The Role Of Computers In Management Information System (A Case Study Of National Fertilizer Company Of Nigeria (NAFCON) Onne)

Project and Seminar Material for Computer Science Education

The Role Of Computers In Management Information System (A Case Study Of National Fertilizer Company Of Nigeria (NAFCON) Onne)


Proposal


Management information system is the formal method by which management gathers, compares analyses, processes, stores and retrieves accurate information in a timely, effective and efficient manner to aid in the decision making process of an organization. It is made up of three concepts: namely; of old, data processing was done manually, but with the introduction of computers, data is how processed with the use of computers. This does not however totally displace human processing abilities.

Hence the hypothesis of this project work are as follows:

  1. That the role of computers in management information system is negligible.
  2. Smaller organizations should not be encouraged to use computers in their business except it I most relevant.
  3. The disadvantages of the use of computers in general is negligible.

Sources of Data


  1. The Closed Questionnaire
  2. The Open Questionnaire
  3. The Face-to-Face interview

Objectives of the Study:


  1. What management information system is all about.
  2. What are the difficulties usually encountered in trying to gather necessary data for management usage
  3. What role has computer come to play in management information system
  4. Whether to encourage or discourage companies in using computers for processing their data.
  5. How a computer-based management information system could be installed.
  6. To find out the problems usually associated with the management of information and how it could be overcome.
  7. To survey other types of information system and their different characteristics
  8. To find out the role of management in the development, implementation and use of computerized information system.
  9. To find out the attitude of the users of the computerized system.
  10. To examine different application packages that could be used in processing, storage and retrieval of information for management consumption

Conclusion


Based on the findings and recommendations, it has been found out that the role computer plays in management information system is significant because the end result is encouraging though it cannot be compared to the human brain.

This is despite the fact that the use of computers in data processing also has some disadvantages such as high cost of acquiring and reduction in manpower.

Hence smaller organizations which have the intention to get their business computerized have been advised to go ahead though some recommendations have been made to guide them in the computerization. Such recommendations are:-

  1. Carrying out of feasibility study report before delving into it. This will enable tem find out if they actually need computers or not, which areas it is needed and how much it will cost them to acquire one.
  2. They incorporate the workers into the plan so as to dispel their negative reactions towards the new change.
  3. To adopt the parallel change-over technique where the manual method (old method) will run hand in hand with the computer method. This is to enable with the computer method. This is to enable them compare the two methods before choosing the best.

The case study has also been advised to try as much as possible to get all their personnel trained on the use of computers since they already have a training school, this will help reduce the excessively off in manpower.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

For as long as men store to accomplish task, make decision about scares resources in uncertain situations management will continue to need information. In this managerial world of increasing uncertainty due to rapid change, information becomes the key to management effectiveness. Today’s manager faces a confusion of potential sources of information, he has to determine what information he needs. This is now a new and crucial management function. The idea of an information system to support management and decision making pro-dates the use of computers, which have extended the organizational capabilities for implementing such a system. One can conveniently discuss management information system without computers, but it is the power of the computer which makes management information possible. The question is not whether a computer shall be used in management information system but the extent to which various processes shall be computerized.

For as long as men store to accomplish task, make decision about scares resources in uncertain situations management will continue to need information. In this managerial world of increasing uncertainty due to rapid change, information becomes the key to management effectiveness. Today’s manager faces a confusion of potential sources of information, he has to determine what information he needs. This is now a new and crucial management function. The idea of an information system to support management and decision making pro-dates the use of computers, which have extended the organizational capabilities for implementing such a system. One can conveniently discuss management information system without computers, but it is the power of the computer which makes management information possible. The question is not whether a computer shall be used in management information system but the extent to which various processes shall be computerized.

As organizations have increased in complexity the heed for co-ordination of the different parts arises. These parts must be properly coordinated so that it makes a meaning whole. As competition has increased and resource scarcity has left organizations on the premise of failure, the use of efficient information as a criterion for the evaluation of organizational effectiveness has gained momentum. The changing environment of organizations and the resultant uncertainty has brought about renewed effort for effective information management. In order to achieve this effective information management, the information system has to be computer based.

Computers are basically electronic device which are capable of storing data, performing arithmetic and logical operations and specific operations. They are used in such important areas like – Accounting, Banking, Business organization etc. Ti provides information in area such as payroll, payslip, stock-keeping and many other information relating to the entire organization. There are various ways in which computer can be used to provide information for a business organization.

