December 31, 2003
Management Misinformation Systems
In his classic article, "Management Misinformation Systems," Russell Ackoff explores the assumptions underlying most MIS (mis-) design - namely, that: managers lack enough relevant information for decision making; managers know what information they need, and seek it; providing a manager with the information he needs will improve his decision making; more communication means better performance; and that a manager need only understand how to use an MIS system, not how it works.
Refuting these myths, Ackoff proposes the filtration and condensation of information systems; promotes a macro view of the decision process; places emphasis on the goal of organizational performance above interdepartmental communication; and urges managers' control of the system, rather than the reverse.
In sum, Ackoff states that management information systems must be designed to be flexible and adaptive, and their design must be strongly influenced by the managers who will be using them.
"Reprinted by permission, Russell L. Ackoff, Management Misinformation Systems, Management Science, 14(4), 1967. Copyright, The Institute of Management Sciences, now the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, (INFORMS), 901 Elkridge Landing Road, Suite 400, Linthicum, MD 21090 USA."
December 05, 2003
Should Knowledge Of Management Be Organized As Theories Or As Methods
The traditional scientific assumption is that knowledge should be organized in the form of theories. An alternative approach to organizing knowledge, emphasizing methods, was proposed by E.A. Singer, Jr. and advocated by two of his students, C. West Churchman and Russell Ackoff. In this paper, Stuart Umpleby expounds on the latter approach, arguing that organizing knowledge in the form of methods is appropriate in applied fields, particularly in management where a large part of the task is to achieve agreement among a group of knowing subjects on an appropriate set of actions.
To read this article, click on the link::Should Knowledge Of Management Be Organized As Theories Or As Methods