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Puzzle or Mosaic? On Managerial Information Patterns
Linköpings universitet.
2011 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Managers and information are key components in most management control literature, and a range of tools and concepts have been developed to better accommodate the information needs of managers so as to ensure efficient action and intelligent decisions. At the same time, the managerial work is often described as highly fragmented, unstructured and interpersonal, with little time for planning and isolated reflection. It is therefore relevant to explore how and to what extent new technologies come into play in managerial information patterns. Furthermore, new management concepts and tools could potentially give rise to new control practices, resulting from e.g. novel relations between managers and other actors, new influential roles, and alternative forms of information flows.

These issues are addressed in three papers. The first paper examines the portfolio of information that managers use in their daily work, thereby putting formal information systems into the context of less formal sources. The study is based on interviews with a variety of managers in different organisations. The second paper discusses the interplay between formally designed information-based practices, and the individual perceptions and habits that emerge in relation to the formalised. People at different levels in two public-sector organisations form the basis of the second paper. The third paper explores how various control practices operate together in a government agency, thereby providing new perspectives on how management control is exercised in a knowledge-intensive organisation.

It is suggested that managerial information patterns evolve slowly compared to the technological development. Obtaining an overview of one’s area of responsibility is mainly achieved through dialogue and interaction with others. However, new technologies have influenced the more routine exchange of information, thereby causing increased dispersion among users and creating new roles. Subordinates constitute a vital influence on the managerial role and on how managers reason concerning their use of information. This people-oriented type of management results in the use of a multitude of pieces of information that is sometimes very subtle and retrieved in spontaneous interaction. The multidimensional and emerging nature of information provides insight into both the strengths and the limitations of formalising managerial information patterns. Furthermore, various information patterns are interrelated, e.g., they complement each other, substitute each other, or serve different purposes at different times. In total, managerial information patterns resemble a mosaic rather than a puzzle that can be solved by specific pieces. Management information should therefore be viewed from a broader perspective in order to better understand managers’ information needs, how control practices emerge and how information systems come into play.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping University , 2011. , p. 26
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1483
Keywords [en]
information patterns; information behaviour; information systems; management information; management control; governance; management control as a package
National Category
Business Administration Information Systems, Social aspects
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-39243Libris ID: 12294134OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-39243DiVA, id: diva2:1366588
Available from: 2019-10-31 Created: 2019-10-29 Last updated: 2019-10-31Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Backbone or helping hand? On the role of information systems and non-systematic information in managers’ work
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Backbone or helping hand? On the role of information systems and non-systematic information in managers’ work
2011 (English)In: Informing Science, ISSN 1547-9684, E-ISSN 1521-4672, Vol. 14, p. 139-160Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Information systems are often described as horizontal integrators, supporting and integrating core processes and providing vast amounts of real-time data in organisations. However, previous research indicates that managers use an “information mosaic” – a variety of pieces of information and information sources, rather than one centrally planned and unified information system – to control their work. In this paper, we explore recurring work activities among a number of managers with different responsibilities and the use of information associated with these activities. The purpose is to put the formal computerised information system into the context of the information mosaic, thereby providing insight into how formal information systems support and do not support these managers’ work. Personnel responsibility is a uniting factor in the way these managers handle information and is an area where information systems seem to mainly support minor activities. Furthermore, the use of formal and informal information sources appears to be intertwined. The main contribution of this paper lies in charting managerial information behaviour in the light of technological development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Informing Science Institute, 2011
Keywords
information use, information sources, managerial work, management information
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-39241 (URN)10.28945/1510 (DOI)
Note

As manuscript in dissertation.

Available from: 2019-10-29 Created: 2019-10-29 Last updated: 2019-10-31Bibliographically approved
2. Systems, roles and relationships in the governance ecology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Systems, roles and relationships in the governance ecology
2011 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-39262 (URN)
Conference
Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, Wellington, December 7-9, 2011.
Note

As manuscript in dissertation.

Available from: 2014-04-23 Created: 2019-10-31 Last updated: 2019-10-31Bibliographically approved
3. Controlling the unmanageable?: On management control in a knowledge-intensive organisation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Controlling the unmanageable?: On management control in a knowledge-intensive organisation
2013 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-39263 (URN)
Conference
European Accounting Association Conference, Paris, May 5-9, 2013.
Note

As manuscript in dissertation.

Available from: 2014-04-23 Created: 2019-10-31 Last updated: 2019-10-31Bibliographically approved

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Gullberg, Cecilia

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
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Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf