Roleof managers in relation to effective management
Thisessay is based on the Qatar’s Ministry of Transport andCommunication and focuses on developing a conceptual andcomprehensive understanding of the manager’s role in relation toensuring effective management via the use of information, informationsystems, and information technology. It focuses on criticallyexamining and evaluating the use of information systems andinformation technology in the process of decision making, planning,promoting an effective flow of communication and supporting staffdevelopment by managers and in the Qatar’s Ministry of Transportand Communication. This essay also analyzes the importance ofinformation security given that technology has rapidly advancedacross the globe and the probability of losing confidentialinformation to other organizations through hacking has grown. Thisresearch found out that technology has been of great importance inpromoting the process of management and leadership. Mostorganizations that have heavily invested in information technologyhave received a new competitive advantage and a significant marketshare. Nevertheless, all have not been done in ICT, and this essayhas been able to educate the reader on some various improvements thatneed be carried out in this sector.
Importance of information in management 4
Role of senior leadership in information governance 4
Information technology: Cloud-based services 6
Use of information technology and systems in order to support staff development 7
Use of information technology and systems to support decision making 7
Use of information technology and systems to support planning. 8
Possible improvements in information technology in the Qatar’s Ministry of Transport and Communication. 9
Importance of information security in general 10
Cyber security in the Qatar’s Ministry of Transport and Communication 10
The success of an organization not only depend on having the correctstrategies and resources but also on the ability of managers toharness and direct employees to engage delivering the organization’smissions and visions. This implies that managers play a primary rolein influencing performance and thus the need for strong interpersonalskills and ability to establish relations. Management is simply theprocess of generating an organizational structure and determining howvarious elements of the organization will interact. Managementcomprises of six basic functions which can be named as planning,controlling, leading, organizing, staffing and motivating theemployees. Planning is the process of formulating a course of actionor identifying strategies that can meet the laid down organizationalgoals. Controlling is a managerial function of establishingbenchmarks against which the actual performance is evaluated, andcorrective actions are taken where necessary. On the other handleading is the act of providing guidance on the way the laid downstrategies should be undertaken to achieve the stated objectiveswhile organizing can be defined as the process of structuring,integrating and coordinating activities to fit the availableresources and attain the organizational goals. A successfulorganization relies on the effectiveness of the management team. Tobe an effective manager, one needs to portray some valuable skillssuch as the ability to give clear instructions, ability to buildemployees’ esteem by recognizing them when they deserve it andcapacity to maintain self-control. Other capabilities include abilityto listen and appreciate the voice of others, ability to buildinterpersonal relationships and trust, have an in-depth technicalknow-how of the work being supervised and capacity to lead amongother skills (Collins, 1993). Besides, effective managers require aprofound understanding of how to integrate information, informationsystems, and information technology in the process of planning,organizing, controlling and leading to achieve the set organizationalgoals.
Anotheraspect of effective management is integration management. It ensuresthat various essential elements of an organisation are effectivelycoordinated. It focuses on making trade-offs among various competinggoals and alternatives to meet the expected customer satisfaction.There are various skills and attributes that a person needs to be agood manager in this aspect. They include: willingness to maketrade-offs. It is not possible for everyone to get what they want. Agood manager need to consider urgency of issues and prioritise themost urgent cases. Ability to create a plan of attack. Identifyingthe strategies needed to execute, manage and control an organisationeffectively
Importanceof information in management
Informationis an integral part of any organization’s success. It is a valuableasset because it is powerful in influencing behavior and decisionmaking and the output of a company. For instance, a manager who hasbeen informed that his/her organization’s net profit have beendecreasing over the past months, he can use this information as areason to cut down financial expenditure, increase advertising orincrease investments in the next months. However, any piece ofinformation can be regarded as valueless or inaccurate if afteracting on it, the profits remain unchanged or keep decreasing.Therefore there is the need for managers to ensure that theinformation circulated within the organization is accurate andreliable. The information systems and information technologies usedin processing and delivering this information also need to beeffective and efficient.
Roleof senior leadership in information governance
Informationmanagement refers to a holistic approach to managing informationregarding a given organization through implementation of particularpolicies, procedures, and rules that treat information as highlyvaluable. Information governance encompasses elements such as datagovernance, records management, knowledge protection, businessintelligence and customers’ information management among others.Any organization cannot attain continued success without harnessingand managing its information. Poor data management may destroybusiness value, slow down business growth and create futureuncertainties that may scare away potential investors. For instance,a major predicament may arise in case vital production knowledgeleaks to potential competitors since they may use it to destroy thecompany’s product thus gaining a competitive advantage and a widermarket share. It is, therefore, the role of an organization’ssenior leadership to ensure effective and efficient informationgovernance but still maintaining a fair trade-off betweentransparency and data protection (Wylder, 2004).
