Informed decision-making is an important aspect for working in the government. According to Milakovich and Gordon, provide some examples of how information technology can be used to assist bureaucrats in decision-making? The depth and quality of knowledge used by policy makers can influence the effectiveness of policies. According to Milakovich and Gordon, competitive political forces constantly push elected representatives to focus on immediate political decisions, rather than on long term professional-administrative values such as efficient use of resources and increased productivity (p.431). During President Bush’ election he used certain failures of the past administration to enhance his win to presidency as the public trust in the government was at a low. The use of performance data to make budgetary and programmatic decisions became the foundation of Bush’s Presidents Management Agenda (PMA). The PMA is the Bush administration’s effort to better manage federal agencies. Under the PMA, these agencies were required to show how public programs achieve results more efficiently than other methods.
However, during the Obama campaign pledged to use information communication technology tools to include social media to make government less beholden to special interest groups and promote citizen involvement in decision-making (p.434). Another high tech approach includes the development of the technology, innovation and government reform (TIGR) working group which is a team of tech-industry professionals whose mission was to create a twenty-first century government that is more open and effective, leverage technology to grow the economy, create jobs, and solve pressing national problems (p.436). Productivity is the measurable relationship between results produced and the resources required for production; quantitative measure of the efficiency of the organization. Productivity focuses on the efficient use of governmental resources and actual impacts of what government does on efficiency and effectiveness.
In terms of programs or functions in which output is harder to measure, the intent to improve the distribution of resources by assessing needs to ensure the resources will be available when needed (p.422). Information theory is the modern theory of organization that views organizations as requiring constant input of information in order to continue functioning systemically and productively; assumes that a lack of information will lead to chaos in organizational operations (p.165). Decision making includes making a choice to alter some existing condition, choosing one course of action in preference to others, expending some amount of organizational assets or individual resources to implement the decision, and acting with the expectation of gaining something desirable (p.194). Things that are important to the decision-making process includes increasing potential gains, monitoring the ongoing decisional process, and reducing the resource expenditure, uncertainty, and risk involved in achieving whatever gains are made (p. 195).
Through every carefully thought out decision the government makes on behalf of its citizens there are risks involved. A risk involved in routine decision making is that decision makers may fail to perceive a need to reconsider existing policy or program assumptions on which routine decisions are based (p.195). Milakovich and Gordon state that central to decision making elements is the quality and quantity of information available. Decision makers needs to be informed to serve as a basis for making reasoned choices and gather as much information to before making a final decision. If decision makers postpone making decisions because there is a need for additional information then this could reduce the risk of making mistakes. Therefore, accurate information is needed to make decisions that are supportable both objectively and politically (p.205).
Decision making involves attempts to bring change to achieve some gain by means of particular course of action that requires expenditure of a certain amount of resources. Social media are tools and technologies that connect individuals by one or more specific types of interdependency; such as common interest, friendship, kinship, financial exchange etc (p.421). Productivity and results measurement concerns continue to grow especially in the area of public awareness of the limited resources available to implement public policies. Information communication technology (ICT) is defined as various forms of New Media technology connecting internet users with service providers and websites. ICT methods include communication protocols, transmission, techniques, and communications equipment as well as systems for computer storage and information retrieval (p.12). As ICT has advances, it has influenced every aspect of human life.
Advances in the fields of telecommunications, information and knowledge management have been catalyst in the structural revolution in given society that has affected almost every avenue of social life. Even though technology is a major factor of change in organization and society, it is also a byproduct of human action and reaction. According to Weber, the ideal bureaucratic organization has characteristics such as precision, speed, knowledge of the files and continuity (p.214). In an organizational setting, technology as an agent of change leads to changes within an organization. Technology systems play an important role in creating organizational structures. ICT integration in public organizations aims at low entrepreneurial ethos to induce higher effectiveness. ICT also offers the efficiency through storing, accessing, combining and retrieving large amounts of information quickly, selectively, accurately and inexpensively (Dewett & Jones, 2001).
ICT also affects decision making by increasing the number of decision makers through improved communication channels. In public organization, quality of ICT and bureaucratic characteristics influence the organizational effectiveness from ICT. Productivity is the measurable relationship between results produced and the resources required for production; quantitative measure of the efficiency of the organization. Information theory is the modern theory of organization that views organizations as requiring constant input of information in order to continue functioning systemically and productively; assumes that a lack of information will lead to chaos in organizational operations. Decision makers needs to be informed to serve as a basis for making reasoned choices and gather as much information to before making a final decision. If decision makers postpone making decisions because there is a need for additional information then this could reduce the risk of making mistakes.
Dewett, T. and Jones, G. R. 2001. The role of information technology in the organization: a review, model, and assessment. Journal of Management, 27:313-346. Milakovich, M. E. and Gordon, G. J. 2013. Public Administration in America.