Information provided by the computer can used in the present day to day running of the business and for futuristic purpose that is predict or for forward looking, for the basis of trends and forecast derived from the use of forecasting technique and the it also serve as a means of responding to changes at the right moment. It also serves as a means of providing brother internal, external, strategic operation of the organization.

The idea of a computer-based information systems does not mean complete automation. The man-to-machine system concept implies some tasks are best perfumed by man, while others are best done by machine. For many problems, the man and machine form a combined system to get them completely sowed.

The fact that management information system is computer-based means that designers must have a good knowledge of computers and their use in information processing. The man-to-machine concept means that the designer of management information system should understand human capabilities as information processors and human behaviours in decision making.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Initially, data processing was done manually. This was however flawed with a lot of errors and did not keep to time. With the invent of the computer, things changed. Therefore, it is now necessary to know how computers, are used in the processing of data and what role it plays.

How should the information be provided to help the manager in achieving their set objectives? What are the strength of computer? These are the cases this study intend to look into.


1.3 Scope and Limitations of the Study

The scope and delimitation’s of this study is limited to a case study of National Fertilizer company of Nigeria (NAFCON) onne. Even within the company, only those workers whose jobs are in one way or the other related to the use of computers were involved in the interview and the questionnaire. Other information were obtained from textbooks, journals, magazines and unpublished handouts.


1.4 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study is to find out the following

  1. What management information system is all about.
  2. What are the difficulties usually encountered in trying to gather data for management usage
  3. What role has the computer come to play in management information system.
  4. Whether to encourage or discourage companies for processing their data.
  5. To find out the problem usually associated with management information system.
  6. To survey other types of information system and their characteristics.
  7. To find out the role of management in the development, implementation and use of computerized information system..
  8. To find out the attitude of users to the computerized system.
  9. To examine different application packages that could be used in processing storage and retrieved of information for management consumption

1.5 Hypothesis

  1. The role of computers in management information system.
  2. Smaller organizations should not be encouraged to use computers except it is most relevant.
  3. The disadvantages of the use of computers in general is legible.

1.6 Sources Of Data

Data here obtained from the following sources

1. The Closed Questionnaire

Where the respondent’s answers will be restricted to the answers provided and a space provided against, which he ticks his answers.

2. The Open Questionnaire

Where the respondents is allowed to express his or her view about the questions asked. Some spaces will be left for such answers.

3. The Face-To-Face Interview

This involves only the unstructured interview where the questions emerge from the answers given to the previous questions.


1.5 Definition of Terms

Management information system is made up of, three important concepts, namely MANAGEMENT, INFORMATION AND SYSTEM. Efforts shall be made to define and elaborate on each of these terms.

Management

Management has been defined by several authors in different ways. However, Richard D Brown and George J. Petrello (1979), defines it as:

“The process by which those in authority plan, organize, and control a business in an effort to make it successful:.
Jerry M. Rosenbery (1983) in his book Dictionary of Business and Management defines it under two sub-headings.

General:

The individual or group of individual responsible for studying analyzing, formulating decisions, and initiating appropriate actions for the benefit of an organization.

Administration:

The above authors have defined management in their diverse ways, but they are all talking about the same thing. Hence management can be defined more embarking as:
“The factor of production which is responsible for planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling all other aspects of production such as land, labour, capital, machine and materials.


Chapter Five


Discussion of Findings, Recommendation and Conclusion

5.1 Discussion of Findings

From the analysis of findings, the following were found out.

  1. The role computers play in management information system is significant and no negligible though it cannot be compared to the human brain.
  2. The cost of acquiring the computer is very high but the end result is very encouraging.
  3. That smaller organizations which have the intention to get their business computerized could go ahead to do so.
  4. That the introduction of computer even with its numerous advantages still leads to reduction of manpower.
  5. That initial reaction of the workers during the introduction of the computers is always negative for fear of loosing their jobs though their reactions will change for better in future they are given adequate assurance and job security.

5.2 Recommendation

From the discussions of finds, the following recommendation could be made.

  1. The company should try as much as possible to get all their personnel rained on the use of computers since they already have a trained school. This will help reduce the excessive lay off in manpower.
  2. Smaller organization with the intention of getting computerized could go ahead to do so. But they should endeavour to carry out a sound feasibility study to ensure that they actually need it before delving into it and they can maintain it also.
  3. While they are getting computerized, they should incorporate their workers into the plans, so that they will feet that they are part of the whole plan. Hence the initial negative reaction of workers to change will be reduced.
  4. The parallel changeover techniques should be used. This is a system which permits the organization to use both the old and new system together. This enables them to compare the two before deciding which one is most suitable.

