INFORMATION NEEDS AND ITS ECONOMICS
The availability of information to management at various levels has improved due to three reasons. These are
1. Development of telecommunications: The information flow has been accelerated with developments in communication technology like radio telephony, microwave communication, laser communication and satellite communication.
2. Processing of data with computer: The accessibility of information has been considerably improved as a computer can readily scan the available stored data to provide the required information.
3. Video technology: Video technology permits the recording of activities on video cassettes and video discs.
The information obtained and used in the organisations can be classified into five categories:
1. Action vs. non-action information: The information lying unnoticed is called non action information but the same information when processed and used in some context by the recipient is called action information.
2. Recurring vs. non recurring information: Information which is generated at regular intervals of time is called recurring information. A particular type of information which is arrived at through some special kind of study and which helps in management decision is called non recurring information.
3. Documentary vs. non documentary information: Information which is available in some document form that is either in some written form or on microfilms, magnetic tapes, floppy discs etc is called documentary information. All other information is categorized as non documentary
4. Internal vs. external information: The distinction is obvious. Managers at different hierarchies in the organization require different combinations of internal and external information.
5. Historical information vs. future projections: Here again the distinction is obvious because historical information would be futile unless it can be used for future projection.
The system approach to a business organization implies a wholistic approach to the study of inter-relationships of sub-systems of an organization in view of the objectives set by the
Thus, this requires an integrated approach which could reduce the conflict among different sub-systems and modify the objectives of these sub-systems in order to arrive at an optimum solution to the problems which may arise in the achievement of the main objectives or in the working of the whole system.
Classification of systems
The various types of systems are:
Conceptual and empirical systems:
The conceptual system is concerned with theoretical structures which may or may not have any counterpart in the real world. Examples of such systems are economic theory, organization theory, general system of relativity etc.
Empirical systems are concrete operational systems made up of people, materials, machines, energy, and other physical things. Other systems such as electrical, thermal and chemical are also fall into this category.
1. Natural and man-made systems:
The examples of natural systems are: human body, solar system, etc.
Examples of man-made systems are: Transportation system, communication system, education system, business organization etc.
2. Social system:
A system made up of people may be taken as a social system, such as business organizations, government agencies, political parties, social clubs, professional societies etc.
3. Man-machine system:
Most empirical systems fall into the category of man-machine systems. One of the examples of this system is aeroplane.
4. Open and closed systems:
An open system continually interacts with its environment. This type of system can adapt to changing internal and environmental conditions. Every social and business organization is open because it reacts with its unpredictable environment
A closed systems one of that does not interact with its environment. This system does not change or if it does then a barrier exists between the system and the environment top revent the system from being affected.