THE RELEVANCE OF MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM ON THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICE MANAGERS IN SOME SELECTED BUSINESS ORGANIZATION
Background to the Study
The term management information system (MIS) is a relatively recent addition to the vocabulary of management and was widely adopted following the accelerated use of computers in the early 1960s. Prior to that time, electronic data processing (EDP) was the most frequently used term to describe the computer usage. This earlier stage reflects the view that the computer was little more than a fast calculator for large scale, routine, clerical applications which had formerly been done manually. As these computer applications became more complex, hardware storage capacities grew and technology improved for connecting previously isolated applications. As more and more data were stored and linked, managers sought greater detail as well as greater abstraction with the aim of creating management reports from the raw stores data.
The term “MIS” arose describe such applications providing managers with information about sales, inventories and other data help in managing the enterprise and also improving planning and control of operations needed for effective decision making by managers.
According to the oxford advanced learners dictionary, management can be defined as the cat of running and controlling a business or similar organizations. While information based on the oxford learners dictionary can be seen as facts or details about somebody or something then system is a group of things, pieces of equipment etc that are connected or work together, we can now define MIS as a process by which equipments are connected together in order to provide individuals with information necessary for the upkeep of their organization which can as well be controlled.
Information can be seen as raw data that has been processed into meaningful and useful context that has been processed into meaningful and useful context for specific end users (Brian 2002). This information can also be seen as data shaped into a meaningful form for human being to use. Information which is seen as the backbone and bedrock of any organization may be internal or external depending on the kind of information which would be of use to the organization.
Before the processing of information for useful context, facts, figures, numbers, symbols etc were seen as raw data which was gotten from individuals and places. In order to make raw data become information, it needed the help of the information system (IS) to process these raw data into information and make them ready for the upkeep of the organization. Okolo (2011) defined information system as a set of interrelated components that collect, retrieve, process, store and distribute information to support decision making, coordination and control in an organization. In addition, it also helps managers and workers to analyze problems, visualize complex subjects and create new products. Before now, paper based work were recorded as information with duplicates in a file for reference purpose until when the computer age came invoke and reframed all methods of which information were kept into becoming technologically wise.
The information system may have a combination of people who are the end users of the information, the hardware – the devices used in the processing of information, the software –the instructions which you give to the computer which then involve the system analyst or programmers as the case may be. This programmer/ system analyst creates a design by which users of the information can manage their organization effectively.
What then is Management Information System?
Management Information System (MIS) according to Brian (2002) is the collection of data processing equipment, procedures, software and people that integrate the subsystems of the organization and provides information for decision making on planning and controlling operations. This entails the collection of raw data, the step to follow, the instruction to give, specialist that will help in integrating the software into the system so as to produce information needed by the organization for the day to day running of the business. A management information system is an integrated man machine system that provides information to support the planning and control function of managers in an organization. The word integrated man machine involves the collection of the machines/equipments with the people involved in the information. Once the result of an MIS is information, it serves as a managerial function. Who then is an office manager? Since an office is a room or a building where an individual works and a manager is a person who is in charge of running a business or a similar organization. We then collectively define an office manager as an individual who coordinates and controls the activities of his colleague under his care. An office manager can be seen as one has the administrative responsibilities of office management. He is seen as an individual distinct from the other employee. He directs, supervises and co-ordinate the affairs of his employee making sure that they work effectively and efficiently towards high productivity.
An office manager may not just mean an individual with massive control. It could mean an individual with massive control. It could mean any person/individual who is in hold of information to arrive at a decision. A student who is in hold of information is seen as an office manager because it is with this information that the support of decision making is known in an organization. That is why it is said that when a system provides information to persons who are not managers, then it will not be considered as part of a management information system.
