Executive Information Systems (EIS) are successfully providing computer support for senior executives in a growing number of organizations. As previous attempts to support senior executives failed, what was learned from these attempts, should be incorporated in future efforts. The role of EIS within an organization depends on the context. Various factors-among them, including political and cultural, can contribute to the deployment of EIS. With the aid of an interpretive framework and relevant theories, this report will provide an analysis of the social context and processes which influence the use of an EIS. Furthermore, it will also address important issues involved in the role of EIS, particularly in response to radical change and its effect on the distribution of power within an organization. The example of a UK health authority, namely the Lakeshire Health Authority, will be explored for the identification of key issues on the impact of EIS on organizational change and managerial decision making. Furthermore, this assignment will endeavour to elucidate the relationship between information systems and the work of an organization.
The target group for computer support in organizations has evolved over the years. Since the 70s, Decision Support Systems (DSS) provided assistance for specific decision-making tasks. Among the latest developments are expert systems, which capture the expertise of highly trained and experienced professionals in specific problem domains.
As far as the evolution of computer support for organizational personnel is considered, one group, the senior executives of a firm, is neglected from this process and for various reasons little support has been provided to them. However, Main (1989) argues that this lack of support is rapidly changing, as EIS are being developed in many organizations.
Executive Information Systems (EIS) or Executive Support Systems (ESS) have been developed to provide senior managers with a system that would assist them in making strategic and tactical decisions. Their purpose is to analyze, compare and highlight trends that would in turn contribute to defining the strategic directions of a company. EIS are commonly integrated in the operational systems, giving managers the facility to ¡¥drill-down¡¦ and to find out further information about a predicament.
An EIS can be defined as ¡¥a computerized system that provides executives with easy access to internal and external information that is relevant to their critical success factors¡¦ . Relevant research shows that most EIS:
Are tailored to individual executive users
Extract, filter, compress and track critical data
Provide online status access, trend analysis and exception reporting
Access and integrate a broad range of internal and external data
Present graphical and textual information
Are user friendly and require minimal training
Are used directly by executives without intermediaries
Based on Neil McBride¡¦s article , the two former characteristics of EIS are of great importance as it appears in the Lakeshire Health Authority (LHA) case study. These two characteristics will be under discussion, as they provide several implications, disadvantages and advantages to LHA.
For the literature search the Google Scholar and the ISI Web of Knowledge databases were explored by using the words ¡¥management information systems¡¦ OR ¡¥executive information systems¡¦ as the key phrases. The combination ¡¥management information systems¡¦ AND ¡¥case study¡¦ was also used as a search strategy in order to reveal articles which elaborate on various information systems within the context of a specific company/organization. Several articles were yielded; however, there was an emphasis on the most recent ones.
Furthermore, the Management Information Systems Quarterly journal was also searched by using the same keywords...
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