Information Needs in an Organization

Meeting or satisfying information needs in an organization is prerequisite to growth and overall development of industrial operations in any company or business organizations. As you know that an organization is an entity—such as a company, an institution, or an association—comprising one or more people and having a particular purpose, there are certainly ready-made cases of the needs for information.

The word is derived from the Greek word organon, which means tool or instrument, musical instrument, and organ. Organizations and institutions can be synonymous, but they are a narrow version of institutions or represent a cluster of institutions; the two are however distinct in the sense that organizations contain internal institutions (that govern interactions between the members of the organizations).

At the planning stage, information is the most important ingredient in decision making. Information at planning stage includes that of business resources, assets, liabilities, plants and machineries, properties, suppliers, customers, competitors, market and market dynamics, fiscal policy changes of the Government, emerging technologies, etc.

Some of the benefits of information needs are that:

  • It is vital to the survival of the organization.
  • It can only be used at a cost.
  • It must be at the right place at the right time.
  • It must be used efficiently for an optimal return on its cost to the organisation. Each user of information should consider the cost of the information relative to its utility for decision making.

Information Needs in an Organization

Why then do organizations capitalize on information need? Let us begin this trail by identifying with information needs in an organization:

  • Information is Invaluable

Information is very much needed to make right decisions. Management is faced with an accelerating rate of change and an ever more complex environment. A multitude of factors may need to be considered for a given decision.

Read Also: Common Examples of Information Need

Examples include; planning regulations, local and central government legislation, the attitudes of employers, customers, trades unions, consumer groups and so on, the financial consequences of the decision, environmental factors, technological and capacity considerations, marketing and advertising implications, resource and supply problems etc.

  • Managerial Efficiency

Without relevant information no manager can function effectively. A worthwhile extension to the well-known adage that management get things done through people, would be that, ‘management get things done through people, by using relevant information.

One of the most important processes in managing the activities of an organization is making decisions about alternatives. When the information available is not sufficient to make a decision, the manager needs to gather more information about the alternatives, compare them, and then choose an alternative.

Decisions made without sufficient information are at best only estimates and typically lead to poor management performance.

  • Rational Decision-Making Aid

Every organization is dependent upon information for its survival. In order for managers to take action that will yield effective results, they need information that is accurate, timely, complete, concise, and relevant.

There is no assurance that the manager will use this type of information effectively; however, it must be available to be used. In most cases, the availability of information to a manager will have a strong influence on the rationale applied in decision making.

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