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Encyclopedia > Information management

Information management is the cibai collection and lancau management of information from one or more sources and distribution to fuck one or more audiences who have a stake in that information or a right to that information. Management here means the organization of and control over the structure, processing and delivery of information. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... The ASCII codes for the word Wikipedia represented in binary, the numeral system most commonly used for encoding computer information. ...

Through the 1970s this was largely pelacuran limited to files, file maintenance, and life cycle management of paper and a small number of other media. With the proliferation of information technology starting in the 1970s, the job of information management took on a new light. No longer was information management a simple job that could be performed by almost anyone. An understanding of the technology and the theory behind it became necessary, as information was ever more stored via electronic means. By the late 1990s when information was regularly disseminated across computers and other electronic devices, information managers found themselves tasked with increasingly complex devices. With the latest tools available, information management has become a powerful resource for organizations.



Information Management (IM) is characterized by the phrase of hooker 'Getting the right information to the right person at the right place at the right time'. It does not, however, address the question of what constitutes the 'right information'. This omission can be addressed through the philosophy of Informational management (IaM). IaM is characterized by the phrase, 'Knowing what information to gather, knowing what to do with information when you get it, knowing what information to pass on, and knowing how to value the result' {adapted from G.Russell Swanborough}. This identifies the 'right information' and the resulting whole solution is worth more than the sum of its parts.

Information Management concepts

Following the behavioral science theory of management, mainly developed at Carnegie Mellon University and prominently represented by Barnard, Richard M. Cyert, March and Simon, most of what goes on in organizations is actually decision making and information processes. The crucial factor in the information and decision process analysis is thus individuals’ limited ability to process information and to take decisions under these limitations. Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ... Richard Michael Cyert (July 22, 1921 - October 7, 1998) was an American economist and statistician who served as the sixth President of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. ... James G. March is Professor Emeritus at Stanford University. ... Herbert Alexander Simon (June 15, 1916 – February 9, 2001) was an American political scientist whose research ranged across the fields of cognitive psychology, computer science, public administration, economics, management, and philosophy of science and a professor, most notably, at Carnegie Mellon University. ...

According to March and Simon (1958), organizations have to be considered as cooperative systems with a high level of information processing and a vast need for decision making at various levels. They also claimed that there are factors that would prevent individuals from acting strictly rational, in opposite to what has been proposed and advocated by classic theorists. Instead, they proposed that any decision would be sub-optimum due to the bounded rationality of the decision-maker. In general, information processing is the changing (processing) of information in any manner detectable by an observer. ...

Instead of using the model of the economic man, as advocated in classic theory, they proposed the administrative man as an alternative based on their argumentation about the cognitive limits of rationality.

While the theories developed at Carnegie Mellon clearly filled some theoretical gaps in the discipline, March and Simon did not propose a certain organizational form that they considered especially feasible for coping with cognitive limitations and bounded rationality of decision-makers. Through their own argumentation against normative decision-making models, i.e. models that prescribe people how they ought to choose, they also abandoned the idea of an ideal organizational form. Many models of human behavior in the social sciences assume that humans can be reasonably approximated or described as rational entities, especially as conceived by rational choice theory. ...

In addition to the factors mentioned by March and Simon, there are two other considerable aspects, stemming from environmental and organizational dynamics. Firstly, it is not possible to access, collect and evaluate all environmental information being relevant for taking a certain decision at a reasonable price, i.e.time and effort (Hedberg, 1981). In other words, following a national economic framework, the transaction cost associated with the informating process is too high. Secondly, established organizational rules and procedures can prevent the taking of the most appropriate decision, i.e. that a sub-optimum solution is chosen in accordance to organizational rank structure or institutional rules, guidelines and procedures (Mackenzie, 1978; Mullins, 1993), an issue that also has been brought forward as a major critique against the principles of bureaucratic organizations. In economics and related disciplines, a transaction cost is a cost incurred in making an economic exchange. ...

According to the Carnegie Mellon School and its followers, information management, i.e. the organization's ability to process information, is at the core of organizational and managerial competencies. Consequently, strategies for organization design must be aiming at improved information processing capability. Jay Galbraith (1977, p 49 ff.) has identified five main organization design strategies within two categories - increased information processing capacity and reduced need for information processing.

