Mix of Contextual Information
Mix of Contextual Information
information that is aggregated, externally oriented, and more subjective than supervisors require. The information needs of middle managers in terms of these characteristics fall between the needs of supervisors and of senior management. Because information needs vary across levels, a daily inventory report of a large manufacturing firm may serve as information for a low‐level inventory manager whereas the CEO would consider such a report to be merely data. The context in which the report is used must be considered in determining whether it is information.
Knowledge is information that is synthesized and contextualized to provide value. It is information with the most value. Knowledge consists of a mix of contextual information, values, experiences, and rules. For example, the mashup of locations and housing prices means one thing to a real estate agent, another thing to a potential buyer, and yet something else to an economist. It is richer and deeper than information and more valuable because someone thought deeply about that information and added his or her own unique experience and judgment. Knowledge also involves the synthesis of multiple sources of information over time.7 The amount of human contribution increases along the continuum from data to information to knowledge. Computers work well for managing data but are less efficient at managing information and knowledge.
Some people think there is a fourth level in the information hierarchy: wisdom. Wisdom is knowledge fused with intuition and judgment that facilitates the ability to make decisions. Wisdom is that level of the information hierarchy used by subject matter experts, gurus, and individuals with a high degree of experience who seem to “just know” what to do and how to apply the knowledge they gain. This is consistent with Aristotle’s view of wisdom as the ability to balance different and conflicting elements together in ways that are only learned through experience.
You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.
Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.
Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.
The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.