Inan attempt to protect their employee’s information, the seniorleadership of Proctor & Gamble Company has been able to develop aweb-based customized dashboard that can keep track of the most vitaldata and news for every individual employee. Each employee canspecify the data and reports to be displayed in their personaldashboards. They are also able to set alerts if data is out of thespecified range or if relevant information like a competitor productintroduction becomes available. These dashboards are linked to acentralized data warehouse thus allowing the managers to actimmediately and fast in case any of their product information hasbeen jeopardized. In this way, P&G Company has been successful inmanaging their relevant business information (Proctor, 1999).
Anotherrole that managers play in ensuring information protection is throughundertaking continuous privacy impact assessments. This is a processthat has been known to help in identifying and mitigating privacyrisks associated with organization’s projects. Privacy impactassessments help curb the risks of harm to customers and employeesthat may occur through misuse of personal information. It has alsobeen observed that this process have tangible benefits in aidingmanagers to design more effective and efficient processes forhandling personal data.
Ensuringproper and safe way of keeping business records is also among themany responsibilities that managers have in information governance. Some managers are so careless and have a poor filling system whichcould be the probable cause of loss in relevant documents. Asystematic way of keeping records is vital to ensuring the success ofan organization. In fact, the most efficient way is to maintainrecords is through a computerized system which enables easy retrievalof information any time it’s needed. It is also not possible tolose files stored in computers unless the system is hacked or invadedby viruses. In that case, managers should ensure they have back filesprobably stored in external flash disks (Purser, 2004).
Useof information systems to ensure efficient flow of communication
Everytime we talk about information systems in ensuring effectivecommunication, there are four levels or types of information we needto put in mind. These include data, information, knowledge, andwisdom. Data can be described as meaningless facts that are used asinputs in the process of generating information. Information is,therefore, data that has been organized to share some meaning. Toobtain the information we need to put together all pieces of data viathe use of information systems to generate meaningful thought.Knowledge can be described as information that has been employed inthe process of decision making while wisdom entails the ability todecide when to act on information. This implies that to build asuccessful organization efficient information systems are verycritical in the process of ensuring effective flow of communicationbetween various departments and most importantly with the customers.Many people take it that information systems are just computers. Thisis not true. Successful information systems comprise of the righttechnologies, tools, methodologies, processes and persons. In caseany of these components is lacking then the information system isincomplete, and the flow of communication is weak. Informationsystems, therefore, deals with the transmission of information backand forth between people. To ensure efficient flow of communication,the information conveyed need to be correct, transmitted to the rightplace, at the right time, to the right person and in the right format(Olivas-Lujan and Bondarouk, 2013).
Severaltypes of information systems have been established to ensureefficient flow of communication within Qatar`s Ministry of Transportand Communication. Such systems include transaction processingsystems, office information systems, knowledge management systems anddecision support systems among others. All these systems have beendeveloped with various platforms that enable faster and efficientflow of information. Take social media, for instance, platforms suchas Facebook, Skype, WhatsApp, intranet, and the internet has enabledeasier and faster communication to customers. The intranet can besaid to be the most reliable method of communicating with theorganization`s staff due to its speed of accessing information. Theemployees can access information directly from the principalstakeholders via their computers instead of going through expensivetelephone calls. The ministry has also been able to develop websitesthrough the internet where it can advertise its new and old products(Savoie, 2012). This is an important marketing strategy since it hasbeen observed that with the well-developed website this organizationhave gained a competitive advantage and a greater market share due tothe ability to cover a wide geographical area with a very short time.Through these websites, customers can also ask any questions and getreplies without necessarily visiting the ministry.
Qatar’sMinistry of Transport and Communication is among the world’s knowncompanies that have commenced the use of social media tools alsoknown as enterprise 2.0 to internally interact and establishrelationships with their employees. It have successfully been able touse internal social media to meet important organisational goals suchas cost reduction, increased revenues and achieve sustainedtechnological innovations. In a research conducted in 2010, it wasdiscovered that out of the 1060 global managers that wereinterviewed, only 30 percent of them reported to have not seenpositive outcomes after having adopted the use of internal socialmedia. Most executive believed that social media had made the flow ofinternal communication easier and faster across both hierarchicallevels (vertical communication) and functional units (Horizontalcommunication).
