How information is used in an organization
Certainly, much has been hypothesized regarding the core roles of information for any given organization. As such, different organizations emanating from different contexts have taken it up to themselves to gather varied information that affects their core functions directly or indirectly. Many at times, information generated from data collected and collated by an organization is used for decision making. Precisely, information offers a realistic view of the organizational situation as it is at any given moment. As such, it guides the process of streamlining decisions aimed at assuring success of an organization’s ventures. Worth noting is the fact that decision making is dependent on prevailing environmental and cultural conditions within a given organization (Rainer & Cegielski, 2011). Therefore, the fact that information is derived from data on cultural and environmental issues provides a comprehensive platform in which organizations can make suitable decisions.
On another note, information is often utilized by organizations as a stimuli or a motivator (Rainer & Cegielski, 2011). Precisely, information brings some meaning to various personalities at the organizational level including managers, supervisors, and lower level employees. In fact, information generated by any given organizations shows whether the organizational personnel are performing as expected or not. If the information shows that the organizations personnel are performing well, it acts as an appreciation of their efforts; hence, motivating them to keep up with the good work. On the other hand, if the information shows that there is some inadequacy in performance amongst the organizations’ workforce, such information does not serve to criticize them, but it keeps them “ at toes.” This makes the organizations workforce to restructure their working strategies in order to achieve the set performance standards. Overall, information is useful for an organization in a number of ways.
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How information flows in an organization
As aforementioned herein, information plays a crucial role in any given organization. For this reason, flow of information within an organization should be streamlined in order to assure adequate availability of information at all levels. Speaking of information flow, this connotes to the stream of information all over the organization. Evidently, information flow in an organization occurs in two ways. Above all information flow occurs in a vertical manner, whereby information streams in an up and down manner and vice versa (Fischer-Hellmann, 2012). An example of vertical information flow of information occurs in cases where information flows from production line workers to their managers then finally to the production supervisors. As such, such information makes all the organizational personnel responsible for daily operations within the organization.
Another manner in which information flows in an organization is in a horizontal way. Speaking of a horizontal information pattern, this refers to an approach whereby information flows sideways in an organization contrary to up and down pattern that was evident tin the vertical information flow way. In the horizontal way of information flow, information circulates sideways through the various departments within an organization (Rainer & Cegielski, 2011). Many at times, information flow in the horizontal way occurs within the five major hypothesized departments in an organization which include research, production, accounting, human resource, and marketing departments. An example of a horizontal way of information flow is in cases where production managers from the production department set their production targets by coordinating production activities with the operation managers.
Use of information flow in an organization that I am familiar with
A case example of information flow is in the case of USAID; an organization that I am well familiar. In the case of USAID, the organization supports various programs such as those that strive to reduce the effects of HIV/AIDS. As such, information flows in a vertical way whereby information emanates from different service delivery points situated across various parts of the globe. Such information flows from these service delivery points to the higher levels where supervision of the programs supported by USAID is done. In fact, information from the service delivery points is channeled to the district program supervisors then eventually to the national program coordinators. As such information flows from the service delivery points across the mentioned channels, feedback is provided in cases of any notable discrepancies in service delivery. Overall, the higher level hierarchies within the USAID offer guidance and advice to the service delivery sites depending on the information received.
Concerns with properly controlling this flow
Controlling the flow of information in the context of USAID is faced by a number of concerns, particularly those aligned with unauthorized use of information channeled from the service delivery points. For example, the USAID supports programs targeting people living with HIV/AIDS. For this reason, information confided by such persons to the service delivery personnel should be kept confidential. This is because people living with HIV/AIDS have often faced stigma and discrimination upon disclosure of information regarding the HIV status. Concerns occur in cases whereby as the information flows from the service deliver point, it may by-pass unauthorized personnel who may end up disclosing the information regarding these people (Silva & Agustí, 2008); hence, resulting in their discrimination.
Fischer-Hellmann, K.-P. (2012). Information flow based security control beyond RBAC: How to enable fine-grained security policy enforcement in business processes beyond limitations of role-based access control (RBAC). Wiesbaden: Springer Vieweg.
Rainer, R. K., & Cegielski, C. G. (2011). Introduction to information systems. Hoboken, N. J: Wiley.
Silva, F. S. C., & Agustí, . C. J. (2008). Information flow and knowledge sharing. Amsterdam: Elsevier.