Management Information System help management design information system that provide them with information about events occurring inside the organization as well as in its external environment which is vital for effective decision making. Management Information System according to Okolo (2011) can be defined as a system to convert data from internal and external source into information and communicate that information in an appropriate form to managers at all level to enable them make timely and effective decision making for planning, directing and controlling the activities for which they are responsible. An example of organizations that uses the design of management information system in managing information effectively is the banks. They have database of their customers and clients and it is with their databases that the management information systems are been designed and managed effectively.
Management should ensure that equipment needed for the retrieval and distribution of information are upgraded with the help of the system analyst. Management as well must be involved in making effective contribution to the system designs of their organization and likewise and the analyst must be aware of the managerial needs so that jointly, more effective management information systems are developed.
Statement of the Problems
Despite the vast advancement of technology in the world, most organizations and individuals still find it difficult to acquaint with the world globalization. This as a result reduces work efficiently and effectiveness. Technology is seen as the use of scientific knowledge for improving the way to do things. One would use scientific knowledge to invent machines or devices to make things easier to do. Just as management information system is technological means of how information could be managed which was brought about by inventors of the world.
Based on the topic, the relevance of management information system on the performance of office managers in some selected business organization, it was realized that certain factors were the loopholes to managing information. They are lack of management involvement in the designs of MIS of their organization, the problem of system analyst overlooking the user’s acceptance, the problem of the user’s of information on how to manage this information, poor appreciation of management support. All these filed as the problem faced by management and specialist in the design of how information can be managed.
Purpose of the Study
The major purpose of this study was to determine the relevance of management information system to the performance of office managers in some selected business organizations. Specifically, the study was to;
1. To identify the types of management information system in your organization.
2. Find out the relevance of management information system to an office manager.
3. Find out the shortcomings of MIS to an office manager.
This study sought answers to the following research questions:
1. What are the types of management information system in your organization?
2. What extent has the relevance of MIS to an office manager?
3. What extent has the shortcomings of MIS affected the office manager?
Significance of the Study
In all but the smallest organizations, management rarely observes operations directly. They attempt to make decisions, prepare plans and control activities by using information which they obtain from formal sources and by informal means. As a matter of fact, an MIS is a special purpose system useful for management in an organization. It is an accessible and rapid conveyor belt for appropriate high quality information from its generation to its users. Before now users of information recorded every data on papers not until the era of technology came in place and changed every means of applying information with the aid of the electronic data processing (EDP). With the help of innovators, various methods were adopted in the implementation of managing information.
Because of the place of technology in the world, the outcome of this topic will be beneficial to the schools because it help in managing information of pupils, guardians and parents and teachers.
The finding of the study will help ICTs of higher institution of learning on how information could be managed based on the databases of all individual thereby giving appropriate information to those required to have the information.
Teachers in the field of management will benefit from this as it will them in handling the subject proficiently and effectively at any given time. Managers in various organizations will equally benefit from this research work as it will provide them with right understanding of management information system. It is also hoped that discoveries of this study will be beneficial to students who offer courses related to information management.
Scope of the Study
This study was delimited to the relevance of management information system on the performance of office managers. It focused on the types of management information system operating in some selected business organization and also looked at the individuals involved in the management of information who are as well seen as those in hold of information.
In this chapter relevant literature related to the present study were reviewed. The review was presented under the followings headings;
- The types of management information system in an organization
- The relevance of management information system to an office manager
- The shortcomings of management information system
- Summary of related literature.
The types of Management Information System in an Organization
The type of management information system that will be used by an organization depends on the teamwork or members of the organization. As previously said, MIS can be defined as the process or system of providing information needed to manage an organization effectively through the help of the decision makers. By being able to get the right information to the right people and at the right time, you have properly designed a management information system. The information when gotten will enhance effective decision making which is been played by the office managers in the organization.
Management Information System according to Okolo (2014) is an integrated man-machine system that provides information to support the planning and control function of managers in an organization. The output of an MIS is information that serves managerial functions. When a system provides information to persons who are not managers, then it will not be considered as part of an MIS. Generally, MIS deals with information that is systematically and routinely collected in accordance with a well-defined set of rules.
