Management is the invisible force that keeps an organization going by continuously performing the tasks of planning, organizing, controlling and leading. Management plans for the goals and objectives of the organization, organizes men, materials, technology, money and other resources to enable the organization to attain the set goals and objectives, controls activities to ensure that everything goes according to plan and that there is no deviation from it and leads the organization to attain greater achievements. Without management, an organization cannot survive. The issue of management is therefore most important for any organization, business or otherwise.
Management in business organizations has traditionally always focused on the four levels of business change and success namely, business strategy, organization structure, business processes and people. However, a fifth level has now been added to the existing four information levels. Information has not only become an additional lever for change and success of a business organization, but has become the most important key asset for it. The reason for the emergence of the importance of information in management is the positive role it plays in improving the quality of decision-making. Information helps the management in conducting its tasks efficiently and helps in decision-making, thereby making it an important asset. Also, unlike any other resource information resource cannot be duplicated by competitors as information is proprietary to an organization and hence competitive advantage gained by leveraging the power of information is very hard to replicate by competitors.
Management with information ensures a smooth process driven organization climate as all management decisions are based on information and hence (by definition) are based on a proactive decision based approach. This ensures that problems are nipped in the bud and opportunities are taken even when others are unable to spot one. Management with information also ensures that decisions are based on objective criteria and are not ‘gut feeling’ based. This ensures fairness and boosts confidence of employees on the management. Business organizations that manage with information successfully achieve the following:
- Minimization of risks – information helps organizations to continuously monitor and control the following entities:
- Activities (business activities)
- Situations (industrial dispute, etc.)
- Technology, and
- Government (new regulations, etc.)
In short, information helps the organization to keep a tab of all likely or potentials areas of risk. Since with information, organizations can monitor the potential risk areas, it results in a shorter lead time for the organization to react to risks thereby helping the organization.
- Reduction of costs – management with information leads to reduction of costs (by gaining information on wastage and acting to eliminate it) by eliminating wastage and by improving efficiency and performance.
- Addition of value – information helps organizations to add value to customers by improving the offerings and by taking measures to ensure customer delight.
- Creation of new ideas and innovation – information and its flow within an organization enhances innovation and helps the organization to see the market reality in a better and more candid manner. Innovation is enhanced by increased information as increased information leads to greater understanding of key developments leading to innovation and new ideas.
Management with information is a continuous process and in many ways is a different philosophical approach towards management. It needs strong leadership and a commitment from top management to become a. successful strategy in the organization, it helps the organization to remain healthy and efficient.