MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM IN NIGERIAN ORGANISATIONS (CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS)
- Background Of Study
When an individual is charged with the responsibility of running the affairs of an organization and adopts a process for discharging such responsibility, this is known as management (Modum, 2005). Thus, there cannot be a manager without an organization.Societal growth and development of many countries including Nigeria depends largely on the extent of the deployment and utilization of available resources.
Modum (2005) opines that within the overall objective of ensuring that sufficient profit ismade to guarantee the survival of the organization in a competitive environment or providing welfare services with maximum efficiency at the lowest cost, the manager possesses considerable freedom to set the company goals and to consider and choose between different options available to him for the achievement of such goals.The exercise of this function depends of course on the nature of the organization, that is to say, the assets and resources which include man, machine, material, money and information of the company and the operational areas, which make up the component parts of the company. In manufacturing companies for example, such operational areas are production, stock control, costing, purchases, sales order, payroll, staff training etc.In this regard resources include not only financial ones but also other resources created and used by organizations as a result of financial expenditures.
Many different kinds of organizations affect our daily lives. Manufacturers, retailers, service industry, firms, agro-allied business companies, non-profit organizations and government agencies provide us with a vast array of goods and services. All of these organizations have two things in common. First, every organization has a set of goals and objectives. An airline’s goals might be profitability and customer services; the police force’s goal would include public safety and security coupled with cost minimization. Second, in pursuing for an organization’s goals, managers need information. The information needs of management cut across both financial and non-financial purposes for example in production, marketing, legal and environmental issues etc. Generally the larger the organization, the greater is the management’s need for information.Information is a commodity, much like wheat or corn. Like other goods, information can be produced, purchased and consumed. It can be of high or low quality, timely or late, appropriate for its intended use or utterly irrelevant;as is true of all goods and services.
Organizations view the effective adoption of information technology (IT) as a way to combat competition by improving productivity, profitability and the level of information which is one common assets shared by all businesses regardless of their nature. This is because it is a vital part of any business entity irrespective of their forms of ownership as it enablesconceptualization and creation of new products and services;hence an information system is designed, developed, administered and maintained to accomplish those tasks (Matthews & Perera, 1996). Anderson (1974) opines that when properly collected, organized and indexed in accordance with the requirements of the organization, its stored data becomes accessible to those who need the information. A critical feature of any management information system should be the ability to not only access and retrieve data but also to keep the achieved information as current as possible (Moga, 2007). The management information system is the mechanism to ensure that information is available to the managers in the form they want it and when they need it. It is designed to support their work through providing relevant information for their decision making.
Management Information System (commonly abbreviated as MIS) has been an increasingly used tool in the institutionalization and making of decisions. According to Moga (2007), in order to define MIS, it must be principally divided into the three facets that constitute it – which are: management, information, and systems. Management is seen as the process through which managers plan, organize, initiate and control operations within their businesses. Essentially, a management can only exist when there are subjects/ workers to be managed (Al-Zhrani, 2010).Moga (2007) also states that information generally refers to analysed data. In other words, information (with regards to business) results from data that is analysed using business statutes, principles and theories.
Finally, system, according to Moga (2007), refers to “a set of elements joined together for a common objective.” More often than not, business systems normally consist of smaller systems – known as subsystems – which all function towards ensuring efficacy of the large systems. As a matter of fact, systems vary from one organization to another depending on the nature of organizational operations, size of the businesses and organizational priorities among many other salient factors.Based on the foregoing definitions, Management Information Systems refers to a system that uses information in order to ensure apt management of businesses. Fundamentally, all the facets of MIS run concomitantly in order to ensure overall efficiency of the whole system. Failure in one part means overall failure for the other parts since they are all designed to function interdependently (Melville & Kenneth, 1990).Consequentially, a good management of information systems leads to good decision making in business just in the same way poor management leads to poor decision making.