The term “MIS” talked about computer based information systems which are the types of technology. Management Information System can also be summarized as a system used to convert data from internal and external source into information on the basis of management needs. The management needs may be; what way can an organization’s information be managed, what kind of information can suit our organization. This and many more may be the management needs of your organization.
The types of management information system according to Kendall (2005) are transaction processing system (TPS), office automation system and knowledge work system, decision support system, executive support system, the expert system and Artificial Intelligence.
The transaction processing systems are computerized information systems that are developed to process large amounts of data for routine business transaction such as payroll and inventory. They help managers with the data generated about what is happening in their companies and carry out the day to day operations smoothly and without interruption.
The office Automation System and Knowledge work system help professional like engineers, doctors, scientists in their effort to create new knowledge and contribute to the society at large while the office automation system like spreadsheet, word processing etc analyses how it is transformed before sharing it.
The decision support system which is similar to MIS depends on the database as source of data that will aid decision making.
The executive support system helps executive organization with their interaction with the external environment by providing graphics and communication support in accessible places such as board rooms or personal corporate offices.
The expert system and artificial intelligence involves an expert being able to develop machines that behaves intelligently. This are understood as languages that solve problems of business users in an organization.
Nwachukwu (2012), otherwise stated its own types of management information system as;
Transaction Processing System (TPS) which handle s large volume of transactions commonly used by banks and large supermarkets.
Operational Information System (OIS) gathers raw data, organizes it and summarizes it in a form that will be useful for managers.
Decision Support System (DSS) which is a computer system that can be used by managers without help from computer specialist. It provides managers with the necessary information to make informed decision. It has three (3) fundamental components: Database management System (DBMS) which stores large amount of data relevant to problems the DSS has been designed to tackle, model based management system (MBMS) which transforms data from the DBMS into information that is useful for decision making, dialog generation and management system (DGMS) provides a user friendly interface between the system and the managers who do not have extension training.
Expert system and Artificial Intelligence uses human knowledge captured in a computer to solve problems that ordinarily needs human expertise.
All these type of management information system can be applied based on the capacity size of the organization and how useful it will be to them.
The Relevance of Management Information System to an Office Manager.
A significant part of an individual working and personal time is spent recording, searching for absorbing information. As much as eighty (80) percent of a typical executives time is spent in the processing of information, communication of information and use of information, outputs such as documents, reports, analysis, plans etc all help the office manager.
According to dictionary of business terms (2007), an office manager is one who has the administrative responsibilities of office management. The institute of administrative management defined office management as that branch of management which is concerned with the management of business safeguards its assets, promotes its affairs and achieve its objectives. The job description of an office manager will vary from another depending on the size of the organization. For most large organization, office manager may be divided depending on the department while in small organizations; he may be responsible for personnel and accounting offices. An office manager ensures smooth running of the organization by handling and managing the data of work, accounting and scheduling of organizational plans, meetings and changes or improvement in the company and within the staff. It is as a result of this that Agbo, Isiaku and Anikene (2007) defined office management as the art of guiding the personnel of the achieve its specific purposes. The specific purpose of the personnel must be working towards efficiency which is to the better growth of the organization.
Individuals and companies alike manage information in one form or another which serves as their organization system. So whether you are using stacks of paper forms, legal pads, handwritten ledger etc or you have deployed a server and an application to assist in automation processing and reporting, you have a management information system. Management information system is not designed to be just a technology infrastructure but infrastructure of how information is transmitted and received in an organization. Presently, computer and information system play several vital role in the smooth running and implementation of various organizational activities such as the formulation of a business plan, formulation and selection of business operating protocols and securities, design of data bank etc. this new development saddle the office mangers with the task of planning, coordinating and directing research and facilitate the computer related activities of firms. They help determine both technical and business goals in consultation with top goals. All this requires a strong understanding of both technology and business practices (McLeod, 1995). Scholars all over the world have resorted to internet as personal library where all necessary information can be obtained and displayed while computers have significantly altered business management (Bee, 1999).