5.3 Conclusion

Based on the discussion of finding, and recommendation, it has been found that the roles computer play in management information system is significant because the end result is encouraging though it cannot be compared to the human brain.

This is despite the fact that the use of computers in data processing also has some disadvantages such as high cost of acquiring and reduction in manpower.

Hence smaller organizations which have the intention to get their business computerized have been advised to go ahead though some recommendations have made to guide them in the computerization. Such recommendations are:-

  1. Carrying out a feasibility study report before delving into it. This will enable them find out if they actually heed computers or not, which areas it is needed and how much it will cost them to acquire them/one.
  2. They incorporate the workers into the plan so as to display their negative reactions towards the new change.
  3. To adopt the parallel changeover technique where the manual method (old method) will run hand in hand with the computer method. This is to enable them compare the two methods before choosing the best.

The case study has also been advised to try as much as possible to get all their personnel trained on the use of computers since they already have a training school. This will help reduce the excessive lay off of manpower.


The Role Of Computers In Management Information System (A Case Study Of National Fertilizer Company Of Nigeria (NAFCON) Onne)


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The Role Of Computers In Management Information System (A Case Study Of National Fertilizer Company Of Nigeria (NAFCON) Onne)


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Before you get defensive or recite a particular answer, make sure you truly understand the question being asked. Being a good listener is an important quality, because providing an inaccurate or off-topic answer will also weaken the validity of your paper.


Functions of Management


The functions of management regardless of the level are as follows:

1. Planning:

This is a mental managerial activity involving the arrangement of multiple linked decisions on ends and on means to accomplish a long-range, or major objective. Planning involves two key concepts. Developing the goals an organization seeks to attain, and deciding on the meas to achieve them.

Ii. Organizing

This involves the development of a structure which groups, assigns and co-ordinates activities by delegating authority, offering responsibilities, and requiring accountability.

iii. Staffing

Staffing involves selecting, training and assigning of personal to specific organizational activities.

iv. Directing

It simply means “putting plans” and people in motion. Outstanding plans and an excellent organization will accomplish noting unless people are actually put to work, doing the right job and going it correctly. Directing is a process of guiding and motivating people in the organization to do work needed to accomplish the company goals. It in dudes telling and showing subordinates what jobs to do and how to do them and detecting errors and seeing that they are corrected.

V. Controlling

The final function of management is controlling. It is mainly a feedback process. It involves evaluating the performance of the firm and its parts and making changes to improving operations.


Types of Systems


1. Physical and Abstract System

A physical system is a set of element which operates together to accomplish an objective.
An abstract system on the other hand is an orderly arrangement of independent ideas or construct.

2. Deterministic and Probabilistic Systems

A deterministic system is one which operates in a perfectly predicable manner. The interaction among the parts is known with certainly. An example of this, is a computer programme which operates strictly according to instruction.
The probabilistic system can be described in terms of probable behaviour but a certain degree of error is always attached to the prediction of what the system will do. An inventory system is an example of a probabilistic system because the quality of stock at any given time cannot be know but the number of order can be known.

3. Closed and Open System

A closed system is defined as a set of interacting elements operating without any exchange with the environment in which they exist. A computer program is an example of this because it accepts only previously defined inputs, process them and provided a previously defined output.

An open system is the reverse of the closed system because it exchanges and interacts with the external environment


Definition of Management Information System


According to Joseph T. Straub (1979) Management information system is:

“A system which provides managers with information to help them control operations”
it is also defined as:

“A formal method of making available to management the accurate and timely information necessary to facilitate the decision making and enable the organization’s to be carried out effectively “.

(James A.F. Stoner)

Harld Koontz and Heinze Wethrich defines it as:

“Any formed system to gather, integrates compare, analyze and disperse information internal and external to the enterprise in a timely and external to the enterprise in a timely effective and efficiencies manner”.
For the purpose of this project work however, Management information system shall be defined as:

“The formed method by which management gathers, compares, analyses, processes, stores and retrieves accurate information in a timely, effective and efficient manner to aid in the decision making process of an organization”.


Structure of the Management Information System


The four major components of the above model are the internal report system, the management intelligence system, the research system and analytical system.

The Internal Report System

This is the most basic sources of information, it concludes reports on orders, sales, inventory levels, receivable, payable. Analysis of information from this source enables management to spot important opportunities and problems.

The Intelligence System

This is used by managers to get information about pertinent development in the environment.

The Research System

This is done by surveying in a focused study on specific problems and opportunities.

The Analysis System

This is the most modern source of information retrieved of stored information from computer and also the analysis of some via programmed models.

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