tween the formal and informal organization. This means flattening the hierarchical structure, or eliminating it completely. People in large organizations already know that the informal structures of alliances, cooperative arrangements, and partnerships make the place run ( Hampton 1994). Management can purposefully use the advantages of informal organizational systems by identifying a work unit within the organization or creating a synthetic group consisting of the representatives of other groups, and then authorizing that group to function independently of the "old" culture. This group then develops problem-solving techniques that are not hampered by the traditions, practices, or values of the past.
The concept that use of informal structures can lead to better performance is not new. In 1951, researchers at the Tavistock Institute in England studied the adjustment problems of informal work organizations when the ownership and technology of the coal mines changed ( Trist 1963). This five-year study illustrated how sizable informal work groups in several mines, when allowed to be selfregulating, were more capable of adapting to changes in the technology of work.
A "merger" of formal and informal organizations is, in fact, one of the core ideas of the modern managerial revolution. The transition from a closed to open organizational model to a Theory Z type of organization means that more and more emphasis is given to informal relationships rather than to the formal organizational structure characterized by hierarchy, a chain of command, rigid job descriptions, and formal managerial procedures.
Modern managerial concepts present these ideas under a variety of labels; authors of "fourth generation management," "internal entrepreneurship" (or "intrapreneurship"), "the learning organization," and so forth, suggest different approaches and techniques for taking advantage of emerging informal organizations and building them up in order to produce organizational changes necessary for survival in turbulent and uncertain environments.
The role and performance of informal organizations inside governments and public sector organizations have also attracted the recent attention of both scholars and practitioners. According to Senge ( 1994), governments can benefit from using these approaches. But there are and always will be some limitations for recognition of informal structures in governmental institutions. They are strongly dependent on political considerations, and their managerial structures are designed in a way which is most suitable for preserving administrative-control procedures. As government is based primarily on formal structural arrangements derived form the political power of the state, informal structures will always be treated with suspicion and curiosity.
PAVEL MAKEYENKO, MARC HOLZER, AND
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INFORMATION RESOURCES MANAGEMENT(IRM). A phrase used to describe the strategic perspective on information as a major resource in organizations and government. IRM is a managerial framework for the planning, organizing, and control of data and information to achieve the purposes of the organization. IRM is not dissimilar to human, financial, and capital resource management. IRM views data and information as strategic organizational resources with both value and cost. It addresses problems in information production, distribution, and utilization within the organization and the external environment of the organization.
IRM was building on the newfound belief first demonstrated by Fritz Machlup ( 1962) in his classic book outlining and establishing the contribution of information and knowledge to the traditional model of economic production as a function of land, labor, and capital. Later Marc Porat ( 1977) completed a nine-volume work for the Department of Commerce, presented as a final summary to the Federal Paperwork Commission, that linked the economic domains of the production of goods and services to the production and use of information and knowledge. Productivity growth was and now continues to be understood as a function of information and knowledge in economic systems. This work placed new emphasis on organizations developing strategies for creating, obtaining, distributing, and using information and knowledge. Public and private organizations alike adopted this strategic perspective on information resources management.
IRM was popularized in the mid-to-late 1970s as a new way to manage an organization's information resources, including but not limited to computers and information