Research on Mis

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Carnegie Institute of Technology
rbOR PEDERS&L SCIENTIFIC TEC IIN J N kM T AND N

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GRADUATE SCHOOL of INDUSTRIAL ADMINISTRATION
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Management

Sciences Research Report No.

54

PROPOSED RESEARCH ON MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS by N. C. Churchill, C. H. Kriebel and A. C. Stedry

October.,

1965

This report was prepared as part of the activities of the Management Sciences Research Group, Carnegie Institute of Technology, under Contract Nonr 760(24), NR 047-048 with the U. S. Office of Naval Research and under a Ford Foundation Grant. Reproduction in whole or in part is permitted for any purpose of the U. S. Government.

MANAGEMENT SCIENCES RESEARCH GROUP MANROEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS PROJECT GRADUATE SCHOOL OF INDUSTRIAL ADMINISTRATION CARNEGIE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA 15213

PROPOSED RESEARCH ON MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS Introduction

This report is not intended as a survey of ongoing research in the area of "information systems"--although such projects will. be alluded to occasionally. It is an outline of some areas in which research

seems necessary and a statement of research activity which the authors and their associates plan to follow. This research is detailed below

and is based upon preliminary investigations which indicate the feasibility of certain approaches to information system problems. The

prelininary work has revealed many areas in which knowledge is virtually non-existent--and areas which are of increasing importance to management. The cost of this lack of knowledge is one of foregone opportunities--of lost profit and of unnecessary expense. In order to provide a focus in this report which avoids proliferation of examples and terminology, we have concentrated our attention on management information systems in connection with their use in managerial decision making. We have tended also to emphasize

areas in which current and readily foreseeable developments in computer technology have made the research problems more apparent. This is not

to imply, however, that the research is oriented toward the application of specific computers currently available. Rather, it is based on the

assumption that a sophistication in "hardware" production far exceeds sophistication in its use. the past in a

The term "information system" has been used in

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variety of connotations.

It

has been used to describe a multitude

of electronic data processing equipment or devices, systems, or even clerical arrangements. as:

data collection

The research described

here defines an information s

The combination of human and computer-based capital resources which results in the collection, storage, retrieval, and use of data for the purpose ot comnmunication, efficient management (planning, decision-making, reporting, and control) of operations in organizations. It is not necessary, at this point, to discuss precise meanings It is important, however,

attached to the functions of organizations.

to distinguish between daca and information within the context of management information systems. in one sense, "facts", which can take a variety of

Data are, forms.

They are the r-Aw materials--the reports or images of the are collected and stored. That is,

activities of an organization--which Information is it is

the intelligence of data within context.

the output resulting from the conversion of raw data into a

"product" which enables managers to take action appropriate within a particular frame of reference. information when provided in For example, an item of data may become

response to a particular question which An information system, storing, and there-

facilitates the execution of a decision.

fore, must include not only the means for gathering,

retrieving data, but also the means for converting these "inputs" into information for managerial use.

-V.

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