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Patricia F. Katopol Dissertation Proposal Defense May 23, 2005 [email protected] An Exploratory Study of the Information Culture of City Government Support Staff and its Implications for Managerial Decision-Making. PROBLEM #1.

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Patricia f katopol dissertation proposal defense may 23 2005 pfk@u washington edu l.jpg

Patricia F. KatopolDissertation Proposal DefenseMay 23, 2005 [email protected]

An Exploratory Study of the Information Culture

of City Government Support Staff

and its Implications for Managerial Decision-Making



Slide3 l.jpg

“A request by a decision maker for information is a signal of decision relevance and thereby an invitation for information sources to try to manipulate the content or increase the implicit price of information.” (March and Sevon 1984, 102)


Problem 2 l.jpg
PROBLEM #2 of decision relevance and thereby an invitation for information sources to try to manipulate the content or increase the implicit price of information.”


Slide5 l.jpg
Bosses don't need to of decision relevance and thereby an invitation for information sources to try to manipulate the content or increase the implicit price of information.” know everythingthat's happeningin the office.http://us.deskdemon.com/pages/us/career/bossrelationship


Overview l.jpg
Overview of decision relevance and thereby an invitation for information sources to try to manipulate the content or increase the implicit price of information.”

  • What

    • Questions

    • Assumptions

    • Frameworks

  • Who

  • Environment

    • Actions

    • Culture

  • Method


What the research question l.jpg
What - The Research Question of decision relevance and thereby an invitation for information sources to try to manipulate the content or increase the implicit price of information.”

  • In an organization, how is the decision-making function at one hierarchical level affected by the manner in which information is obtained, exchanged, and transferred at another hierarchical level?


What answering the question l.jpg
What - Answering the Question of decision relevance and thereby an invitation for information sources to try to manipulate the content or increase the implicit price of information.”

  • What is the information culture of support staff (SS) in city government offices?

  • What implications does that culture have for the decision-making of the managers they support?


Assumptions l.jpg
Assumptions of decision relevance and thereby an invitation for information sources to try to manipulate the content or increase the implicit price of information.”

1. Institutionalism affects the actions of both support staff and managers.

2. SS are affected by roles, power and authority and that they may exercise power and authority themselves.

3. This exercise of power may manifest itself in the way SS transfers, or does not transfer, information to the managers they support.


Frameworks institutionalism l.jpg
Frameworks - Institutionalism of decision relevance and thereby an invitation for information sources to try to manipulate the content or increase the implicit price of information.”

  • Organizations adopt practices that increase their legitimacy, thereby increasing their likelihood of survival. However, in adopting these practices, the organization’s actions become less rational and less effective.

  • The organizations “reflect the myths of their institutional environments instead of the demands of their work activities.” (Meyer and Rowan 1991, 41)

  • Despite their individual information requirements and different environments, organizations tend to look like each other due in part to the pressures of coercive, mimetic, and normative isomorphism.


Frameworks roles power and authority l.jpg
Frameworks - Roles, Power and Authority of decision relevance and thereby an invitation for information sources to try to manipulate the content or increase the implicit price of information.”

  • Acting within roles and obeying behavior standards, imparts credibility and power.

  • Roles, and the identities that accompany them, provide a basis for decision making.

  • Can different types of power and authority be identified in SS information culture? If so, that might indicate that some power, and therefore, some valuable information, is outside of managerial control and access.


Frameworks cognitive work analysis l.jpg
Frameworks - Cognitive Work Analysis of decision relevance and thereby an invitation for information sources to try to manipulate the content or increase the implicit price of information.”

  • Emphasizes the actor and the work, not the technology

  • CWA provides an analysis of the situation in the following dimensions: work environment, work domain, task situation, social organization, and the actors’ resources and values.

  • The designer is free to design the system required by the work, not by the designer.

  • Its use of social and organizational analysis adds depth to research on information seeking behavior in context.

  • In using CWA, the researcher can apply those theories most useful to the particular study.


Who support staff managers support staff l.jpg
Who – Support Staff & Managers of decision relevance and thereby an invitation for information sources to try to manipulate the content or increase the implicit price of information.” Support Staff

  • A high level assistant, working at the direction of a manager and having independent duties; not a clerical worker.

  • In 2002, approximately 1,526,000 ‘support staff’ - executive secretaries and administrative assistants

  • Traditional roles:

    • perform and coordinate administrative activities

    • store, retrieve, and integrate information for dissemination to staff and clients

  • New duties:

    • train and supervise staff

    • conduct research on the Internet

    • operate and fix office technologies

      (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Who support staff managers managers l.jpg
Who – Support Staff & Managers of decision relevance and thereby an invitation for information sources to try to manipulate the content or increase the implicit price of information.” Managers

Managerial duties:

  • Interpersonal - provide information

  • Informational - process information

  • Decisional - use information

    (Mintzberg 1973)


Who support staff managers the relationship l.jpg
Who – Support Staff & Managers of decision relevance and thereby an invitation for information sources to try to manipulate the content or increase the implicit price of information.” The Relationship

  • The most useful characteristics for support staff will be communication and interpersonal skills.