Inthe same research it was found out that for internal social media tobe successful, it is the role of managers to focus in establishingemotional capital. Emotional capital can be defined as the overallfeeling of goodwill towards the organisation and the way it operates.The four pillars of emotional capital that managers should focus onin their use of internal social media to ease their flow ofinformation include: feelings of authenticity, pride attachment andfun among employees as they use the said information systems.
Informationtechnology: Cloud-based services
Cloud-base services are among other technologies that Qatar’s Ministry ofTransport and Communication has adopted to ease the flow ofcommunication. Cloud computing is simply computing based on theinternet. In the past, the organisation would run programs onsoftware downloaded on physical computers or servers within itsbuildings. With cloud- based services, people are able to access thesame kind of applications through the internet. For instance, whenone updates their status on Facebook or checks their bank balancesvia their mobile phones, they are using cloud computing. Before thecloud, IT had been burdened by a lot of inefficiencies. However withthe up come of cloud computing there has been an interconnectivity ofa huge number of gadgets via a securely accessed network. This hashelped in ensuring a rapid communication across the world with anunprecedented levels of security. Most organisations have also begunmoving to the cloud. This is because, cloud computing has beendiscovered to increase efficiency, help in planning and decisionmaking and more importantly improve cash flows with the companies(Chandrasekaran,2015).
Useof information technology and systems in order to support staffdevelopment
Staffdevelopment encompasses provision of education and training servicesaimed at improving personal qualifications, knowledge and skills basefor the purpose of better performance and personal growth. Someinitiatives that my organisation has put into place to promote staffdevelopment in this organisation include: Internal and externalnetworking, encouraging staff participation in conferences andseminars, promoting membership to professional associations anddelegation of leadership opportunities to employees. Implementationof new information systems has been accompanied by appropriatetraining and staff development initiatives to ensure that long termsuccess has been realized.
Onlinelearning is one of the major ways that has been adopted to promotestaff development. In this kind of program employees are enrolled incareer based courses and can interact with their instructors throughthe internet at the comfort of their offices. These courses add totheir body of knowledge hence enabling them to perform better andincrease their productivity. Information systems has also enabledemployees to interact both internally and externally. Throughinteraction there has been sharing of ideas that help develop one’sability to think outside box. This has also been discovered tostimulate innovation and invention. Computers are also used inresearch and development programs. The internet provide readyinformation that can be easily extracted and used by employees intheir day to day activities (Lucasand Lucas, 1997).
Informationtechnology has also played an important role in liberating staff timewhich can be used for recreation and self-development practices. Theold adage states that time is money and just like any other resourceit’s over utilization would result into diminishing marginalreturns to my organisation. Adoption of effective informationmanagement systems reduces the time it takes for employees to lookfor records because they are logically tagged, arranged andreferenced.
Useof information technology and systems to support decision making
InformationTechnology (IT) tools plays an important role in decision making. ADecision making Support System (DSS) is one of the IT tools that haveenabled managers make quick decisions. A Decision Support System(DSS) can be described as a computer- based system that that succorthe process of decision making. Through a Decision Support System,managers of various departments are in a position to tackle issuesvia a direct interaction using data and models provided at thecomfort of their homes or offices. A DSS plays a vital role insupporting solutions when the problem involved is non-structured.
Anotherform of an IT software that aids in the process of decision making isa groupware. A groupware is a general term used to refer to any kindof a software that allows teams, which in our case can be a team ofmanagers or employees to communicate and share documents. A specialkind of a groupware is a Group Decision Support System (GDSS). Thiskind of a groupware has been designed in a way to accommodate groupdecision making. This IT tool of decision making has abilities thatsupport the three steps of decision making which include Brainstorming, analysis and classification and finally ranking and voting(Weilland Ross, 2004).
Brainstorming:Atthis phase of decision making the group members are allowed toproduce ideas that can form solutions to the problem at hand. TheGroup Decision Support System (GDSS) enables the team members tosimultaneously and anonymously enter their comments and suggestions.The GDSS software then puts together all the suggestions generated bythe team members and displays them on the viewing screen or on eachteam member’s computer.
Analysisand classification: Atthis stage of decision making the team members put together thedeveloped ideas into manageable classifications and can further theirdiscussions based on the ideas developed. The GDSS software thensorts them out and classifies them into various groups based onsimilarities and keywords. Each class of ideas is stored into aseparate electronic folder and sent to each member’s computer. Eachmember can view the classified suggestion by clicking on theseelectronic folders.
