A fragmented landscape
of theory and practice

INN533 – Information Organisation

Final reflections on INN533 journal activities and the unit as a whole.

A common thread running through the INN533 journal activities is the concept of ‘users’, whose needs, we are told, should supersede all other considerations (see, for example, Batley, 2005, p. 24). However, my week two and four journal activities, featuring the New York Museum of Modern Art and various city councils around Australia, seemed to suggest these institutions completely ignored the user mantra. They structured access to their online data in ways that pre-supposed expertise in art, or knowledge of council administrative and revenue-raising priorities.

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Corsar on ‘Improving information management’

Corsar, G. (2011). Improving information management. Chemical Engineering 118(3), 34-38.

FRONT-END LOADING: Perennial problem in project management generally (p. 34) and definitely in all projects I’ve ever observed or participated in.

TURNOVER: Chemical engineering/construction phases arbitrary but easily translated to IT. Vendor and contractor management equivalent to engineering contractor management. Vendor and contractor management should include the overlap proposed by Corsar.

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Management & philosophy

Management (as engineer)

Detlor, B. (2009). Information management. International Journal of Information Management 30(2010), 103-108.
Information management: a lot of repetition about ‘efficient’ and ‘effective’, also ‘competitively’ and ‘strategically’. This is all meaningless management-speak used mostly by people who don’t understand what these terms mean. ‘… better accomplish their tasks and become better informed’ (p 103.) This is all a technocratic kind of determinism according to which people are worker ants and outcomes are pre-determined in the classical engineering sense (as in Rittel &Webber’s critique of wicked problems).
Information lifecycle: create > acquire > organise > store > distribute > use. Not all perspectives recognise the functions for identifying needs in the first place, and the management of information needs.
Design: sometimes information needs are matched to design and delivery of information systems.
Information as resource: [recognising competitive or strategic advantages arising from information management is one thing, getting others to understand and act accordingly is quite another.]
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