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The Management Information System (MIS) is a system dealing with people, data and information, three things that have gained unforeseen significance in the information age and it is the most vital ingredient of Decision making support system of an organization. Today organizations have effectively shifted their focus from product to knowledge, from the item manufactured to the know-how that goes behind it. As a result information and people dealing with the information have emerged as the ultimate winners in this new era. The Information system too emphasizes this growing importance of knowledge. It represents the strong information infrastructure every organization today seeks to achieve. Thus, it becomes important to understand the role of management information systems in the reporting process in a multinational enterprise. Additionally, in the same context, it is important to understand the statement, "Inadequate MIS in foreign affiliates can become a control problem for MNEs" (Schneider, 2009). In the context of Decision making support system of an organization this is the most favorable tool of today.
Decision making from the managerial aspect can be defined as the art of creating industrial relations of any kind, between people engaged in the industry, such as relation between employers and employees, relation between individuals entering into commercial contracts, relation between investors and debtors etc, in order to maintain true cooperation of all concerned. Efficiency of managerial decision making lies in not only making the employees to work, but to make them work willingly, sincerely and consciously, by employing new knowledge, new methods, new designs, new machines and novel techniques of production and by allaying mistrust and antagonism. There exist several aspects of decision making principals from the managerial point of view. It includes elements to bring about Development and Change in the Organization, to Defined and Explored Organization Development, Build a Mentoring Culture, Force Field Analysis, provide Online Facilitation for Impersonal Facilitators, Explore the New Science of Complexity, to apply a Strategic Framework in the organization.
Decision making in a company involves the adoption of the objective and the selection of the means; and later on the necessity of the adjustments whenever some change occur in the normal anticipated situation. The successful decision-making unit (DMU) of a company has to lay down some strategies for the Benefit of the organization. These strategies intend at increasing the efficiency of the company to effectively manage a complete marketing communications program, including customer retention efforts, create the perception of product leadership, identify the most profitable market segments to target, optimize the cost/value relationship in all areas of the marketing communications mix, construct revenue-generating strategies that gain management support.
The successful buying decision making process (DMP) of a company follows the strategies like understanding marketing communications like the marketing process, the elements of a marketing mix, how to plan, control and evaluate a marketing communications strategy, Pinpointing the communication goals like budgeting, winning management support, determining the optimum strategies of marketing, communications options, media choices and ROI, maximizing the value of direct selling through a targeted communications events like the role of direct response vehicles, combining mass media and targeted marketing into a unified marketing plan, evaluating the effectiveness of the strategy by testing the company's messages, offers and the media chosen by using an integrated database management system.
The decision-making unit (DMU) and the buying decision making process (DMP) of a company are the chief components that lay the foundation stone of the organization's communication mix. An innovative accentor solution and proper and successful decision making strategy would help a company make over operations at its Head Office Customer Services call centre. For example Mark & Spencer, under similar condition, faced the same problem and confronted it with successful and proper decision making procedures. IT mostly depended on advertising for promotion of its products.
This is quite expensive. It applied extensively personal selling, Sales promotion, and Public relation methods in its sell strategy without setting promotion budget or deciding suitable time-span. These were relatively inexpensive, represents a long-term commitment and not effective at building long-term brand preferences. As a result costs of products of Marks & Spencer increased. Thus the products became unaffordable for average and middle income people. However, extensive advertising made its products very popular and trendy among teenagers. Due to high cost and popularity its products became status symbol among the higher income people. Thus demand for its products increased among the teenagers and higher income class. (Bell, 2006)
Similarly, the article IBM and DWL form Global Strategic Alliance to Deliver Unified Business Services Software for Financial Services (Darcy, 2002) shows that IBM has entered into a global strategic alliance to help improve DWL customer service to change into a customer centered marketing strategy. The fusion between IBM's service capacities, hardware and middle ware and DWL's industry leading software programs will definitely give it an overwhelming edge over the unions' business rivals. The combination will save costs as their combination gives answers that will improve and unite the customers across many territorial boundaries. The combination will help banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions to combine vital customer databases for a more effective management decision making strategies.
It is obvious that goals of any company are simple, such as speed, equality and competitive price. Commodities have become international for this company and the impact of engineering is significant. In this company, the learning curve in engineering has become an unaffordable luxury. Competitive market pressures mandate finding ways to reduce the total time required to introduce new products in the market. Competition along with more complex production and distribution environments requires identifying and reducing necessary costs, such as costs associated with development, manufacturing, distribution and service and it is logical to believe that developing strategies like M&S would not be quoted under the parameters of a successful strategy plan.