Rankingand voting: Aftergenerating and discussing various ideas, each member is allowed toassign weight to different ideas. After ranking the ideas in theorder of priority the members are required to cast their final votes.The GDSS software, then calculates the outcomes and displays theresults both graphically and numerically on the viewing screen or onthe individual members’ computers. The tem then picks the bestidea.
OtherIT tools that can be used to quicken the process of decision makinginclude: Artificial Intelligence (AI) – This is a machine that havethe ability to mimic human thinking and behaviour. However, they areable to evaluate various strategies faster and reach to a conclusionthan a human brain.
ExpertSystems- This is an Artificial Intelligence that have the ability toapply reasoning and reach to a conclusion faster than human beings.
NeutralNetwork- This is an intelligence machine that is able to learn anddifferentiate patterns (Potts,2013).
Withthis Information Technology, organisation has been able to act on thesudden predicaments that face them without the need to call formeetings. It is also possible to involve a large number of employeesin decision making. The higher the number of members in a team themore the ideas developed and thus the probability of deriving theoptimal solution is very high. Coordination of the decision makers isvery simple since everyone can give suggestions simultaneouslywithout any moderation or taking chances. Thus, final decision isreached very fast and a low cost.
Useof information technology and systems to support planning.
Organisationalsuccess goes hand in hand with planning. In fact planning not to planis planning to fail. This implies that whenever managers plan, thereis a greater probability that eventually the organisation will gain acompetitive advantage and a better market share. Management cannotmove the organization without a blueprint on how to achieve the laiddown goals and objectives. Planning is an exercise that ought to becarried out carefully and need application of skills and knowledge.Poor planning have been known to be one of the major causes offailure in an organisation.
InformationTechnology (IT) plays an important role in the process of planning.It helps in improving the quality and accuracy of plans in managementvia provision of data that managers use in the process of decisionmaking. Planning requires gathering various facts and putting themtogether to come up with the best course of action. Where planninginvolves voluminous data, paper work may be tedious and very costly.IT helps simplify paper work by aiding in collection of data fromboth external and internal sources. This data can also be stored inthese computers for future planning or for developing supplementaryplans to accompany the major long term blueprint (Weilland Ross, 2009).
EnterpriseResource Planning (ERP) is one of the products of InformationTechnology that has been widely used in improving the process ofplanning. This software aids in planning by integrating personalcomputer systems within a company. Through the Enterprise ResourcePlanning software, managers are capable of tracking the progress ofcustomer orders through installed systems and can easily spot anybottlenecks that form a basis for future planning and evaluation.Social networks are also important in helping managers plan theirhuman resource. Large companies such as Deolitte has robust systemsthat enables workers to post their profiles and employment history.The organisation staff can then access this information via anintranet system and are easily able to identify persons with thenecessary skills needed to join their expertise. There is no need ofconducting interviews to a very large number of people for them tospot the required person. This system sort the potential employeesfor them and can easily plan interviews for the few shortlistedcandidates.
Possibleimprovements in information technology in the Qatar’s Ministry ofTransport and Communication.
TheMinistry of Transport and Communications specializes in organizingland and sea transport business, and work to develop and improvetransport services, and the study of their own projects and superviseand follow up their implementation, in order to achieve the expansionof economic activity and serve the requirements of the nationaldevelopment scale. The Ministry is also responsible for awide-ranging mandate that includes: overseeing and developing theinformation and communications technology sector to make it morevibrant, advanced, and secure to support a diversified economy andbenefit all the people of Qatar introducing ICT plans, policies,programs, projects and initiatives to foster a competitiveenvironment that is conducive to investments developing the nextgeneration of infrastructure and then securing and enhancing theefficiency of that infrastructure and driving innovation well intothe future as a change agent for human, social, economic andenvironmental progress. The Ministry also performs a critical andfar-reaching role in developing e-government programs and boostingcapacity and digital literacy to foster a technology-friendlyenvironment that introduces innovative approaches to how wecommunicate, live and work.
WithoutInformation Technology tools the Qatar’s Ministry of Transport andCommunication would be underperforming. Much has been done to ensurethat that flow of communication within and outside the organisationis effective and efficient. However, all is not done there is still agreat need of some improvement within the organisation. One of thechallenges facing the organisation is inadequate personnel to operateon some detailed systems that require a great deal of expertise.Machines are capable of delivering quality work as long as the rightdata and commands are entered. This is the rule of garbage in garbageout. We might have the required information technology but theability to operate them and utilize them determines the outcome fromthe installed programs and applications.
