Ackoff Management Misinformation Systems
Ackoff identifies five assumptions commonly made by designers of management information systems (MIS). With these assumptions, Ackoff argues that these assumptions are in most cases not justified cases, and often lead to major deficiencies in the resulting systems, i.e. “Management Misinformation Systems.” To overcome these assumptions and the deficiencies which result from them, Ackoff recommends that management information system should be imbedded in a management control system.
The Ackoff Assumptions are that:
(1) Due to lack of relevant information, most managers operate under this deficiency;
With the first assumption and contention, Id have to disagree. According to Ackoff, it seems that only certain information is useful, while the other is useless and it overburdens the managers. Therefore, top management usually receives filtered input that subordinates have carefully screened several times. However, top management needs more information and data, more qualitative input, and less formal analysis than it receives. Sometimes, the useful information might seem useless at one time, may become more important at another time. Therefore, I believe that all information be readily available for the manager to proceed forward in a timely fashion.
(2) The manager needs the information he wants;
I agree to a certain aspect to this ideology. Without a doubt, without the proper information, the manager is useless because they are not able to direct their workers in the right direction. People working for the manager tend to require more information from the top. More important, they need a general and, sometimes, a specific sense of direction and support. Without a proper direction, all people involved will concurrently feel underutilized, and will try to gather all information, relevant or irrelevant and fill up their work time, without achieving any goals.
(3) A manager will improve his decision making, if he has the information he needs,
This is a straight-forward logical agreement with the author. It is obvious that if the information is available, the manager will be able to make a better judgment. Without proper information from above, the people working for the manager will be lost. On the other hand, if the manager has the information need to complete the task, then the objective will be solved in a short period of time, with everyone contributing in a positive way.
(4) A better communication between managers will improve organizational performance;
I agree with the statement above on the basis that communication is the most important thing when it comes to working in unison. Over time, the top levels of management tend to become isolated from the rest of the organization. A chasm develops those results in a gap in communication, mutual understanding, and/or acceptance of new ideas and knowledge. Without proper communication from managers, the organization will lose focus and their effectiveness will decrease.
(5) A manager doesnt have to understand how his information system works, only needs to know how to use it.
I totally disagree with this assumption. No matter what field a manager works in, he/she has to know and fully understand how everything works. If he only knows how to use it, it means that the manager is totally limited to that specific task. At any given time, any sort of problem can arise and cause a problem and cause a malformation, and without any understanding, the manager will sit there waiting for someone to come and help him out. If in the first place, he knew and understood, he would not lose valuable time.
Management information systems represent only one aspect of the whole area of management computing. Other components of what one might call management computing or computer support for managers are on the one hand office automation for managers, such as communication facilities (electronic mail) and modelling support (spreadsheet applications), while on the other hand it can involve using and building expert systems for managers. Ackoff (1967) reviewed five assumptions underlying the alleged usefulness and success of MIS. An assumption, was that managers suffer from a lack of relevant information, and MIS should provide them with the solutions only. Then, the managers suffered from an overabundance of irrelevant information with too much unsolicited information reaching the realm of information, while filtering and condensing information to be presented to the manager directly, leaving the working people below the manager out in the cold. Another assumption of MIS design and development Ackoff dealt with referred to information contributed to the overabundance of irrelevant information.