On the contrary there are several examples of an unsuccessful strategy plan. In the context of globalization and global economy this becomes more evident when we find that companies are overlooking the global parameters of a business. Outsourcing is another global strategic alliance that fosters a winning international strategy. For, lower prices combined with quality will generally increase the company's clients. To achieve lower selling prices, one marketing strategy is to produce these goods or buy imported materials from an outsourcing company in India, China, Taiwan and other countries.
This is called value retailing. Outsourcing literally gives a big edge against competitors in the current tough and competitive business world. Phenomenally, outsourcing of raw materials to third world countries has increased because the labor cost in these Asian countries are cheaper than if companies hire local workers in the United States. Definitely, cost structures, internal processes and ways of working between the outsourced supplier of goods and services and the American purchasers of goods and services are very crucial factors that will make company profits skyrocket way above the competitors. Examples of outsourcing are calling center jobs, accounting jobs. Also, some companies buy the raw materials needed to make a new product from third world countries in order to lessen manufacturing costs. Thus, management's successful cost reduction through outsourcing (supply chain management) is another global strategic alliance which fosters a winning international strategy. But companies like Clark- Davis fails to recognize this advantage and can well enumerated as prime example of unsuccessful strategy plan. (Border, 2002)
Decision making makes the prime difference between the reasons for the group's very good and very poor performance. The same is applicable in the context of decisions on HRM.
It can well be stated in this context that in the parameters of decision making the Human Resources Management (HRM) purpose take account of a several activities, and the most important among them is making a decision what staffing requirements one have and whether to use autonomous contractors or take into service employees to meet these needs, appointing and training the most excellent employees, making sure that they are better performers, handling performance related problems, and ensuring that the human resources and administrational practices do the accepted thing to various set of laws.
Actions also take account of supervising the steps taken towards employee benefits and reimbursements, employee accounts and personnel guiding principle. (Bell, 2006) It should be mentioned that a positive decision is the main aspect of the development and the success rate of any given company. Thus it can well be stated that managers and their decision making strategies are the most important factor of a company and these are the people who are responsible for the making or breaking of a company.
Management Information System (MIS) comprise of all tasks related to information processing and management. It can be said to be a bridge between the technology and business. Therefore, Business Processes is a key MIS skill. In the twentieth century, almost all enterprises require technology to stay in the business. The advent of information technology is as such, that without MIS the companies cannot run. The better application of the information system is the only key to succeed in the present industry. Hence, MIS is an, if not THE, important segment of a company. The role of IT is huge in every business sectors. Now, in a MIS the businesses are denoted by Entities. These entities are characterized by their attributes and functions. Every entity maintains records of each of its attributes and functions. These attributes include everything related to the business from costs, networks to employee details.
Alongside, the relationships are established between entities sharing common attributes and functionalities. These attributes and functions which are common can be made to cluster together to establish relationships, which would enable the clustered entities to be either competitors, or complementary. Hence, our discussion can be justified that in an MIS the entities in a database represent relations and opportunities in business. A database represents the overall design of a database and gives the users the associated entities and attributes by specifying the relationship among them.
It has three models or views. The conceptual or logical model helps to characterize database structures. The internal or physical model separates the OS from the physical storage of data. The external model or application interface addresses the relation between a user and the data model. All these aspects are vital towards attaining success of a MNC in the global market. Thus, it is an inseparable component for any MNC and from the context of economy MIS is taken into consideration the aspects of MIS becomes more vital in Decision making support system of an organization.
Information economics is basically a theory that is included in micro-economics. It's an exceptional kind of information. Today everything is a commodity - not excluding information. The unique quality of information is that unlike other commodities the more you give the more it grows - it never becomes scarce. Economics in general refers trading in goods that cannot be used by others in the same form. If one individual purchases a shirt then others cannot have it - are deprived of it. This deprivation theory is the core of economics (Schneider, 2009).
But in information economics if one person gathers information it does not mean others are deprived of it. Everybody can equally share the one cake. If I buy a copy of a book others cannot have it; but the information is there for the asking - not perhaps that copy (Soros, 2007). In economics the items traded are valued according to its scarcity level relating to demand. If a thing is scarce but demand has spiked then the value increases and vice versa. But Information cannot be scarce - in fact with each passing day it becomes less scarce. In the usual economic theory this cannot be.
In information economic theory the money value of the information must be the presentation of it in such a manner that it will generate a chance for trading. This makes people opt for schools and colleges rather than pursing information independently. The bundling of it in these institutions allows for more scope to earn money thus, it is clear that it is an important component of Decision making support system of an organization (Schneider, 2009).