Oladejo (2007) described MIS as a system using formalized procedures based on data from both internal and external sources to enable decision makers make timely and effective decision for planning, directing and carrying out the activities for which they have appointed. This connotes that MIS is a system responsible for the collection, processing and communication of defined data in order to enhance prompt decision making. MIS which is presently the organization nervous system responds to opportunities and avoid threats. It is widely acknowledge that firms with the best and most effective information systems are those that have clear and well thought of information strategy (Harizanova, 2003). Since in small organization where office manager is seen as a “jack of all trade” as a result of their great deal of work, Laudon (2006) observed three categories of managerial roles based on Mintsberg. They include the informational, interpersonal and decisional role.
In the interpersonal role, managers act as figureheads for the organization by representing their companies with the outside world and also acting as liaison between various organizational levels. In the informational role, managers acts as the nerve centre of their organization by receiving accurate information and redistributing it to those who need to be aware of it. They are seen as the spokesperson for their organization while in the decisional role manager’s act as entrepreneurs by initiating new kind of activities like allocating resources to staff members who need them and negotiating conflicts among conflicting groups.
MIS whose basic importance is information in order to arrive at a deliberate decision making must be of concert from various levels of management such as the strategic, tactical and operational level. These various levels when not contacted may reduce the job performance of worker in the organization which makes no meaning. Since an office manager is the overseer of all administrative responsibilities like hiring salaries and working conditions of workers etc in small organization it is advisable he sticks to the functions which makes him best among others.
The usefulness of management information system to an office manager would make him forecast future plans, make decision and also control activities with the information gotten either through the internal or the external source. Once the task of an office manager is been performed and accomplished, he is said to have made a performance analysis. A manager wrote that a good office manager makes it possible for other people to function efficiently. Office managers work closely with the company partners, owner or president to meet their companies staffing equipment and organizational needs.
An office manager must exercise sound judgment day in and day out and any lapse can result in termination. This as a reason makes office manager take their job so seriously. Office managers have a very high turnover rate, due to firing, job mobility and retirement. They are often the first one to be let go when conflicts arise between producers and managers and they are frequently blamed for office problems that are not of their own making. This made Joan Lloyd and associates say that if one is not given anything to manage, then he is not an office manager because a manager has the authority to oversee the workflow of the people. The office manager would also have the authorioty to confront inappropriate behavior and have the power to enforce change or fire an employee who refuses to comply. Without all these required of an office manager, there will be ineffective performance of workers and low productivity in the organization.
The shortcomings of Management Information System
Information technology has offered several opportunities as well as posed challenges to various organizations. The development of computer systems has made the processes of data collection, storage, retrieval and manipulation easier in organization. Information systems help in enhancing the efficiency and goodwill of an organization. They provide a competitive advantage to the organization and help in differentiating it from other similar organizations.
MIS have several disadvantages but overall they still offer lots of benefits to organizations. The central disadvantages of these MIS include the work and expense of maintaining the system-updating, programming and auditing then system will take plenty of time and effect. With the right maintenance, the system will not perform to expectations and it will not prove to be a worthwhile investment.
There are certain challenges faced like the fact that MIS requires a wide variety of knowledge. It needs a lot of practical and technical experience as well as the high technology that comes with the products. The disadvantages of MIS can as well as be seen as the shortcomings which include;
- It requires highly sensitive constant monitoring
- There is lack of flexibility to update it
- As a result of frequent change in top management, it decreases effectiveness
- The budgeting of MIS is extremely difficult
According to blurtit (2012), some of the distinguishing challenges that the people face while planning, using or approving management information system are;
- MIS requires a wide variety of knowledge areas including accounting, finance, market and manufacturing. Therefore having both technical and practical experience in these subjects is very useful.
- Both technology and technology related products are emerging at high pace. Consequently no one possibly be proficient in all new technologies and compromises have taken to be taken.
- Many terms used in MIS are inaccurate and controversial because of high pace of new hardware, software and communication technology.
