Assignment: Liaison CIO Works

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Assignment: Liaison CIO Works

Assignment: Liaison CIO Works

Assumptions about Management Although many books have been written describing the activities of managers, organizational theorist Henry Mintzberg offers a view that works especially well with a perspective relevant to IS management. Mintzberg’s model describes management in behavioral terms by categorizing the three major roles a manager fills: interper- sonal, informational, and decisional (see Figure I-3). This model is useful because it considers the chaotic nature of the environment in which managers actually work. Managers rarely have time to be reflective in their approaches to problems. They work at an unrelenting pace, and their activities are brief and often interrupted. Thus, quality information becomes even more crucial to effective decision making. The classic view is often seen as a tactical approach to management, whereas some describe Mintzberg’s view as more strategic.

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Assumptions about Business Everyone has an internal understanding of what constitutes a business, which is based on readings and experi- ences with different firms. This understanding forms a model that provides the basis for comprehending actions, interpreting decisions, and communicating ideas. Managers use their internal model to make sense of otherwise

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9Basic Assumptions

FIGURE I-3 Managers’ roles. Source: Adapted from H. Mintzberg, The Nature of Managerial Work (New York: Harper & Row, 1973).

Type of Roles Manager’s Roles IS Examples

Interpersonal Figurehead CIO greets touring dignitaries.

Leader IS manager puts in long hours to help motivate project team to complete project on schedule in an environment of heavy budget cuts.

Liaison CIO works with the marketing and human resource vice presidents to make sure that the reward and compensation system is changed to encourage use of the new IS supporting sales.

Informational Monitor Division manager compares progress on IS project for the division with milestones developed during the project’s initiation and feasibility phase.

Disseminator CIO conveys organization’s business strategy to IS department and demonstrates how IS strategy supports the business strategy.

Spokesperson IS manager represents IS department at organization’s recruiting fair.

Decisional Entrepreneur IS division manager suggests an application of a new technology that improves the division’s operational efficiency.

Disturbance handler IS division manager, as project team leader, helps resolve design disagreements between division personnel who will be using the system and systems analysts who are designing it.

Resource allocator CIO allocates additional personnel positions to various departments based upon the business strategy.

Negotiator IS manager negotiates for additional personnel needed to respond to recent user requests for enhanced functionality in a system that is being implemented.

chaotic and random activities. This book uses several conceptual models of business. Some take a functional view and others take a process view.


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