The relationship between information systems and decision making process is direct – in case of informational overload, a sophisticated and at the same time convenient approach to delivery of information has a positive impact on the efficiency of the decision making process (Ysseldyke, 2001). We will analyze the case of HICC Personal Proceedings in order to get an insight into the decision making process and the impact of information systems. We will then link the outcomes of the innovative approach used by HICC Personal Proceedings to the theoretical knowledge in the field of information systems and decision making.
HICC Personal Proceedings: Overview
The decision of the company management to use a paperback of abstracts followed by a CD containing full information about the literature presented on the conference came as a result of the natural needed to arrange the data in a more suitable way. As the proceedings grew to 4,500 pages weighing about 25 pounds, it became impossible to print out the materials individually. The need of conference participants to obtain access to full versions of the documents was satisfied through the Web site signing up process with the opportunity to choose 20 papers that would be delivered at the conference individually. The strategy used by management does contribute to cost reduction and is more useful for conference participators, but still has its positive and negative sides.
HICC Personal Proceedings: Discussion
Among the many advantages realized by company management through the applied strategy are cost reductions, decision making quality and consistency, expansion of knowledge.
A study conducted by Landsbergen, Coursey, Loveless, and Shangraw (2001), examined the relationship between the degree of commitment to a decision and whether the decision was self-imposed. According to the study, people are more committed to the selected decision if it was not imposed by somebody else. As such, integration of the singing up process through the web site has a positive impact on the degree of commitment of the audience to own decision and at the same time is more cost effective.
Savings are realized by the company, as there is no need to print out 25 pounds of documents for all participants of the conference. As noted by Hahn, Tetlock (2005), managerial decision to introduce a new version of information systems is derived from cost and benefit analysis. As such, even though expenditures on web site were incurred, they were less as the ones to be realized of there were no the signing up process option. However, the costs could be minimized even more if the company applied a different strategy.
For instance, it could have e-mail the full versions of the documents after the signing up process is completed. Going even further, as the process can be done automatically and the variable costs do not increase with the number of documents to be delivered, HICC could simple e-mail the selected works the night before the conference and it would not have to limit the number of selected works. In this way, company would be saving on operational costs and on paper, whereas the informational needs of conference participants would be satisfied at a hire level.
When it comes to speaking about satisfaction of the informational needs of conference participants, there are both negative and positive aspects. On one hand, conference participants received broader, but less specific information; on the other, they had their informational needs satisfied in the field they were mostly interested in. Reissman, Staley, Curtis, and Kaufmann (2001) emphasize the importance of detailed initial data for the decision making process.
As such, information contained in abstract of every work presented in the conference is not relevant enough for rational decision making. Going even further, the number of full works that conference participants have access to is limited to 20; consequently, the quality of information reviewed by conference participants as related to their informational needs is doubtful. The process could be improved by providing the concluding part of the works alongside with the abstract to improve the decision making process and raise informational awareness.
The case study of HICC Personal Proceedings provides a very good practical example of how information systems can be used to make the decision making process more efficient. The strategy undertaken by organizational management contributed to informational awareness of the conference participants, lowers operational costs, and contributes to savings in human capital. At the same time, the strategy has some adverse effects, as the scope of information that can be accessed by conference participants is now limited, whereas paper abstracts based on which selections are made are limited in information.
As such, I propose a more efficient solution to the problem that considers this adverse affect and contributes to further cost minimization. Firstly, the initial information based on which conference participants make their selection should be extended to include to conclusion of the work; secondly, the required papers should be e-mailed to those who applied for them, whereas the number of papers can be extended at no cost. This solution contributes to further informational awareness and contributed to operational and human capital savings, as it can be implemented automatically through Web site without human impact.
Hahn, R. W., & Tetlock, P. C. (2005). Using Information Markets to Improve Public Decision Making. Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, 29(1), 213.
Landsbergen, D., Coursey, D. H., Loveless, S., & Shangraw, R. (2001). Decision Quality, Confidence, and Commitment with Expert Systems: An Experimental Study. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 7(1), 131.
Reissman, D. B., Staley, F., Curtis, G. B., & Kaufmann, R. B. (2001). Use of Geographic Information System Technology to Aid Health Department Decision Making about Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Activities. Environmental Health Perspectives, 109(1), 89.
Ysseldyke, J. (2001). Reflections on a Research Career: Generalizations from 25 Years of Research on Assessment and Instructional Decision Making. Exceptional Children, 67(3), 295.