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Information system and managerial behavior

Managers are a key device for implementing organizational policy. Because they frequently use information system in their normal activities as a source of information about decision making and as a means of implementing policies they made, it is crucial for information management system designers to understand how managers work. Failure to take account of managerial behavior can result in a technically sound, but rarely used, system because it does not fit the social system.

Studies over several decades reveal a very consistent pattern: managerial work is very fragmented. Managers spend and average of 10 minutes on any task, and their work unrelentingly and are frequently interrupted by unexpected disturbances. Managers are action oriented and rely on intuition and judgment far more than contemplative analysis of information.

Managers rarely use formal reporting systems. They do not spend their time analyzing computer reports or querying database but resort to formal reports to confirm evidence should interpersonal communications suggest there is a problem. Even when managers are provided with a purpose-built, ultra-friendly EIS, their behavior changes very little. They may access a few screens during the day, but oral communication is still their preferred method of data gathering and dissemination.

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