Ackoff identifies five assumptions commonly made by designers of management information systems (MIS). With these assumptions, Ackoff argues that these assumptions are in most cases not justified cases, and often lead to major deficiencies in the resulting systems. To overcome these assumptions and the deficiencies which result from them, Ackoff recommends that management information system should be rooted in a management control system.
The Ackoff Assumptions are that:
Most mangers operate with a lack of relevant information;
I would have to disagree with this assumption and contention. In Ackoff’s contention he states that managements seem to suffer from an overabundance of irrelevant information. The relativity of information depends on what is needed at that particular point in time. I don’t believe you can ever store too much data. However, whoever is responsible for presented the information to management have to be skilled enough to present the right amount of information needed to make a decision about the situation at hand. If the information does not reduce uncertainty, improve the ability to make predications, or confirm/correct their prior expectation, then the information becomes irrelevant. But that same irrelevant information can become relevant for the next situation. Therefore, I think all information is important and should be made readily accessible for management at any giving time.
Managers know what they need and want;
I agree with this assumption to a certain extent. I agree overall with Ackoff’s contention. It is hard to provide someone with adequate information if they cannot provide you with the full ‘what it is’ that they need or want. A lot of times managers have an idea of what they want. However, the lack a full understanding of what information is needed to achieve it. This will place a demand on whoever is tasked with providing the information to try figure out what and how much information...
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