Modern business management has become a very difficult job indeed (Modum, 2005). This difficulty is due mainly to the increasing complexity of today’s society. This complexity is as a result of the limitless range of research and technology development breakthroughs, information explosion due to advancements in communications research, the need to constantly change company products or services to keep pace with technology advancements and sophistication in customer tastes. When it is understood that in addition to these problems, the modern manager runs a business organization, which is intimidating by its sheer size and that in running the organization, he should always aim at having an edge over competitors, then the enormity of the manager’s responsibilities become better understood and appreciated. (Modum, 2005).The manager is the power house of his organization. It is he who, in the final analysis, takes full responsibility for the success or failure of his organization. He must, therefore, not only possess a vast scope of perception to be able to consider, sort out and analyse all ingredients relating to decision making, he must in addition be conversant with the environmental factors which influence or are likely to influence his firm’s products and future operations.In order, therefore, to cope with these stringent demands of his position, the modern manager has no alternative but to accept the systems approach to business management. This is more-so because today’s business involves so much capital that any mistake in decision making could be disastrously costly. Thus, risks associated with intuitive compulsive decisions can be considerably reduced by adopting a time-tested, scientific approach to management.
The automation in manufacturing companies has significantly improved in all areas of processing, but at the same time it has also created the need to adequate manage the volume of data needed for such automation.Though Information Technology departments have taken advantage of hardware improvements to economically store the increased data, there never seems to be enough time or resources to meet the needs of factory managers who face the challenge of being able to distinguish between data (unnecessary information) and usable information required to make real business decisions.For manufacturing/operations companies, getting the right information to the right people in a timely manner has never been more important than it is today – to reduce hidden costs, to increase production, and to maximize profits.Manufacturers have to manage the complexity of their supply chain, internal manufacturing, and operations along with meeting their distribution and customer requirements. Manufacturers today are faced with making extremely complicated decisions in real-time, on a daily basis, with limited information. Manufacturers face increasing globalization, more competition than ever, and customers whose demands reflect their own knowledge and expectations of a global market (Moga, 2007).
Every manufacturing company is different in terms of different processes, different tracking systems and challenges facing them. All of these variations add up to the fact that there is need for a management information system (MIS) that caters for the specific needs as well. While looking for a MIS solution, needs definition and formulate are requirements that simplify the adoption of information technology for improving performance.In the manufacturing industry, information quality issues exist throughout the supply chain. One reason for this is that manufacturers depend on data from suppliers, contract manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and consumers in order to effectively and efficiently source raw materials, forecast demand, make and market their products. Very seldom will manufacturers have control over the quality and format of this external data. Through incremental improvements in data quality throughout the supply chain, however, manufacturers can realize significant performance improvements, including improved speed and efficiency of product manufacture, improved ability to perform demand analysis, improved channel partner effectiveness through timely and accurate product and pricing information, and improved customer satisfaction through timely and accurate customer information. Measurement and verification are needed to ensure that information quality programme is reaching its objective (Kryce, 2008).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
We are living in a time of great change and working in an information age. Laudon and Laudon (2010) opine that the information system has revolutionalised the way business is conducted. Managers have to assimilate masses of data, convert that data into information, form conclusions about that information and make decision leading to the achievement of business objectives. For an organization, information is an important resource as money, machinery and manpower. It is essential for the survival of the enterprise.Without adequate information, resources will not be located and converted into desirable finished goods aimed at a specific target market for profit. Since no business entity can survive or remain relevant without effective information, business data must be systematically captured, analyzed, quantified, computed, shared and made accessible in order to enjoy the maximum value of information.Furthermore, the advancement of information technology (IT) even makes it possible for managers to select the information they require, in the form best suited for their needs and in time they want it. This information must be current and would be needed by many people at the same time. So it has to be accurate, concise, timely, complete, well presented and storable (Oladejo, 2013).
However, the advent of information technology seems to come with its challenges, particularly to developing countries. With all the infrastructural problems, it becomes imperative that a computer-based MIS should be appropriately designed and implemented. There is need for this system because existing systems lack the ability to effectively perform specialised task requiring extensive knowledge of how information can be organised and searched, with the necessary system requirements, with particular emphasis on overcoming likely hindrances in its implementation in the manufacturing process. This is even more so in manufacturing organizations where managing manufacturing data items is more difficult to manage due to complexity and large variety of products, each of which has its own bill of material (BOM) containing a detailed description of its composition (Rones and Pass, 1992).