- MIS problems are difficult to define. Sometimes a situation may be seen as a problem but in fact it may be a symbol only.
- There is a lack of sympathetic relationship between MIS personnel and users and management and MIS personnel because employees are more loyal to their profession rather than needs of the organization.
Thus also are some of the shortcomings/challenges encountered in MIS as;
- Information technology which has an important role has made many organizations to change the way they do business by redesigning their business process. As a result of the change in technology, people who are knowledgeable about the business are brought to a decline thereby making some of them unemployed.
- Planning and managing communication network which helps the organization to process and communicate information through appropriate internal and external communication networks.
- Building a technology infrastructure that will support existing applications while remaining responsive to change is a key to long-term enterprise productivity. This task is made difficult by the continuing rapid changes in infrastructure technology and the increasing breadth and depth of applications which is need to be supported.
- Developing and managing distributed systems posed as challenges by the client server which include maintaining consistent software versions. The client server is useful for distributing applications across an environment.
Another author form the ETH-Zurich said that challenges may be managing the information systems facing the employees in the organization and the challenge in managing information system that affect employees way of working, research must be made to understand employee’s response to the information system and how they should use it to be more efficient and effective at work. In the area of managing information system that interface organization to their customers they begin by designing and developing the particular information system such as mobile application. When information systems of interest are available, organization assesses their customer’s behavior with the information systems towards the attainment of the organizations target goal.
Management Information system is broad in terms of technology and as such not yet everyone can be a master of information. Without the shortcomings, it is assumed that MIS is a perfect technology in the world without minding that the world of technology changes.
Summary of Literature Review
In order to summarize all headings presented in the previous chapter, we discussed the types of management information system implemented by various organizations and how it performs work faster. This led into finding out how relevant MIS is to the office manager who ensures smooth running of their establishment. It went as far as bringing out points like enhancing quick decision making, increasing workers productivity, enhancing easy communication among employees etc. management information system which has made great impact in most organization though have made success but there are other lapses which no matter how technology must have made way, not everyone will or may adapt to the change and as a result some shortcomings were encountered like an individual not having the required skill needed in the management of information system. This will as a result ensures that organization train their members/employees which will definitely cost them much so as far the employee to be able to operate their MIS. Another problem identified is that of how design of an organization differs from the other organization because the workload of these organization are not the same and this is where the implementation of software that suits your organization design comes in place.
To conclude it is therefore seen that though technology played a good role in business but still there stand to be success as well as failure.
MIS is a collection of manpower, tools, procedures, and software to perform various business tasks at various levels in the organization Tripathi (20011).
This system has three basic levels: Operational, Middle management and top management where there information is passed from bottom to top Tripathi (20011). Mruthy, (2006) sees management information system as one of the important functions on management which plays an important ole in providing information that is required for crucial decision-making which directly effects the performance of the organization. Furthermore, Lucy (2005) sees management information system as a system to convert data from internal and external sources into information and communicate that information in an appropriate form, to managers at all levels in all functions to enable them make timely and effective decision for planning, directing and controlling the activities for which they are responsible.
Laudon and Laudon (1991) define management information system as management support systems that provide routine summary reports on the organization’s performance; used to monitor and control the business and predict future performance. Management information system refers broadly to computer-based systems that provide managers with the tools for organizing, evolution and efficiently running their departments. MIS is one type of information system that supports the tactical decision-making of managers, and also monitors the current state of the organization. Davies (2009).
Moreover, Kroenke (2007) mentioned that MIS has three key elements; they are development and use, information systems, and business goals and objectives. An MIS should be designed to enhance communication among employees, provide an objective system for recording information and support the organization’s strategic goals and direction.
Management information system according to Atueyi (2001), is a formal system in the organization which provides management with the necessary reports to the utilized in the decision making process. This can otherwise be seen as the right way or procedure in which information flows to the management who then takes action/decision on what to do. It is a plan for effective decision making which outlines what should be done in each step of the decision making process.