ERIC Number: ED161367
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-May
Reference Count: 0
Information Will Not Make You Well. MIS Re-examined. AIR Forum Paper 1978.
Parker, John D.; Gardner, Don E.
Proponents of management information systems (MIS) have traditionally held that educational administrators are in need of better management information with which to make more informed planning and policy decisions. However, few successful implementations have been reported. Literature discussing the lack of success of MIS point to such factors as lack of commitment by top management and insufficient resources for failure. The following alternative explanation is proposed: MIS efforts in higher education will continue to experience frustration because their success requires the existence of a viable management. The contention expressed is that most institutions of higher education are not managed but rather administered. This distinction is responsible for many of the perceived MIS failures. Two case studies are provided to illustrate the arguments developed. Decisions in higher education are described as predominantly political, as opposed to managerial. The purposes and characteristics of administrative (political) decision information are contrasted with management information, and fundamental differences are outlined in table form. The conclusion is offered that higher education would be better served if resources were directed less toward traditional MIS development and more toward the development of administrative information systems designed to assist in responding effectively to political pressure. (Author)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the annual Association for Institutional Research Forum (18th, Houston, Texas, May 21-25, 1978)