Organizational Impact of MIS
It is true that a good Management Information System is a major asset to a company and a bad one can even cause a company to fail. The power of a good Management Information System is such that it can even give smaller companies the opportunity of taking on the larger ones. A good Management Information system allows a company to manipulate data for obtaining a consistent forecast whose formulation is especially important for companies having an online component and marketing strategies. Using the internet even smaller but strong companies can easily compete with larger ones if they have a good Information System supporting them.
For a company to meet its goal and thus, prosper a lot of data and information needs to be considered all the time and the decisions made need to reach all the members at the proper time. This is among the major objectives of a modern day company. So, with the help of a good Information System not only will a company be able to manage its information and data efficient but also maintain a proper communication channel among the employees, employers, customers and other entities of the company (Ivancevich, Konopaske & Matteson 2005).
The various innovation of the technology world along with a good Management Information System enhances the performance of a company resulting in its success. The business application and services of a good Information Management System package even helps the company to improve its strategies thus, making it more competitive than others. It enables the company to develop a top class business plan which when incorporated with its systems and functions become major assets for the company and this is responsible, in certain manners, for its success. But for the Management Information System to yield the proper results, a company needs to constantly update it so that its workings can be modified according to the present needs and goals of the company.
A good Management Information System also helps when a company is experimenting with its existing assets and systems. Experiments may or may not be successful and thus, needs to be carried out in small scale first. Also investing huge amounts of money into a new project without testing it may cause the company to suffer heavy losses from which it may never recover. But, if the company has a good Management Information System then it will be able to estimate the potential success or failure of the new project based on which the company can decide to either proceed with a successful plan or drop otherwise (Berkovitch & Narayanan, 2006).
A good Management Information System will not only empower the company but also provide it with the best information required for its effective working. A good Information System also reduces the time its employees spend on carrying out a particular task since they can quickly access and easily understand all the important data and respond on time. It helps to convert current and important data into valuable information which can be delivered to other people in almost no time so that they can work with it and respond quickly (Berkovitch & Narayanan 2006).
The Management Information System can be modified according to the individual user and requirements of the company so that it works towards the success of the company. Although initially the benefits of an Information System may not be completely clear, it is very important that the Management Information System is allowed to grow as the business evolves so that it becomes better and in the process helps the company achieve its goals for becoming successful. An inert Information System may not always be a good one since it needs to evolve with modern technological innovations (Stainton, 2005). Thus, only those Management Information Systems which are allowed to evolve according to requirements play a big hand in the success and failure of the company particularly in the context of Decision making support system of an organization.
MIS in Human Resource
Unlike what most people suppose this information infrastructure does not come at the cost of the human resource infrastructure, in fact both are intricately linked to each other. The more the emphasis on information grows the more the organizations will value their human resource, because it is after all the people who represent the information and the know-how. Systems such as the Information system are merely created for the proper channeling of this human capacity. Hence, they will always remain mere devices that put to good use the information that employees bring to a certain organization (Soros, 2007).
As a result, the growth of Management Information Systems in the field of technology is likely to increase the value of the employees of every firm far beyond what it is presently. Of course the organization's work too will be far simplified thanks to the superior technology of the information system. But ultimately organizations will still be dealing with the sound knowledge and understanding of exceptionally astute workers who bring their knowledge to the firm. Life for the managers, employees and the executives at any given organization could not possibly be better than what it will be once the use of information systems becomes rampant (Bowditch & Buono 2007).
In the context of IT Human Resource, it can be stated that MIS is a systematic and complex strategy that is planned top-down for increasing and implementing effective organizational change. It mainly aims to change the structure, attitudes, standards and thinking of an organization through interventions so that it can adapt to new and better challenges, technology and marketing strategies (Schneider, 2009).
It does not simply make an organization better but focuses on interpreting and supervising an organizational change by involving organizational planning, expression, system improvement and analysis bringing about the required result. It is characterized by individuality, learning, inspiration, sociology and psychology and its qualities are interdisciplinary. It has three components - diagnosis, intervention or action and evaluation, which need to be properly controlled to bring about an effective change.
Interventions include structural and third Party Peace making interventions, Inter-group and Team interventions, Process Consultation, Sensitivity Training and Survey Feedback. Extensively used interventions in MIS are Quality of work life (QWL) projects, Management by Objectives (MBO), Organizational Transformation, Quality Circles, Parallel Learning Structures, Total Quality Management (TQM), Process Re-engineering, self-managed teams and large-scale systems change (Auster & Sirower 2006). All these aspects are beneficial and add competitive advantage to a MNC. Thus, it is obvious that the role of MIS is vital for any MNC and without proper management of information system the MNC is sure to loose its competitive advantage in open market and Decision making support system of an organization.