Relationship between information systems and organization is like chicken-and- egg theory. We need to design information systems that serve the existing organization. At the same time we must be ready and willing to restructure the organization to take advantage of the improvements an information system can offer. So which one takes precedent—the organization or the information system? Actually neither one. The goal is to adapt one to the other.
What Is an Organization?
An organization is very similar to the information system. Refer to the figures given below:
Figure: The Technical Microeconomic Definition of the Organization
These two figures have many things in common. Both information systems and organizations require inputs and some sort of processing, both have outputs, and both depend on feedback for successful completion of the loop. Information systems use data as their main ingredient and organizations rely on people. However, the similarities are remarkable. Both are a structured method of turning raw products (data/people) into useful entities (information/producers).
Features of Organizations
The class you‘re enrolled in is an organization of sorts, isn‘t it? Think about it— how many of the following characteristics fit your class? How many fit any organization you‘re in?
- Clear division of labor
- Hierarchy of authority
- Abstract rules and procedures
- Impartial judgments
- Technical qualifications for positions
- Maximum organizational efficiency
These characteristics describe organizations that are called bureaucracies.
Table given below shows some common organizational structures.