Information Ecology - Chapter 5 Politics - Review

Information Ecology - Chapter 5 Politics - Review

Information Ecology - Chapter 5 Politics - Review Politics = Power Natural and inevitable component of IM Politics must be addressed explicitly Information Ecology Chapter 5 Politics - Review 4 Models of Information Control: Monarchy Federalism More central control

Feudalism Anarchy Less central control Information Ecology Chapter 7 Information Staff - Review People matter more to IS now than ever Defining, analyzing, creating, maintaining, managing, advising on information resources Content interpreters add value to data

Computers by themselves are limited to such relatively simple tasks as storing and retrieving, which means that information must be supported by people. Must focus on business value and use of information rather than technical tasks of storing and searching What was the name of the movie whose clips we saw last week? Information Ecology Chapter 6 Information Behavior & Culture Information behavior how individuals approach and handle information

Searching, using, modifying, sharing, hoarding, ignoring Information culture pattern of behaviors and attitudes that express an organizations orientation towards information Most managers agree these are important but dont manage explicitly No one is responsible Information Ecology Chapter 6 Information Behavior & Culture Most workers today are information workers Manipulating information is frequent, primary activity

Some part of an organizations value lies in its knowledge Technologies to capture/disseminate organizational knowledge are of little use if people involved arent inclined to use them Managing information behavior should be akin to managing financial or HR behavior Information Ecology Chapter 6 Information Behavior & Culture Information behaviors that improve the IE:

1) Information sharing Voluntary act of making information available to others (versus reporting) Those who control the right information also have the most power Doing between peers (versus up/down hierarchy) has biggest impact: horizontal data flow E.g. knowledge database Information Ecology Chapter 6 Information Behavior & Culture Required to make business processes crossfunctional Barriers:

Functionally based information systems Incompatible information architectures Political/cultural differences Hoarding Sharing credit Performance needs to be measured and rewarded differently Information Ecology Chapter 6 Information Behavior & Culture Rotate managers between different functions Frequent face-to-face meetings with other managers

Information sharing between companies i.e. within an industry User groups Not all information should be shared Management should have standards for what information should be shared and with whom to share it Political, emotional and/or technical barriers must be removed Information Ecology Chapter 6 Information Behavior & Culture 2) Information overload Too much available information and too little

attention Access to information is not enough Must be communicated in a compelling way that encourages audience to use it Most information communicated in read/view mode Little engagement on part of receiver Even if received, it may not be acted upon Information Ecology Chapter 6 Information Behavior & Culture Secondary Engagement Attributes Content Emotion

Brevity Visual appeal Aural appeal Uniqueness Concreteness Source Situation Perceived expertise Perceived consequences Power Comfort Personal appeal

Who initiated Objectivity Individual vs group setting Familiarity Voluntary vs mandated presence Information Ecology Chapter 6 Information Behavior & Culture Organizations must develop IS to focus attention on key information Initiatives to increase use of information in

decision making (versus gut) Information Ecology Chapter 6 Information Behavior & Culture 3) Dealing with multiple meanings E.g. what is a customer Each organization has own definition, own database For key information, central control may be best May not be optimal for all organizations compromise Need to monitor and police use across organizations

Information Ecology Chapter 6 Information Behavior & Culture Getting Behavior to Change IT not enough behavior change not objective Communication with impacted community must be broad, frequent and ongoing Appropriate rewards/controls must be in place to reward/discourage behavior Enforcement must be taken seriously Rewards/sanctions must be administered consistently Incentives to do the right thing must be advertised Should be part of employee evaluation

Information Ecology Chapter 6 Information Behavior & Culture Issue guidelines/policies/tools to help individuals structure personal IE Emphasize information use versus Big Brother Total information freedom expensive Rules are often implicit and part of office politics Start with managing information behavior of individuals/small groups before taking on entire organization Importance of senior management modelling good behavior

Non-management is a form of management Information Ecology Chapter 6 Information Behavior & Culture Impact of IT on information behavior Firms assume because technology has been implemented, people are using it Too much email? Policies about who to send/reply to Read only at certain times of day Employees need help to choose how to share

information Information Ecology Chapter 6 Information Behavior & Culture Tactics for Information Behavior Management Communicate that information is valuable Clarify information strategy/objectives Identify needed information competencies Focus on managing specific types of information content Assign responsibility for IB, making it part of organizational structure Create committee/network to address IB issues Educate employees about IB Raise sticky IM issues with everyone

