Presentation on theme: "UFCE8V-20-3 Information Systems Development 3 (SHAPE HK) Lecture 15 Organisations and Information Systems."— Presentation transcript:
UFCE8V-20-3 Information Systems Development 3 (SHAPE HK) Lecture 15 Organisations and Information Systems
Organisations: A functional view Why do organisations exist? Because they are more productive than the same number of people working individually. But … … only if they are organised! What does being organised imply? Common goals and purposes Division of labour - leads to delegation - structure Coordination and control - leads to process
What do information systems do to support this? They break down the organisation’s goals into individual and local goals They enable communication and coordination between different parts of the organisation They provide information on performance to ensure that targets are met and to identify problem areas Strategic Level Tactical Level Operational Level
One way of viewing organisations Strategic level Relates the organisation to the environment Sets overall goals Medium / long term horizon Tactical level Interprets organisation’s operational level Coordinates operational level Medium / short term horizon Operational level Performs the primary task Short term horizon *In small organisations people may function on more than one level
Information flows in organisations Vertical – “downwards” Departmental goals and budgets Individual instructions and targets Vertical – “upwards” Summaries Analysis Performance Exception reports Horizontal Between functional areas such as sales and production purchasing and stock control
An alternative view of organisations Environmental – Information flows into and out of the organisation as well as within it – Strategic level – economic trends, market research – Tactical level – contracts with customers and suppliers – Operational level – orders, invoices, catalogues * So far we have taken a very formal view of organisations – it needs to be modified!
Organisations: A social view A social view focuses on the people in organisations. So…….. “Functionalist” view of people – Individual is a “component of a machine” – Has a clearly defined role – Carries out unambiguous instructions “Social” view of people – People in organisations retain their human characteristics – complex, meaning generating, have personal goals etc. … and this has a variety of effects (non-trivial) on how organisations work
Political view Organisations are places where people seek to further their careers People may form coalitions or interest groups – to compete for resources e.g. – management v. workers – sales v. finance People may have loyalties outside the organisation – e.g. parents, politics, religion
Social view Organisations have a “culture” (rigid, loose, authoritarian, informal etc.) People form human “relationships” (likes, dislikes etc.) People seek “social fulfilment” within the organisation
Human limitations Can’t predict the consequences of their actions – there may be a “knock on effect” Can only cope with limited amount of information Can only handle limited complexity in roles E.g. One person may have many roles, the roles may conflict, they may be unclear they may be interdependent
Objective v. Subjective People do not always see the same thing in the same way – depends on your “worldview” or “weltanschauung” Objective – there is a real world out there – people may disagree about what it constitutes but there is a underlying reality that is “real” which can/must be investigated Subjective – we use our senses to perceive the world – but put our own interpretation on what we see In organisations people interpret information and events and assign meanings to them
Possible implications of the social view of organizations For the organisation – impaired / improved delegation – impaired / improved coordination, communication – impaired / improved feedback For the use of I.T. – I.T. changes will always have political implications causing (either/both) positive/negative effects e.g. lack of honest cooperation and/or user resistance or better cooperation and/or more user participation/motivation – Computer based information systems should attempt to meet the needs of the organisation – both social and functional Organizations are by definition “social” – without the activity of people they could not exist – this will imply...
Extending Images of organisation Gareth Morgan offers these metaphors or images of organisations: Organisation as machine (classical management theory) Organisation as organism (classical systems view) Organisation as brain (developed systems view, information processing) Organisation as culture (anthropological, working lives) Organisation as polity (focus on interests, power, negotiation) Organisation as psychic prison (people trapped in their own creation) Organisation as flux and transformation (change natural, stability unusual) Organisation as instrument of domination (damage and exploitation)
Perspectives on technological change in organisations Unitary – organisation as a team with shared interests and goals Technocratic – new technology inevitable and virtuous Pluralistic – need to negotiate cooperation between different interests Radical – factional struggle for control over resources Augmentative – technology tends to reinforce existing power distribution
Key points This is not a view of a “bad” or “faulty” organisation rather it is part of the human condition. We can hope to cope, we cannot cure! Human aspects do benefit the organisation – can adjust to changing situations, can innovate – not all good ideas come from the top Both the functional and the social view are required to gain an adequate understanding of the organization … but organizations are open systems which are changing constantly as is their environment - so our understanding will always be incomplete