use IT to easily
communicate and share information.
- Information is the centre point in all three phases – information helps a leader sense the need
for a decision, frame an approach to it, and communicate about it with others.
- Managers are information processors – continually gathering information, giving it, and
receiving it. All of the managerial roles – interpersonal, decisional and informational – involve
communication and information processing.
o Planning and advantages of IT – better and more timely access to useful information,
involving more people in the planning process
o Organizing advantages of IT – more ongoing and informed communication among all
parts, improving coordination and integration.
o Leading advantages of IT – more frequent and better communication with staff and
diverse stakeholders, keeping objectives clear.
o Controlling advantages of IT – more immediate measures of performance results,
allowing real-time solutions to problems.
- Problem solving; is the process of identifying a discrepancy between an actual and a desired
state of affairs, and then taking action to resolve it.
- Decisions; choices among alternative possible courses of action.
- Performance deficiency; is when an actual performance is less than desired.
- Performance opportunity; is when an actual situation either turns out better than anticipated
or offers the potential to do so.
- Some managers are:
o Problem avoiders – ignore information that would otherwise signal the presence of a
performance opportunity or deficiency. They are passive in information gathering not
wanting to make decisions and deal with problems.
o Problem solvers – willing to make decisions and try to solve problems, but only when
forced to by the situation. They are reactive in gathering information and tend to
respond to problems after they occur. o Problem seekers – managers actively process information and constantly look for
problems to solve. True problem seekers are proactive and forward-thinking. They
anticipate performance deficiencies and opportunities, and they take appropriate action
to gain the advantage.
- Systematic thinking; a person approaches a problem in a rational step by step, and analytical
fashion. This type of thinking breaks a complex problem into smaller components and then
addresses them into a logical and integrated fashion.
- Institutive thinking; is a flexible and spontaneous, and may also be quite creative. This type of
thinking allows a person to respond imaginatively to a problem based on a quick and broad
evaluation of the situation and the possible alternative courses of action.
- Multidimensional thinking; the ability to view many problems at once, in relationship to one
another and across both long and short time horizons. The best managers are able to map
multiple problems into a network that can be actively managed over time as priorities, events,
and demands continuously change.
- Strategic opportunism; the ability to remain focused on long-term objectives while being
flexible enough to resolve short-term problems and opportunities in a timely manner.
- Cognitive styles describe the way people deal with information while making decisions. These
styles were based on a contrast of approaches toward information gathering and information
o Sensation thinkers – tend to emphasize the impersonal rather than the personal and
take a realistic approach to problem solving.
o Sensation feelers – tend to emphasize both analysis and human relations.
o Institutive thinkers – are comfortable with abstraction and unstructured situations.
o Institutive feelers – prefer broad and global issues.
- Managers sometimes face structured problems – ones that are familiar, straightforward, and
clear with respect to information needs. Because these problems are routine and occur over and
over again they can be dealt with by programmed decisions that use solutions already available
from past experience.
- Managers also deal with unstructured problems in the form of new unusual situations full of
ambiguities and information deficiencies. These problems require nonprogrammed decisions
that craft novel solutions to meet the demands of the unique situation at hand.
- An extreme type of unprogrammed decisions occur in times of crisis – an unexpected problem
that can lead to disaster if not resolved quickly and appropriately.
- The ability to handle crisis may be the ultimate test of a manager’s problem-solving capabilities.
- It is getting more common for organizations to engage in formal crisis management programs.
They are designed to help managers and others prepare for unexpected high-impact events that
threaten an organization’s health and well-being. Anticipation is one aspect of crisis
management; preparation is another.
- There are three different decision conditions or environments; certainty, risk, and uncertainty.