Social Characteristics of Information:
Clearly the nature of the problem influences the way we interpret information. How serious is the decision? What are the consequences of an incorrect decision, and how do they compare with the benefit of a correct one? An important decision may require more care in analyzing data than would a minor decision. For example, an oil company's decision to enter the information processing field is more strategic decision as whether to diversify, the consequences and costs involved, plus the impact on the organization, require that information be examined much more closely.
The organization itself affects the interpretation of information. Studies have shown that the individual becomes socialized by the organization. Over time we are influenced by our organizations in the way we approach problems. Thus, in most instances, the attitudes of a new employee will differ significantly from those of the chairman of the board. As the new employee associates over the years with other employees firm, he is influenced by their attitudes and by the environment of the knowledge. Gradually, new employees begin to change their attitude to be more consistent with those of their associates.
Peoples who have different ideas interpret information differently. Again, many of a person's ideas are influenced by the socialization process in the particular organization where the individual works. Personal and situational factors also influence the interpretation of information. One study done man years also showed that given comparable information, decision makers interpreted a problem differently depending on their position. In this exercise, finance executives' saw financial problems, sales executives' recognized sales problems, and so on forth. In all the given scenarios, the information was the same, it was just interpreted differently.
A more recent study found managers are getting less narrow, though personal experience suggests that many managers are heavily influenced in problem diagnosis by their backgrounds position.
One of the simplest distinction is between analytic and heuristic decision makers. the analytic decision maker looks at quantitative information. Engendering is a profession attractive to an analytic decision maker. The heuristic decision maker, on the other hand, is interested in broader concepts and is more intuitive. Most researchers believe that we are not analytic or heuristic in very problem but that we do have preference and tend to the approach the same type of problem with a consistent style.
We shell examine the importance of personal and situational factors to see how they influence the interpretation process.
It will be seen from the above discussion that many things needs to be right before information can be considered as good. It is not sufficient to consider the technical aspect of data captured and processing, note particularly how importance are personal and situational factors which influence the interoperation process of information.
Many of the factors which relates to social and behavioral characteristics are as follow:
As the main outputs of MIS are messages and reports, what the manager understand from them is of critical importance to information specialists. The central point to understand about this process is that it is the "manager" as the recipient, who communicates, not the provider of the message.
The process of perception is individual and various from time to time. People attach to meanings to messages and situations in accordance with their attitude, experience and value system. In general people see and understand what they want to see and understand.
Two people often see the same thing in different ways. perceptual process can have a significant impact on how people, events, information and system are viewed. Studies show that users are generally more respective to a new system if they have participated, some hoe in its development. It means participation/user involvement is an effective way to reduce resistance to change and to ensure the success of the change efforts.
An attitude is an expression of feelings about people, objects, activities, and events. People with positive attitudes are often productive workers. Poor or negative attitudes can cause people to works less effective and in extreme cases, can lead them to damage or destabilize the system.
Jon attitude and job satisfaction levels can be important barometers of morale levels and organizational success. Hence, it is important for managers to monitor them. Decreasing morals and hob satisfaction levels may be indications of more serious problems and deserve managerial attention.
3. Risk Taking Tendencies:
Risk is measure of how people perceive and deal with uncertain outcome. Individuals can be classified along a scale with respect to risk. At one end of the centum (range is the) "risk seeker", at the other end, the "risk avoider". For example you are used to a spreadsheet package lotus 123, you cannot risk to change it with Ms - Excel even this one gives you more facilities, control, and better response.
4. Willingness to Change:
Some people, mo matter what is done to encourage or convince then, are reluctant to change or may outright refuse to do so. This type of behavior may be seen for example, in high level managers and executives who are absolutely unwilling to make work together with computer system. Some times this is because they feel that this type of work is beneath them and should be done by subordinates. In other cases, ego problems may be involved, such as the fear of being exposed as a computer illiterate. In some instances, the manager really just doesn't have the time or patience to learn how to use a computer. Whatever the reason, as the motto goes: "you can bring a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink". We would add: "especially if the horse has a title and clout"
Ways To Manage Changes
- Top management must support innovation in a personal way and must think collectively.
- The organization must be made "flatter" i.e. unnecessary layers of hierarchy should be removed and staff empowered by authority being pushed downwards.
- Communication should be improved especially across the organization and staff mobility encouraged.
- Achievements should be highlighted and a culture of pride cultivated.
- Company plans should be made known earlier and more widely to enable staff to make suggestions and contribute before decision are made.
Some of the reasons why people resist change are as follow:
a. People does not see a reason for the change.
b. People fear a loss of status, power, authority, freedom, money, or employment.
c. People that their loss will be greater then their gain.
d. people may have had a history of negative experience with change.
e. People fear the unknown.
f. people fear lack of competency or an inability to perform the new task or function.
g. People suspect (think, believe, suppose) the change will result in a new social structure, altering who works with whom and in what way.
h. People feel that they are not ready for a change.
Change, whatever it involves moving from a small town to a large urban area, or being monitored, fired, or reassigned, almost always introduce emotional stress. Extreme stress can impair a person's ability to make good decision. In addition, prolonged exposure to stressful situations may result as heart disease and high blood pressure. Although stress plays a great role in one's achievement of goals as it can result into anxiety, depression, hypertension and other psychosomatic (mental, emotional) problems. In positive way pressure if paper, and in negative way, result disease.
They way in which people think and behave is strongly influenced by the social environment, or culture to which they are accustomed. A system for example, which is more effective in a city but has no special use in other one due to the behavior people, population, competition, and education.
So for we have discussed a number of factors that contribute to the way people behave at work and how they react to information technology. All of these factors are important, but often they merely proved background facts about people. Such factors may need a mechanism to transform them into some types of action. In many cases, that mechanism is motivation. Motivation is a major reason why a person does certain things, and many behavioral psychologists feel that a lot of behavior can be explained in terms of motivational factors.
Motivation is often defined as the force that energizes and sustains goal - directed behavior. This force may originate from outside the individual (such as the opportunity to earn a bonus or other significant reward) from internal processes, or from a combination of these. No matter what its source, the force is channeled into goal - directed behavior.
People are not always sure what information they really need. Moreover, since business conditions are always changing, new information needs surface almost continuously. Whatever the case, users generally like to be able to change their minds. Because people are seldom sure of their needs, and because needs are not static. Flexibility should be designed into the systems whenever possible.
9. Information Overload:
The rate at which people can process the facts, which they are presented, is limited, in addition; this rate differs among individuals because some people can handle more facts than others. Advances in information technology have made it easy to flood user with information. Although some people are very capable of filtering through this information flood; other uses may feel that they are drowning in a sea of data. Hence a general rule, an information system should be designed to only present decision makers with the relevant information that they need.