Information Ecology Chapter 6 Information Behavior & Culture Assessment Survey for IB and Culture: My organization has clearly identified the types of IB and overall IC it wants to have Employees are evaluated and rewarded on the basis of particular IB e.g. sharing, improving presentation My organization has established and documented the IBs it wants to encourage Training is provided to help develop desired IB We recruit and hire employees in part because of their IB

Information Ecology Chapter 8 Information Management Processes IM: structured set of work activities that make up the way in which organizations capture, distribute, and use information and knowledge. Identify all steps in process All resources All people All problems that arise May lead to changes that make a difference

Information Ecology Chapter 8 Information Management Processes IM as process: Emphasizes measurability and improvement Description aspect of IE Implies ownership: Process Manager Implies customers Introduces cross-functional approach to utilize methods, tools and techniques across organizations Information Ecology Chapter 8 Information Management Processes

Steps for generic IM process: 1) Determine Requirements Difficult since must identify how managers and workers make sense of their IE Political, cultural, strategic, psychological aspects Understand the problem before trying to solve it The more time spent on this step, the less time spent on implementation Tension between spending this time and inevitable change Information Ecology Chapter 8 Information Management Processes

In order for an information-managementprocess model to have any real value, it has to reflect the turbulence, volatility and complexity of markets, workplaces and the human mind. Information Ecology Chapter 8 Information Management Processes 2) Capture Information Ongoing, iterative activity Scanning information Automated and human Tailor to individual or organization; synthesize for target audience Filter noise to avoid information overload

Analysts are real key; add context, interpretation, comparisons, local implications etc. Ideally everyone scans and shares Information Ecology Chapter 8 Information Management Processes Information from 3 sources: Outside expertise Publications, conferences Cognitive authorities Individuals/institutions with credibility in field

Inside scuttlebutt Your own organizations grapevine Information Ecology Chapter 8 Information Management Processes Categorizing information Human activity: people define Categorization schemes Mediate between others with different views Monitor capture process to see if new categories needed Update categorization scheme frequently

Labor intensive to do it well Information Ecology Chapter 8 Information Management Processes What business function will be advanced by proposed categorization? What individual information behavior will be optimized by given categorization? What information is to be categorized? Does its structure lend itself to a natural categorization? Can existing categorization be utilized without overly compromising the IM objective? How will categorization scheme be maintained and updated over

time? Process approach helps to point out IE components: strategy, politics, behavior, staff, technology Information Ecology Chapter 8 Information Management Processes Formatting/Packaging Information We utilize synopses rather than reading all the details ourselves (style/presentation) Often done via documents Focus on what documents are used in an organization to determine information requirements Must be packaged appropriately and filtered for

intended audience Should be on-line access Information Ecology Chapter 8 Information Management Processes 3) Distributing Information: connecting employees with the information they need Generally few of the people who need it know where to get it Effective information architecture guides users to what they need Political structures like federalism make distribution across organizations easier

Information Ecology Chapter 8 Information Management Processes Push or pull? Push: central provider decides what to distribute to whom and when (passive) Users dont know what they dont know Pull: users are the best judges of what they need when they need it (active must seek Internet) Electronic distribution fast How to get information into electronic form? Sometimes faster to make a phone call

Who should get information? Needs to get to right audience to be useful E.g. service, performance feedback Stakeholders: investors, regulators, customers, community Organizational learning occurs not only through capturing information, but from distributing it to others. Information Ecology Chapter 8 Information Management Processes 4) Using Information: Like medicine thats

never taken, information is no good until and unless it is used. Highly idiosyncratic up to mind of user Garner support via contract before actually doing any information gathering Ensure customer really wants and plans to use the information Information Ecology Chapter 8 Information Management Processesv Measurement Hits on database or document repository Infrequently utilized information may be dropped or

modified Popular information analyzed to determine why Who is using Symbolic Actions Executive example Rewards/prizes/incentives Mission statements/best practices Information Ecology Chapter 8 Information Management Processes Institutional Context Management meetings

Performance Evaluation Personnel oriented rewards/punishment Evaluate based not only on outcome of decisions but information and decision processes used to make them Information Ecology Chapter 8 Information Management Processes How to improve the IM Process Top down reengineering doesnt work well in knowledge/information professional settings Insufficient worker participation Radical measurable improvements in processes difficult to quantify

Hire smart people and leave them alone Doesnt tend to lead to improved coordination and productivity Participatory approach that emphasizes outcomes versus detailed work steps and utilizes teamwork will likely deliver best results Emphasize: constant improvement over time Key roles played by people Use of multiple interrelated factors

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