Efficacy of management information on organizational performance in the chemical processing industry
Aderoju, Suraju Akanni
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Every aspect of management in the modern age relies on information to thrive. Nothing moves without information. It is generally believed that information is power and that he who has it has power. Information is an important resource needed to develop other resources. Changing circumstances and environments have necessitated the need for the proper dissemination of information at various levels of management. Based on the full realisation of the above, this case study research was carried out in an establishment in the chemical processing industry (CPI) to evaluate the impact of management information on the organizational performance. The choice of the industry is instructive as the primary process in the industry has little to do with information technology. The results provide useful insights into the connection between management information (and indeed the role played by it) and the overall performance of an organization. Firstly, for an organization whose primary business is wax production, the level of reliance of management on information was remarkable. This fact is underscored by the number of systems that have been implemented for the purpose of information generation for management. On a second look, however, this becomes understandable as there is the need for accurate information, especially on safety, due to the potential danger of the conditions of operations in the chemical processing industry. In spite of the existence of these management information generating systems, the outcome of the research shows that there is still the need for management of the case study organization to integrate the systems in order to enhance the effectiveness of the generated information on the organization’s performance. Another insight from the study is the fact that despite the negative impact on organizational performance (due to the non-achievement of defined goals), managers do withhold information and decide not to undertake any action. One plausible reason for this might be that using the information could result in a negative impact on the managers’ personal interests. The results of the study also show that the degree of effectiveness of management information may vary from one area of the same organization to the other depending on factors such as the quality/integrity of the generated information and the priority attached to each area by management amongst others. Ability of managers to accurately specify the information they require was also observed as a factor that affects the effectiveness of management information, as management decision based on inadequate or wrong information invariably does not lead to the organization’s set goals, thereby adversely affecting its performance at the end of the day. In summary, the study results show that information made available to management indeed has an impact on the overall performance of the organization. However, the degree of the impact varies in different areas of the organization due to certain factors. For this research work, the major factors responsible for the variation in these areas as well as the overall impact are as identified in the previous four paragraphs. Using ABC Wax plant, one of the world’s leading specialists in the production of petroleum and synthetic waxes related products, as a case study, the research work was concluded with guidelines recommended to enhance the effectiveness of management information on the overall performance of organizations in the chemical processing industry. Remarkably, most of the guidelines are also applicable to organizations outside the CPI.
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