The Management Theories behind Management Information Systems



Frederick Taylor – Principles of Scientific Management, 1911

Current managers defined their job as motivating employees.  Motivation took the form of beatings or firings or pay-per-task.  Results were worker injury, poor quality, and worker resistance.  Managers had little alternative since they really understood very little of the manufacturing process.


Taylor advocated learning about the main manufacturing processes and improving them.  Results were time-and-motion studies, process redesign, job simplification.  Manager was responsible for understanding the business and training workers.


Current information technology (IT) echoes:  statistical process control, most management reports.


David Porter – Competitive Threats, 1980s

Businesses experience threats from five primary sources: existing competitors, new competitors, suppliers, customers, and substitute products.  Managers are responsible for understanding the competition and for meeting it.  Launched departments of “business intelligence,” units whose sole responsibility is maintaining awareness of competitive firms and general innovations.


Current information technology (IT) echoes:  web searches, business literature reviews


Peter Drucker – Management Challenges for the 21st Century, 1999

Two activities keep businesses successful – innovation and marketing.  It is the job of managers to always find new and better ways of creating products and delivering services.  Your product must be better, cheaper, and delivered faster.  But it must also fill a public need.  Hence marketing is responsible for understanding the features of a product that are essential.  Marketing is NOT selling.  If a market need has been understood well enough, no selling should be necessary.  People should clamor for your product or service.


Current information technology (IT) echoes:  business process re-engineering, quality control, market data, survey and statistical analysis.  Any other computer system that will reduce the costs of doing business – HRIS, inventory management, computerized bill paying and accounts receivables, etc.




Organization charts and computer systems will vary depending upon which management model is held by the CEO.