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Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Early Catalysts of Centralized Information Resource Management

Early Catalysts of Centralized Information Resource Management
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Author(s): Paul M. Chalekian (University of Nevada, Reno, USA)
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 2
Source title: Information Technology & Organizations: Trends, Issues, Challenges & Solutions
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-066-0.ch015
ISBN13: 9781616921248
EISBN13: 9781466665330


This review suggests early catalysts of state-level centralized information resource management organizations which coordinate agency data processing activities in the management of information systems. What factors influenced the creation of early centralized and later coordinated data processing functions? Whether or not to centralize the processing of data has been a long standing debate (Perlman, 1965; Oldehoeft and Halstead, 1972; Statland, 1978; King, 1983; George and King, 1991). Yet, in terms of public management, no single event has placed information resource management (IRM) at the center of concern and attention (Caudle et al., 1989). This historical perspective explores some catalysts of IRM as they evolved from intra-organizational issues that later became interorganizational practices. The assumptions about centralization are in transition. In the mid-1980s, a shift in IRM evolved from outright control toward more of a coordinating role (National Association for State Information Systems, 1987). By the time of a 1989 study, researchers reported that state IRM could not, and should not, be defined by a single model or approach (Caudle et al., 1989). More recently, California’s legislation empowering certain centralized data processing functions effectively sunset on July 1, 2002 (Government Technology, 2002). What are centralized and coordinated IRM entities? The dominant organizational units were found to involve data processing operations, telecommunications, and policy and planning (Caudle, 1990). The first and most likely place to find an IRM unit is under the state comptroller, finance, budget or treasury departments, with the second most likely place being under the chief executive’s office (Caudle et al., 1989). All but six of the American states have either a Chief Information Officer or an IRM Commission (National Association of State Information Resource Executives, 1996). Other contemporary researchers have explored those implications (Lee and Perry, 2002). But when could centralized information resource management have first occurred? Understanding the obstacles overcome by automation innovators will provide valuable insight in considering the catalysts of centralization. The scenario that follows shows a slow and steadily increasing technical progression of data processing as organizations trended toward centralized control. An understanding of the IRM problems is highly relevant because, at the onset, data processing functions often occurred where is, and as is, in relation to their place of origin (Statland, 1978) and they tend to stay that way (Danziger et al., 1982). Early developments in computer peripheral equipment may have eased, or even facilitated, transitions in organizational structures and the themes of media and “organizational memory” are persistent (Huber, 1990; Simon, 1997; Wang, 1999).

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