Information Management: The Organizational Dimension

By Michael J. Earl | Go to book overview
Save to active project


Perhaps the most striking and emotional issue in information management in the early 1990s has been the question of outsourcing IT activities. Large outsourcing deals in both the USA and UK have legitimized the practice in minds of several CEOs and put it on the agendas of CIOs. Equally, there have been smaller-scale horror stories of what can go wrong with 'unthinking' outsourcing. Lacity, Willcocks, and Feeny draw on their collective research on both sides of the Atlantic to write a managerial chapter on outsourcing strategy. They propose a framework for decision-making which breaks through some of the simplistic policy and practice rhetoric heard in organizations today. This framework may not have all the answers but it does provide a potentially valuable set of questions to avoid mishaps, to assess IS in the organization and to be more astute in sourcing decisions. It also offers more precise language and terminology in this very contemporary area of organizational challenge.

One idea which has caught on in some organizations is the development of 'hybrid managers' to help bridge the specialist activities of the IS function, whatever its future, with the business at large. Skyrme's chapter is an enthusiastic analysis of, and call for, hybrid managers. He inventories requisite skills and, learning from the experience of a sample of organizations who have pioneered the concept, suggests how hybrids can be developed.

If all Skyrme's ingredients are summated, it would seem that organization development and management development programmes on a grand scale are required. Perhaps all that this represents is putting professional human resource management into IS. There are some hints in the chapter that this can benefit the business beyond the intended goal of building bridges between IT and the business. Whatever a hybrid manager is, and whether or not it is a good label, the competences suggested may well be necessary for all managers in the information era.

Certainly some of the attributes of 'hybrids' are called for in the next chapter, by Couger. Here the driving force is the shift of information systems capabilities and responsibilities towards users. Couger sees this as the concern with wider domains of information processing as well as the growth of end-user computing. It was apparent in the late 1980s, at least in the UK, that often over 50 per cent of IT expenditure was in the hands of users. By 1994 we observe the phenomenon of 'power users', non-IT personnel who can design, develop, and operate their own information systems with scant help from the IT specialists.

Couger, who orginally wrote this chapter at the turn of the decade, posits three scenarios for the IS department as technology and applications


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Information Management: The Organizational Dimension
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 518

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?