CH 13 – Information, Technology, and Management
Career success requires the must have competencies: computer competency—the ability to understand
computers and to use them to their best advantage; and information competency—the ability to use technology
to locate, retrieve, evaluate, organize and analyze information for decision-making.
What is Useful Information? Data is not information, it is raw facts and observations but when it is converted it
is information which is data made useful and meaningful for decision-making. Information that is useful in
management meets the test of these five criteria:
1) Timely: the information is available when needed; it meets deadlines for decision-making and action
2) High quality: the information is accurate and it is reliable; it can be used with confidence
3) Complete: the information is complete and sufficient for the task at hand; it is as current and up to date as
4) Relevant: the information is appropriate for the task at hand; it is free from irrelevant materials
5) Understandable: the information is clear and easily understood by the user; it is free from unnecessary detail
Information needs in Organizations: information technology helps us acquire, store and process information.
Information and the External environment: managers use intelligence information to deal with customers,
competitors and other stakeholders such as government agencies, creditors, suppliers, and stockholders.
Organizations send vast amounts of public information to stakeholders and the external environment. It can
build image and advertise products or financial reporting.
Information and the Internal Environment: IT can gather and move information quickly within an organization,
which is an asset to decision-making. It helps the top levels stay informed while freeing lower levels to make
speedy decisions and take the actions they need to best perform their jobs.
How Information Technology is Changing Organizations: Information systems use IT to collect, organize, and
distribute data for use in decision-making. Management information systems (MIS) meet the information needs
of managers as they make a variety of day-to-day decisions. IT is breaking barriers between organizations and
key elements in the external environment. It plays an important role in CRM (customer relationship
management) by quickly and accurately providing info regarding customer needs, preferences, and
satisfactions. It helps in SCM (supply chain management) to better manage and control costs everywhere from
initiation of purchase, to logistics and transportation, to point of delivery and ultimate use.
Information and Managerial Decisions
Managers as Information Processors: Managers continually gather, give and receive information. IT offers
Planning advantages: better and more timely access to useful information, involving more people in the
Organizing advantages: more ongoing and informed communication among all parts, improving coordinating
Leading advantages: more frequent and better communication with staff and diverse stakeholders, keeping
Controlling advantages: more immediate measure of performance results, allowing real-time solutions to
Managers as Problem Solvers: 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 are a choice among possible
alternative courses of action. Some problems include performance deficiency: when actual performance is less
than desired and performance opportunity when an actual situation either turns out better than anticipated or
offers the potential to do so.
Openness to Problem Solving: some managers are problem avoiders who ignore information that would
otherwise signal the presence of a performance opportunity or deficiency. They are passive in info gathering, not wanting to make decisions and deal with problems. Others are problem solvers who are willing to make
decisions and try to solve problems, but only when force by the situation. They are reactive in gathering info
and tend to respond to problems after they occur. There are also problem seekers, they actively process info
and constantly look for problems to solve. True problem seekers are proactive and forward-thinking, they
anticipate performance deficiencies and opportunities, and take the appropriate action to gain the advantage.
Systematic and Intuitive Thinking: systematic thinking approaches problems in a rational, step-by-step, and
analytical fashion. It breaks a complex problem into smaller components and then addresses them in a logical
and integrated fashion. This type of thinking usually involves making plans before taking action, and carefully
searching for info to facilitate problem solving in a step-by-step fashion. Intuitive thinking approaches problems
in a flexible and spontaneous fashion. It 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 actions. Managers who think
like this can deal with many aspects of a problem at once, jump quickly from one issue to another, and
consider “hunches” based on experience or spontaneous ideas.
Multidimensional Thinking: is an ability to address many problems at once. Strategic opportunism focuses on
long-term objectives while being flexible in dealing with short-term problems.
Cognitive Styles: describe the way people deal with info while making decisions. These