  • A close working relationship with the manager is one of the most valued skills.

    (Occupational Outlook Handbook 2004-5)


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LET ME REMIND YOU of decision relevance and thereby an invitation for information sources to try to manipulate the content or increase the implicit price of information.”


Slide17 l.jpg
Bosses don't need to of decision relevance and thereby an invitation for information sources to try to manipulate the content or increase the implicit price of information.” know everythingthat's happeningin the office.http://us.deskdemon.com/pages/us/career/bossrelationship


Environment new public management l.jpg
Environment - New Public Management of decision relevance and thereby an invitation for information sources to try to manipulate the content or increase the implicit price of information.”

  • "asked to do far more with much less, to do so quickly and under great political pressure" (Kettl 1997, 454)

  • Make more and different types of decisions than previously

  • Decisions now have a higher element of risk

  • New government initiatives require - “coordinated network building” and “external collaboration” which differs from a bureaucratic paradigm emphasizing “standardization, departmentalization, and division of labor."(Ho 2002, 440)


Actions decision making i l.jpg
Actions - Decision-Making I of decision relevance and thereby an invitation for information sources to try to manipulate the content or increase the implicit price of information.”

  • Most of a manager’s time is spent in decision-making

  • Managers try to improve their decisions, so that they have positive outcomes for the organization.

  • Improved decisions can be made by reducing uncertainty

  • Uncertainty can be reduced by the acquisition of information

  • Decision-makers seek to reduce costs associated with information gathering by making decisions based on the information at hand.


Actions decision making ii l.jpg
Actions - Decision-Making II of decision relevance and thereby an invitation for information sources to try to manipulate the content or increase the implicit price of information.”

  • Nearest source of information will be consulted first, with less accessible sources used later.

  • If information needs can be satisfied quickly from nearby sources, effort is rarely taken to seek out more distant or additional sources.

  • Decision-makers often forgo quality over easily accessible information.


Culture information culture i l.jpg
Culture - Information Culture I of decision relevance and thereby an invitation for information sources to try to manipulate the content or increase the implicit price of information.”

Those shared values, norms,assumptions, and practices surrounding the gathering, manipulation, and transfer of information amongst a specific group of people.

“a highly developed information culture correlates positively with successful business performance and is closely connected with activities, attitudes, and business cultures initiating successful results.” (Ginman 1988, 104)


Culture information culture ii l.jpg
Culture - Information Culture II of decision relevance and thereby an invitation for information sources to try to manipulate the content or increase the implicit price of information.”

  • Katopol vs. Ginman:

    • “successful business performance” doesn’t equal successful public administration.

    • Focus on support staff, not CEOs

    • Participants are influenced by, rather than influence, others’ information behavior

    • Novel approach to information culture

  • ‘Organizational culture’ provides a more useful tool for analyzing SS culture


Culture organizational culture l.jpg
Culture - Organizational Culture of decision relevance and thereby an invitation for information sources to try to manipulate the content or increase the implicit price of information.”

A pattern of shared basic assumptions

  • learned by the group

  • to solve problems of external adaptation and internal integration

  • considered valid

  • taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems. (adapted from Schein 1992)


Method i l.jpg
Method I

  • Qualitative

  • Naturalistic

    • Researcher and participants are in the setting (Seattle City Hall) in which the phenomenon occurs.

  • Exploratory

    • “little or no scientific knowledge about the group, process, activity, or situation they want to examine but nevertheless have reason to believe it contains elements worth discovering.” (Stebbins 2001, 6)

  • CWA as conceptual framework


Participants support staff l.jpg
Participants - Support Staff

  • 5-7 in different departments

  • 90 minute semi-structured interview:

    • Background

    • Task Situation (information gathering in general and specific information tasks)

    • Organizational Analysis, Allocation of Roles (work assignment, supervision)

    • Social Organization and Management Structure (SS view of departmental and organizational culture)

    • Historical background (how were these tasks done before?)

  • Task and workstation observations

  • Follow-up interview after task observation

  • Document review


Participants managers l.jpg
Participants - Managers

  • 5-7 department heads

  • 60 minute semi-structured interviews:

    • Background

    • Task Situation (decisions based on SS-provided information)

    • Organizational Analysis, Allocation of Roles

    • Social Organization and Management Structure

    • Historical background


Limitations l.jpg
Limitations

  • Small number of participants

  • Inconclusive nature of qualitative research

    • “inconclusiveness actually comes in degrees; research can be more or less inconclusive.”(Stebbins 2001, 40)

  • Inability to generalize

    • Highly representative sample reduces inconclusiveness and allows tentative generalizations.


