Question;ITM501cs1 ? (5 to 7 pages;double spaced courier new 12 font and include reference page);Information overload! The;phrase alone is enough to strike terror into the hardiest of managers, it presages the;breakdown of society as we know it and the failure of management to cope with change. The media constantly;dissect the forthcoming collapse brought;on by TMI ("Too Much Information"), even as they themselves pile up larger;and larger dossiers on the;subject, and we are frequently informed that it is our own damn fault that we are drowning in data, since we simply;can't discriminate between the important;stuff and everything else. Hence, the info-tsunami warning signs posted all;along what we once so naively called the;information superhighway".;Of course, this is;arrant nonsense -- human beings have been suffering from information;overload in varying forms since about the time;we hit the ground and found ourselves simultaneously running after the antelope and away from the lion.;There's no question that the human;mind has a limited capacity to process information, but after several;million years we've gotten pretty good at;figuring out how to handle a lot. The two basic;tricks turn out to;be distinguishing between short-term and long-term information storage, and "chunking" -- putting things in;a limited number of baskets. This isn't primarily a course in the psychology of memory -- it's about information;tools and systems -- but in fact;the same things that make our information tools and systems work are the same things that have kept us near the;antelopes and away from the lions (mostly);for the last;million years or so. So we're beginning this course by thinking about;information tools, what makes them like and;unlike other kinds of tools, how the concept of a socio-technical system (in which social and;behavioral functions shape results as much as does the technology itself) helps make sense of what we're;facing, and why the technology;just might win after all.;Let's start with a;little historical review. Amy Blair has recently done a very intriguing summary of just why information overload;isn't something that we, or still less;our kids, dreamed up -- people have been drowning in data for ages regardless;of the tools at their disposal;Blair, A. (2010);Information Overload, Then and Now. The Chronicle of Higher Education;Review. November;28. Retrieved November 15, 2010 fromhttp://chronicle.com/article/Information-Overload-Then-and/125479/?;sid=cr&utm_source=cr&utm_medium=en;We thought we had;it all nailed down when the information theorists came up with their;typology distinguishing between "data;(raw stuff), "information" (cooked stuff), and "knowledge" (cooked stuff that we've eaten).;This rather elegant approach did have the;virtue of;emphasizing that information processing is a human task, even though we might;delegate part of it to machinery, and that the;tests of that task are the results for humans. It helps return us to the perspective outlined in the module;introduction ? that is, tools need;to be judged by what they do, not just what they are. Here's a good brief;summary of this perspective;Bellinger, G.;Castro, D., & Mills, A. (2004) Data, Information, Knowledge, and Wisdom.;The Way of Systems. November 15, 2010 from;http://www.systems-thinking.org/dikw/dikw.htm;But just when we;thought we had everything nailed down, the emerging technologies of;networking seemed to be blurring things a bit.;First, with so much stuff floating around, it's not at all clear just how much;cooking" is really involved in the data/information boundary, a lot of data turns out to be pretty;self-interpreting, and no matter how much we cook some of the stuff, it's never going to be particularly;nutritious. In addition, it turns;out that information sometimes looks an awfully lot like property, so that the;kind of disembodied knowledge management;framework we thought was going to make things clear for us gets all tied up with personal;self-interest, organizational and social politics, generational conflicts, and all of the other fun things that;human beings have;teamed up to make;life difficult for one another over the years. Here is a useful introduction to this concern;Green, P. (2010) Social Media Is Challenging;Notions of the Data, Information;Knowledge, Wisdom;(DIKW) Hierarchy. CMS Wire. August 16. Retrieved November 25, 2010 from;http://www.cmswire.com/cms/enterprise-20/social-media-is-challenging-notions-of-the-datainformation-knowledge-wisdom-dikw-hierarchy--008320.php;But now let's put;this all in a bit of organizational context. As we noted in the module;introduction, the;language of socio-technical design can be very helpful in diagnosing;where systems are;going wrong, particularly when there appear to be disconnects between;the capacities of;the technology and the ability of the company to establish the right;kind of behaviorl;and procedures to take advantage of the tools. Here is a very useful;short introduction;to socio-technical design and how it can be used;Liu, X. and Errey;C. (2006) Socio-technical systems - there's more to performance than;new technology. PTG;Global. Retrieved February 27, 2011, from http://www.ptgglobal.com/PDFArticles/Socio technical systems - There's more to;performance than new technology v1.0.pdf;So how does all;this tie together? Well, we've got all this lovely data, information, and;maybe even knowledge floating around most;organizations, but we don't seem to be able to make a lot of use of it. Either there's just too much;or we can't identify relevant material;on a timely basis, or things fall between the organizational cracks. In any;event, we experience what amounts to;information overload" on a pretty regular basis, despite having all this understanding of information;and some really good tools for managing;and using it. How come?;There's a lot more out;there in the optional and supplemental readings as well as the wide wonderful world of the;Internet to give you a feel for whether or not we?re about to be washed away by the ?info-tsunami?, the more widely;you can spread your own information gathering;net, the more effective your analysis is likely to be.;When you believe;you have a reasonable feel for how information tools do (or don't);manage an info-tsunami, you'll be in a position;to write an effective short paper on the topic;How taking a socio-technical perspective can be;more productive in helping organizations manage information overload than either technical solutions or;organizational solutions aloneCase assignment expectations:Use information;from as many sources as you can, as long as it?s of good quality. At the;least, you are expected to show evidence of;having read and understood the required readings. Please cite all sources and provide a reference list at the;end of your paper.;LENGTH: 5-7 pages;double-spaced.;The following;features of your paper will be assessed in particular;??Your ability;to see what the module is all about and to structure your paper accordingly. In this case, there;isn?t a single right or wrong, yes-or-no answer;? either;perspective can be justified. Your task is to construct a logical;well-reasoned, and persuasive argument for your;conclusions.;??Your ability;to consolidate ideas from reading materials and your understanding of the materials. Select your;illustrative cases to prove your point, don?t just dump a bunch of illustrations onto the page just to;fill space.;??Your informed;commentary and analysis -- simply repeating what your sources say does not constitute an adequate;paper.;??Some in-text;references to your readings, with citations in proper academic format.
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