A manager performs various functions and requires information to make informed decisions for each area of responsibility. Although there are different types of users of information within a business enterprise, the manager is perhaps the most frequent user of corporate information resources.
Different Levels of Managerial Hierarchy
Information needs are different at different levels of managerial hierarchy. Top management is concerned mainly with planning for business, while middle and lower levels of management are entrusted with the responsibility of executing these plans.
Decision Making and Information
Decision making is central to the job profile of a manager. Management at each level requires information about both its internal and external environments. Top-level management requires detailed information relating to the external environment, while the information about the external environment should be increasingly summarized for the middle and lower levels of management.
Sources and Degree of Summarization of Information
Internal information should be increasingly summarized for the successive levels of management for which it is prepared. Table 1 illustrates sources and degree of summarization of information for different levels of management. The table highlights that even the top-level manager uses internal as well as detailed information, but the extent of its share in the total information needs is much lower than that at the lower levels of managerial hierarchy.
|Level of Management||Sources of Information||Degree of Summarization|
|Middle-level||External and Internal||Summarized|
|Lower-level||External and Internal||Highly Summarized|
In conclusion, the main focus of the information generation process should be on the information needs of the manager. Information needs vary at different levels of managerial hierarchy, and the degree of summarization of information should also vary accordingly. By understanding the sources and degree of summarization of information for different levels of management, organizations can provide the necessary information to managers to facilitate informed decision making.