Title page for ETD etd-03032009-040410

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Berube, D. Steven
URN etd-03032009-040410
Title Assessing differences in data and information makeup at two different organizational levels using two managerial jobs
Degree Master of Science
Department Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kurstedt, Harold A. Jr. Committee Chair
Doss, Anne R. Committee Member
Koelling, Charles Patrick Committee Member
Sink, S. Scott Committee Member
  • Communication in organizations.
Date of Defense 1990-05-02
Availability unrestricted
In this research I tested for differences in data and information needs at two different organizational levels. I used the makeup of data and information to measure these differences. I first defined data, information, and the makeup of data and information, since the literature doesn't consistently define them. I selected endeavors as a surrogate for organizational levels, since endeavors relate to what managers do, not where managers are in the organization. I related data and information needs to different endeavors, and developed testable hypotheses to measure and test differences in data and information makeup for two different specific endeavors.

I designed an experiment in which subjects ranked tasks (a strategic endeavor) and then used the same tasks to develop a weekly schedule for an employee (an operational endeavor). Subjects were selected from managers at Management Systems Laboratories, a research organization at Virginia Tech. As subjects performed the experiment, they were asked to verbalize what data and information they used off the test documents and how they used it to perform each endeavor. Using my definitions of the makeup of data and information, I found that subjects ranking tasks used 1) more information as a percentage of all data and information used; 2) more references to evaluate each indicator; and 3) more references external to the task scope, expressed as a percent of all references used, than subjects developing a weekly schedule. I was not able to show that managers ranking tasks use more data and information than managers developing a weekly schedule.

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