Thereis also the need of a well-established research and developmentdepartment that focuses extensive research in InformationCommunication and Technology. Some organisations have been ableinvent new and well developed systems as a result of promotingresearch and development activities. Research and development iscritical in the innovation process and a key element in developing anew competitive advantage. Massive investment in research anddevelopment results into the ability to produce new and betterproducts that other organisations cannot keep up. It is also a sourceof huge influx of knowledge which can enable the organisation furtherdevelop their transportation and communication products.
Importanceof information security in general
Securityinformation is a collection of log data produced from several sourcessuch as intrusion-detection systems, antivirus software, intrusion-prevention systems and firewall among others. Information security isvery crucial in any organisation. It has a great impact in thestructural and behavioural aspects of the company. The primary reasonbeing that with the up come of technological breakthrough across theglobe, access to information and other related resources has becomefaster and simpler. Some malicious computer experts are able to hackinto any network systems, monitor confidential information and evenchange it to their interest. A virally infected computer connected tothe organisation’s network can destroy every information and in thecase where there is no back up data this could be catastrophic. As aresult, every organisation need to make sure that their informationis highly protected and keep a proper level of information security.In most cases, investors and customers go to the extent of demandinga proof of adequate security of their financial information beforethey partner in business with any organisation. To ensure adequatesecurity for their clients’ information, most organisations havecome up with Security Information Management (SIM) systems which aidin the process of collecting, monitoring, controlling and analysingsecurity- related data from computer logs. SIM systems automatesthese practices (Shoemakerand Conklin, 2012).
SecurityInformation Management systems are very important to any organisationbecause they are capable of monitoring and displaying the progress ofevents in real time, transforming data from different sources into acommon format and generate reports. These systems also have theability to cross- correlate data from multiple sources and helpmanagers to comprehend and discern between real threats and falsealarms. The also help in providing an automated response toincidences and send alerts to managers among other many functions.
Cybersecurity in the Qatar’s Ministry of Transport and Communication
Withinformation security threats growing rampant across the globe,protecting ICT infrastructure and systems have become a top priorityissue in the Qatar’s Ministry of Transport and Communication. Toaddress this predicament, the ministry is increasing its securityefforts by partnering with other organisations across the world toensure an open and secure cyber space. In partnership with CarnegieMelon University, the ministry have come up with a Qatar ComputerEmergency Response Team (Q- CERT). Q- CERT has been developed toguarantee government agencies, public and private organisations andthe Qatar citizens that online threats are monitored and riskscontained. This team also focuses on protecting sensitive informationand make sure there is safety on the internet.
Cybersecurity has also been of importance to this organisation and Qataras a nation in the sense that, it has been successful in detectionand prevention of threats to national security, maintaining thequality of life in the state of Qatar and ability to continuallyanalyse the risks and conduct annual national cyber drills.
Any company can be compared to ahuman body. It is comprised of various parts which have differentfunctions but work in coordination to achieve a common goal. Thebrain is responsible for disseminating communications to all parts ofthe body. When all body parts are healthy, humans performsefficiently. However, when one of them is unwell then the wholeentity is sick. In a healthy organisation, the CEO, managers, headsof departments and the staff contribute to the organisational successand sustainability by working together cohesively. In the event thatany of them is not efficient, then the performance of the wholeorganisation is crippled. The situation becomes even worse if thehead of the organisation is functioning poorly. This is because,organisational effectiveness is more than the company’s ability tomake good sales and have a better competitive advantage. Rather, itis the overall efficiency in performance which includes employeesatisfaction and conducive working conditions. To ensure efficiencyin management our organizations needs to invest heavily in trainingand educating our employees on importance of undertaking variousleadership roles to promote self-development and induce confidence inour staff. Delegation is also an important activity that makeeveryone a manager and holds them responsible and accountable.Accountability comes with building trust and increase the urge oftaking part in management activities which promotes the performanceof any organisation.
However, there various factorsthat hinder effective management which we need to keep fightingagainst. Elements such as corruption in selection of managers hasbecome rampant in most organisation and has hindered the growth anddevelopment of organisations. Itis like a major element of governance in organisations today.Corruption is widely recognized as one of the greatest barriers toprosperity, competitiveness and development, political and socialstability which results into backwardness.Corruption results into selection of managers with poor leadershipskills and cannot produce the desired results.
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