Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate - Information Technology/Organisation of Information Processing
As noted earlier, certain kinds of information processing are considered fundamental to maintaining effective control over business organizations. Control in this sense is ensuring that members of the organization (i.e., employees) behave in ways consistent with management policies and business objectives. Usually the concern here is not to micromanage employees' actions in a disciplinarian manner, but rather to coordinate diverse human activities in order to maximize quality, productivity, efficiency, and other measures of organizational effectiveness.
Research on this aspect of information processing suggests that the kind of control mechanisms an organization should employ depend on the information processing involved in the tasks to be regulated. Specifically, Richard Leifer and Peter K. Mills proposed in a 1996 Journal of Management paper that managers should consider to what degree tasks involve a high degree of uncertainty or variability. They argue that formal, explicit rules work best when there is minimal uncertainty or variance in the task (i.e., routine work), and conversely, implicit rules (communicated through organizational norms, for instance) work best when high uncertainty and variance create the need for individual discretion (e.g., research, creative or complex processes). Naturally, in practice business use a combination of formal and informal controls, but the lesson is that information processing plays a fundamental role in corporate management and operations.