Generalizability l.jpg
Generalizability

  • Institutionalism similarly constraints all actors in all organizations.

  • Roles also exert forces on actors.

  • These forces tend to make people act in similar ways.

  • Ergo, I would expect to find that support staff information culture, and its implications for managerial decision-making, would be similar in other similarly situated organizations and my findings may be generalizable to some degree.


Usefulness i hope this study will inform l.jpg
Usefulness - I hope this study will inform:

  • Researchers in human information behavior - new group of actors, imposed queries in business setting, deeper look at context

  • Management - support staff information culture has unique value that may have positive or negative implications for managerial decision-making and which may make unaccounted-for contributions to organizational knowledge

  • System designers - include wider array of workers in the system’s design


T hank y ou l.jpg
T hank You


References l.jpg
References

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2004-05 Edition, Secretaries and Administrative, at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos151.htm. (last accessed September 15, 2004).

Deskdemon at: http://us.deskdemon.com/pages/us/career/bossrelationship (last accessed March 15, 2005).

Ginman, M. (1988). "Information Culture and Business Performance." IATUL Quarterly 2: 93-106.

Hood, C. (1995). "The "New Public Management" in the 1980s: Variations on a Theme." Accounting, Organizations and Society 20(2/3): 93-109.

Kettl, D. (1997). "The Global Revolution in Public Management: Driving Themes, Missing Links." Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 16(3): 446-462.

March, J. and G. Sevon (1984). Gossip, Information, and Decision-Making. Advances in Information Processing in Organizations. L. Sproull and P. Larkey. Greenwich, CT, JAI Press, Inc.

Meyer, J. and B. Rowan (1991). Institutionalized Organizations: Formal Structure as Myth and Ceremony. The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis. W. W. Powell and P. J. DiMaggio. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.

Stebbins, R. (2001). Exploratory Research in the Social Sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage Publications.


Bibliography i l.jpg
Bibliography I

Bukowitz, W. (1998). "At the Core of a Knowledge Base." Journal of Knowledge Management 1(3): 215-224.

Fidel, R., A. M. Pejtersen, et al. (2004). "A Multi-Dimensional Approach to the Study of Human- Information Interaction: A Case study of Collaborative Information Retrieval." Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 55(11): 939 - 953.

Fountain, J. (2001). "Paradoxes of Public Sector Customer Service." Governance: An International Journal of Policy and Administration 14(1): 55-73.

Grant, R. M. (1996). "Toward a Knowledge-Based Theory of the Firm." Strategic Management Journal 17(Winter Special Issue): 109-122.

Hamilton, G. and N. W. Biggart (1985). "Why People Obey: Theoretical Observations on Power and Obedience in Complex Organizations." Sociological Perspectives 28: 3-28.

Ho, A. (2002). "Reinventing Local Governments and the E-Government Initiative." Public Administration Review 62(4): 434-443.

Hood, C. (1995). "The "New Public Management" in the 1980s: Variations on a Theme." Accounting, Organizations and Society 20(2/3): 93-109.

Mintzberg, H. (1973). The Nature of Managerial Work. New York, Harper & Row.


Bibliography i i l.jpg
Bibliography I I

Nonaka, I. (1994). "A Dynamic Theory of Organizational Knowledge Creation." Organization Science 5(1): 14-37.

O'Reilly, C. (1982). "Variations in Decision Makers' Use of Information Sources: The Impact of Quality and Accessibility of Information." Academy of Management Journal 25(4): 756-771.

Pettigrew, K., R. Fidel, et al. (2001). "Conceptual Frameworks in Information Behavior." Annual Review of Information Science and Technology 35: 43-78.

Rasmussen, J., A. M. Pejtersen, et al. (1994). Cognitive Systems Engineering. New York, Wiley-Interscience.

Saunders, C. and J. Jones (1990). "Temporal Sequences in Information Acquisition for Decision Making: A Focus on Source and Medium." Academy of Management Review 15(1): 29-46.

Selznick, P. (1948). "Foundations of the Theory of Organizations." American Sociological Review 13(1): 25-35.

Scott, W. R. (2001). Institutions and Organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage Publications, Inc.

Tsoukas, H. (1996). "The Firm as a Distributed Knowledge System: A Constructionist Approach." Strategic Management Journal 17(Winter Special Issue): 11-25.

Vicente, K. (1999). Cognitive Work Analysis. Mahwah NJ, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.


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