Although knowledge and information. The output achieved is a

Although
decision support technologies are fairly evolved, their adoption and usage
across organizations tends to fail. In fact, many companies invest a
considerable amount of efforts to develop a sustainable decision support system
in order to optimize the decision-making process. However, they are often not
satisfied with the outcome. This situation is actually the result of the
inability of such companies to fully understand the challenges of implementing
these technologies across an entire organization. Indeed, management often
spends too much time and effort focusing on visions and objectives. However, it
neglects the importance of enticing the members of the organization to embody
the cultural changes necessary to make effective and efficient decisions. In
other words, management fails to recognize the relevance of creating an
information culture based on knowledge sharing and collaboration as a way to
improve decision-making. This information culture has proven to add value to
existing systems which leads to creating potential value within an organization.

Ginman (1988)
defined information culture as the culture in which “the transformation of
intellectual resources is maintained alongside the transformation of material
resources. The primary resources for this type of transformation are varying
kinds of knowledge and information. The output achieved is a processed
intellectual product which is necessary for the material activities to function
and develop positively” (p. 93). Through her research, Ginman pointed out a
connection between the information culture and the company’s performance. In
fact, a highly developed information culture was positively associated with
organizational practices that led to successful business performance. In more
recent studies, Choo et al. (2006, 2008) described information culture as the
socially shared patterns of behaviors, norms and values that define the
significance and use of information in an organization. Values are the deeply
held beliefs about the role and contribution of information to the
organization. Norms are rules or socially accepted standards that define what information
behaviors are normal or to be expected in the organization. Values and norms
together mold the information behaviors of people and groups in an
organization. These prospections of information culture emphasize its role in
the decision-making process and the need for a tool in order to be able to use
relevant information while taking decisions.

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Information
culture is a crucial part of the organizational culture. It orbits around
information practices, communication flows, attitudes towards information, and
most importantly trust and collaboration. Indeed, Information culture can be
regarded as the overall context of how the internal environment of the
organization supports information sharing and management. The function of
information culture is about having access to information as a resource for
reaching organizational aims and support the decision-making process.

As a matter
of fact, the decision-making process is composed mainly of organizational and
technical elements. In fact, organizational elements are featuring the
companies’ day-to-day functions whereas the technical aspects represent the
toolset used to support the decision-making process such as decision support
systems.

Information
and knowledge are the most valuable assets for organizations’ decision-making cycle.
However, in order for this data to be processed into valuable and relevant information
for use in organizational processes, it needs a medium. Decision support technologies
such as decision support systems (DSS) represent these media. Indeed, DSS are
computerized systems which aim at processing, analyzing, sharing and visualizing
important information to support decision making. In other words, DSS are information
systems that are designed to support solutions for decision-making problems.
The term DSS has seen light in two streams. It was first featured in the
original studies of Simon’s research team in the late 1950s and the early 1960s
and then in the technical works on interactive computer systems by Gerrity’s
research team in the 1960s. For more clarity, DSS were defined as interactive,
computer-based information systems that help decision-makers utilize data,
models, solvers, visualizations, and the user interface to solve structured,
semi-structured and unstructured problems.

Nowadays we
are witnessing an information boom and an increasing amount of data reaching
organizations. In other words, the volume and channels of the data changed, but
most importantly there is a variety of information collected. In addition to
that, the speed at which organizations should collect, analyze, and respond to
information in different dimensions is increasing. This presents two challenges
for organizations. First, decision makers must implement new technologies and
then prepare for a potential revolution in the collection and measurement of
information. Second, and most important, the organization as a whole must adapt
to this new philosophy about how decisions are. This has accentuated the need
for decision support systems in order to create opportunities to make decisions
from this immense amount of information as we live in a world which is always
connected, and where consumer preferences change every hour.

It goes
without saying that information usage has several benefits for companies, such
as improving decision-making in order to achieve a competitive advantage, offering
a means to deal with the uncertainties which represent an inherent
characteristic of the business environment, and consequently promoting
innovation. These benefits are however accomplished only through “high-quality
information”, which is defined as information that is relevant, complete,
reliable, accurate, and that timely enables improvements in decision quality
improving the firm’s performance. Firms devote significant resources and efforts
to implement decision support technologies in order to produce a highly
qualified knowledge. However, the successful implementation of the system usage,
its adoption and its acceptance are a critical challenge. Besson and Rowe
(2012) recognize that implementing a certain behavior of information sharing is
a means to achieve the effective use of information and decision support
technologies.

Choo et al.
(2008) emphasized on six information behaviors and values identified by
Marchand, Kettinger, and Rollins (2001) to shape the positive information
culture: Information integrity, formality, control, transparency, sharing and proactiveness.
In fact, information integrity was defined as the use of information in a
trustful and principled manner whereas information formality is regarded as the
willingness to use and trust formal information over informal sources. In
addition, information control is the extent to which information is used to
manage and monitor performance while information transparency is the openness
in reporting on errors and failures. Information sharing is the willingness to
provide others with information. Finally, proactiveness is actively using new
information to innovate and respond quickly to changes.

Doubtlessly, the core values of an organization begin
with its leadership. Therefore, the implementation of a positive information
culture should start by the organization’s leaders. The employees will be guided
by these values and by the behavior of their leaders, such that the behavior of
both parties becomes increasingly in line. Leaders should invest in implementing
techniques and actions in order to reward and praise information sharing. By
instilling values such as collaboration in their employees, a company’s
executives can create successful decision support systems. As a matter of fact,
executives must accept that information culture within an organization impact
operational as well as strategic success, creating a foundation for
organizational decision-making (Popovi? et al., 2014).

To sum up, information culture is responsible for unwritten and tacit behavior
and fills the gap between what has officially happened and what really
happened. It is a basis for decision making. A positive information
culture based on information sharing, integrity and a good quality of
information is an enabler for effective decision making. The implementation of
this culture will empower the adoption and usage of decision support
technologies such as decision support systems in order to achieve optimal
solutions and advanced performance levels. However, the implementation of such
culture represents a challenge for the organization that can be overcome
through executives setting up some motivational values and being role models
for their subordinates. 

References

 

Popovi?,
A., Hackney, R., Coelho, P. S., & Jakli?, J. (2014). How
information-sharing values influence the use of information systems: An
investigation in the business intelligence systems context. The Journal of
Strategic Information Systems, 23(4), 270–283.

Widén, G.,
& Hansen, P. (2012). Managing collaborative information sharing: bridging
research on information culture and collaborative information behaviour. Information
Research, 17(4).

Chun Wei
Choo (2013) Information culture and
organizational effectiveness. International Journal of Information Management
33 (2013) 775–779

Choo, C.
W., Bergeron, P., Detlor, B., & Heaton, L. (2008). Information culture and
information use: An exploratory study of three organizations. Journal of the
American Society for Information Science and Technology, 59(5), 792–804.

Choo, C.
W., Furness, C., Paquette, S., van den Berg, H., Detlor, B., Bergeron, P., et
al. (2006). Working with Information: Information management and culture in a
professional services organization. Journal of Information Science, 32(6),
491–510.

Ginman, M.
(1988). Information culture and business performance. IATUL Quarterly, 2(2),
93–106.

Marchand,
D., Kettinger, W., & Rollins, J. (2001). Information orientation: The link
to business performance. New York: Oxford University Press.

Besson, P., Rowe, F.(2012) The Journal of Strategic Information
Systems. Volume 21 Issue 2, June, 2012.103-124