Despite the perceived relevance of computer-based MIS, it would appear that the implementation of computer based management information system (MIS) is lacking in the manufacturing organizations in Nigeria. The full design and implementation of this system in enhancing the performance of the manufacturing process is lacking in manufacturing firms in the south east, Nigeria. This begs the question as to why this system is not fully implemented in manufacturing organisations in South-East Nigeria. The relevance of this system to product designs, increased market-size, redundancy reduction and cost optimisation as experienced by companies who have adopted it particularly in developed countries are essential necessity for advocating for the adoption of the computer based MIS. thus it become imperative that this study be done in order to add to the body of knowledge by critically examining the Nigeria situation using the manufacturing companies in the South East. In other word the study will bring Nigeria experience into focus
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of the study is to examine the implementation of computer-based management information system (MIS) in manufacturing organizations in Nigeria.
The specific objectives of the study are to:
- assess the level of the implementation of computer-based management information system in Nigerian’s manufacturing organizations;
- determine whether management capacity and resistance to change are relevant to the implementation of computer-based management information system in manufacturing organizations;
- ascertain whether the implementation of computer-based management information system positively and significantly impact on better product designs, wider customer-base, redundancy reduction, cost minimization and profit maximization ;
- determine if regular system development and updating, management’s commitment and staff training do positively and significantly improve computer-based management information system in Nigerian’s manufacturing organizations;
- ascertain the impact of computer-based management information system on managerial decision making; and
- ascertain if there is a significant positive relationship between computer-based management information system and organizational survival.
1.4 Research Questions
- What is the level of the implementation of computer-based management information system in Nigerian Manufacturing organisations?
- How relevant are management capacity and resistance to change to the implementation of computer-based management information system in Nigerian manufacturing organizations?
- To what extent does the implementation of computer-based management information system positively and significantly impact on product designs, increased market size, redundancy reduction, cost minimization and profit maximization?
- To what extent does regular system development and updating, management’s commitment and staff training positively and significantly improve computer-based management information system in Nigerian’s manufacturing organizations?
- How does computer-based management information system impact on managerial decision making?
- Is there a significant positive relationship between computer-based management information system and organizational survival?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The various hypotheses are stated in their null forms.
H1: The level of implementation of computer-based management information system in Nigerian’s manufacturing organizations is not significant.
H2: Management capacity and resistance to change are not significant to the implementation of computer-based Management Information System in Nigerian manufacturing organizations.
H3: Implementation of computer-based management information system does not positively and significantly impact on better product designs, wider customer-base, redundancy reduction, cost minimization and profit maximization.
H4: Regular system development and updating, management’s commitment and staff training do not positively and significantly improve computer-based management information system in Nigerian’s manufacturing organizations.
H5: Computer-based management information system has no significant impact on managerial decision making.
H6: There is no significant positive relationship between computer-based management information system and organizational survival.
- Significance of the Study
This study is beneficial to many people.
- To the managers of the organizations to know how to lead business enterprises to high productivity with increased profit through the effective use of management information system (MIS). The organization would be able to identify source in which accounting information seems most powerful and if the organizations are to survive and prosper they need to use the information gathered in decision making.
- The general public: wellness of every business organization is of utmost importance to the general public because goods and services make life worth living. Reduced cost as a result of good quality management information which affects the prices of goods and services which are beneficial to the general public.
- Researchers:Students and researchers will benefit immensely from the work as it will be useful sources of research material.
This study coveredthe manufacturing organizations listed in the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN) report. However, for better focus and reachability, the manufacturing companies in Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi Stateswere used. The study population comprised mainly of the senior staff of the manufacturing organization in these states, as they are in a better position to provide more reliable data that are relevant in achieving the objectives of this study.
- Operational Definition of Terms
For this study the following terms are relevant.
System:Recognizable whole, made up of component parts, interdependent and work together to achieve a common goal.
Manufacturing Organization: A type of organization that converts raw materials into finished products.
Management Information System:An organized integrated and scientific approach to placing relevant and timely information on the desk of managers to aid decision making.
Decision Support System (DSS): A DSS is a computer based system (an application program) capable of analyzing an organizational (or business) data and then present it in a way that helps the user to make business decision more effectively and efficiently.
Information Technology:It is the study of electronic equipment especially computers for storing, analysing and sending out information. This is the term that describes the disciplines encompassing systems analysis, programming, telecommunications and multi-media (combines audio, text and video information) applications. It came into common use in the late 1980s supplanting either terms such as electronic data processing, information resource management, data communication etc.