The Usefulness of Computer-Based Information to Public Managers

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This study uses data from 260 public managers to assess two broad images of the potential of information technology and computer-based information (CBI) to serve public managers: the “knowledge executive” and the “CBI consumer.” The data were collected as part of a longitudinal study of computer user in more than 40 U.S. cities conducted in 1976 and again in 1988. The results show that computer-based information is important for most managers, and many report they are extremely dependent upon it. Also, the managers currently find the information more valuable for control of financial resources than for management of operations. Furthermore, among four sets of factors that might account for differences in the usefulness of computer-based information to managers, quality and accessibility of the information and the manager’s style of use are particularly important. Finally, managers who are most satisfied with the usefulness of computer-based information are those who use support staff to mediate their computer-based information environment, rather than those who use the computer to access information directly. Such indirect use of computing might be the most appropriate mode for many contemporary managers. Therefore, the focus of design efforts for information systems for managers should be as much on these intermediaries as on the executives themselves.
Additional Details
Author Kenneth L. Kraemer, James N. Danziger, Debora E. Dunkle, and John L. King
Year 1993
Volume 17
Issue 2
Keywords Computer-based information, usefulness of information, public managers, knowledge executives, style of computing use
Page Numbers 129-149
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