Information management is the collection and management of information from one or more sources and the distribution of that information to one or more audiences. This sometimes involves those who have a stake in, or a right to that information. Management means the organization of and control over the structure, processing and delivery of information.
- Getting the right information to the right person at the right place at the right time'
- Knowing what information to gather, knowing what to do with information when you get it, knowing what information to pass on, and knowing how to value the result'
Five main organization design strategies to increase information processing capacity and reduced need for information processing
1. Environmental management. Instead of adapting to changing environmental circumstances, the organization can aim at modifying its environment. Vertical and horizontal collaboration, i.e. cooperation or integration with other organizations in the industry value system are typical means for reducing uncertainty. An example for reducing uncertainty in the relation with the prior or demanding stage of the industry system is the concept of Supplier-Retailer collaboration or Efficient Customer Response.
2. Creation of slack resources. In order to reduce exceptions, performance levels can be reduced, thus decreasing the information load on the hierarchy. These additional slack resources, required to reduce information processing in the hierarchy, are representing an additional cost to the organization and the choice of this method is clearly depending on the alternative costs of other strategies.
3. Creation of self-contained tasks. Achieving a conceptual closure of tasks is another way of reducing information processing. In this case, the task-performing unit has all the resources required to perform the task. This approach is concerned with task (de-)composition and interaction between different organizational units, i.e. organizational and information interfaces.
4. Creation of lateral relations. In this case, lateral decision processes are established that cut across functional organizational units. The aim is to apply a system of decision subsidiarity, i.e. to move decision power to the process, instead of moving information from the process into the hierarchy for decision-making.
5. Investment in vertical information systems. Instead of processing information through the existing hierarchical channels, the organization can establish vertical information systems. In this case, the information flow for a specific task (or set of tasks) is routed in accordance to the applied business logic, rather than the hierarchical organization.
6. Following the lateral relations concept, it also becomes possible to employ an organizational form that is different from the simple hierarchical information. The Matrix organization is aiming at bringing together the functional and product departmental bases and achieving a balance in information processing and decision making between the vertical (hierarchical) and the horizontal (product or project) structure. The creation of a matrix organization can also be considered as management's response to a persistent or permanent demand for adaptation to environmental dynamics, instead of the response to episodic demands.