  1. Reduction of information processing needs
    1. Environmental management
    2. Creation of slack resources
    3. Creation of self-contained tasks
  2. Increasing the organizational information processing capacity
    1. Creation of lateral relations
    2. Vertical information systems

Environmental management. Instead of adapting to changing environmental circumstances, the organization can aim at modifying its environment. Vertical and horizontal collaboration, i.e. cooperation or integration with other organizations in the industry value system are typical means for reducing uncertainty. An example for reducing uncertainty in the relation with the prior or demanding stage of the industry system is the concept of Supplier-Retailer collaboration or Efficient Customer Response.

Creation of slack resources. In order to reduce exceptions, performance levels can be reduced, thus decreasing the information load on the hierarchy. These additional slack resources, required to reduce information processing in the hierarchy, are representing an additional cost to the organization and the choice of this method is clearly depending on the alternative costs of other strategies.

Creation of self-contained tasks. Achieving a conceptual closure of tasks is another way of reducing information processing. In this case, the task-performing unit has all the resources required to perform the task. This approach is concerned with task (de-)composition and interaction between different organizational units, i.e. organizational and information interfaces.

Creation of lateral relations. In this case, lateral decision processes are established that cut across functional organizational units. The aim is to apply a system of decision subsidiarity, i.e. to move decision power to the process, instead of moving information from the process into the hierarchy for decision-making.

Investment in vertical information systems. Instead of processing information through the existing hierarchical channels, the organization can establish vertical information systems. In this case, the information flow for a specific task (or set of tasks) is routed in accordance to the applied business logic, rather than the hierarchical organization.

Following the lateral relations concept, it also becomes possible to employ an organizational form that is different from the simple hierarchical information. The Matrix organization is aiming at bringing together the functional and product departmental bases and achieving a balance in information processing and decision making between the vertical (hierarchical) and the horizontal (product or project) structure. The creation of a matrix organization can also be considered as management's response to a persistent or permanent demand for adaptation to environmental dynamics, instead of the response to episodic demands.

Information Management Degree Programmes

Information Management is also the name of a couple of academic degree programs at different universities (e.g. Syarcuse University, US; Tilburg University, the Netherlands; University of Koblenz, Germany). The University of California at Berkeley and the University of Washington at Seattle offer a Master of Information Management and Systems. The curricula include not only Information Technology and Systems, but cover also Human-Computer Interaction, Organizational Behaviour, General Management, and Economics. Columbia University in New York City offers a Master of Science in Information and Archive Management, with core courses that include knowledge management, legal and policy issues, government systems, and records and archives management.

According to U.S.News & World Report, which yearly publishes a list of top academic programmes,Syracuse University, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and the University of Washington at Seattle are the top three information systems programmes in the US.[1] U.S. News & World Report is a weekly newsmagazine from Washington, D.C.. It was founded in 1933 as United States News, which in 1948 merged with World Report. ... Syracuse University (SU) is a private research university located in Syracuse, New York, United States. ... The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (UM, U of M or U-M) is a coeducational public research university in the state of Michigan. ... The University of Washington, founded in 1861, is a public research university in Seattle, Washington. ...


  • Galbraith, Jay R. (1977), Organization Design, Addison-Wesley
  • Hedberg, Bo (1981), "How organizations learn and unlearn", in: Nyström, P.C. & Starbuck W.H., Handbook of Organizational Design, Oxford University Press
  • Mackenzie K.D. (1978), Organizational Structures, AHM Publishing Corporation
  • March, James G. and Simon, Herbert A. (1958), Organizations, John Wiley & Sons
  • Mullins, L.J (1993), Management and Organizational Behavious, 3rd ed., Pitman Publishing
  • Wigand, Rolf T., Picot, Arnold and Reichwald, Ralf (1997), Information, Organization and Management: Expanding Markets and Corporate Boundaries, Wiley & Sons


  1. ^ See e.g. the most recent rankings at US News & World Report Top Graduate Schools.

External Links

  • An alternative view of the management of information [1]

  Results from FactBites:
Information management - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (214 words)
''''Information management'''' is the handling of information acquired by one or many disparate sources in a way that optimizes access by all who have a share in that information or a right to that information.
With the proliferation of information technology starting in the 1970's, the job of information management took on a new light.
By the late 1990's when information was regularly disseminated across computers and other electronic devices, information managers found themselves tasked with increasingly complex devices.
RGU: Department: Information Management (472 words)
Information and its effective communication is a fundamental and vital activity within all areas of industry, commerce, government, education, and social life.
In an assessment of Information Management teaching undertaken by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, the teaching in this area was rated as excellent, with all aspects of the teaching being commended.
The Information and Library Studies Course is fully accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).
  More results at FactBites »



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