Computer-based decision-making: The impact of personal computers and distributed databases on managers' performance.
AuthorGleeson, William Joseph
AdvisorTansik, David A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study was a field experiment to test the influence of two different computer conditions on decision-making in an organizational setting. The experiment was carried out in ten mid-sized corporations. The 117 subjects contained about equal numbers of managers and non-managers. The computer conditions tested were (1) a personal computer used with a distributed data base and (2) the traditional mainframe with a central data base supplying information by printouts. The experimental problem was identical in both conditions as was the data in the data base. An additional part of the experiment was to vary the amount of information provided. Half the Subjects in both test conditions had only half the information available to them that the other half of the Subjects had. The results indicated that personal computers were more efficient by enabling Subjects to reach decisions faster. PCs did not produce better outcomes overall. Managers performed best using the traditional printouts. Their performance declined in effectiveness (but not in efficiency) when using a PC. With non-managers the reverse applied. Non-managers performed best when using a PC if they were computer literate. In fact, computer literate non-managers with PCs performed better than managers in either test condition whether the managers were computer literate or not. The level of information available is important. More information leads to better decisions. The implications of the results for management are that (1) more training in the use of computers will produce better outcomes in decision-making; (2) PCs can improve productivity by achieving better effectiveness through better decision outcomes and do so more efficiently by taking less time. Non-managers using PCs can make managerial decisions as well as managers can if the non-managers have computer literacy training. This tends to support the view that managers can be de-skilled by the arrival of PCs in the workplace.
Degree ProgramBusiness Administration