The cio who admitted too much
By definition Organizational politics is the management of influence to obtain ends not sanctioned by the organization or to obtain sanctioned ends through non-sanctioned means.
The (business dictionary.com) defines organizational politics as the pursuit of individual agendas and self-interest in an organization without regard to their effect on the organization’s efforts to achieve its goals.
By revealing the company’s shortcomings, the CIO for Overstock.com did not exercise good political politics. Information is power and an asset for the company. Revealing the shortcomings makes the company vulnerable and subject to severe criticism from its competitors and or cynics. By revealing the shortcomings, the CIO would have made a huge mistake on behalf of many people who work with the company.
The CIO has the responsibility to monitor, control and protect the flow of information in and out of the company. He/she is the main custodian and manager of the information. Information management is the process by which those who set policy guide those who follow policy. Governance concerns power, and applying an understanding of the distribution and sharing of power to the management of information technologies.
In the case of Overstock.com the CIO seems to have a lot of power for making key decisions. Paul A. Strassmann (1994) says that to manage information successfully, policy makers must set forth explicit principles for information governance and secure cooperation by engaging everyone in a discussion as to their implications. Full disclosure of the rules for governing must indicate who will deliver what results and how policy will be enforced. While discussing the proposed policies, all managers must come to understand how the policies will affect their roles and responsibilities. Consequently, policy pronouncements should be made only after allowing for adequate time and consideration, especially if they publicize the rules of information governance.
Instead of exposing the company’s technological weaknesses, the CIO needs to work with his IT team and apply the data mining concept as a way to kick off the process of finding where the problem originates from.
Data mining is a major use of data warehouse databases and the static data they contain. In data mining, the data in a data warehouse are analyzed to reveal hidden patterns and trends in historical business activity. This can be used to help managers to make decisions about strategic changes in business operations to gain competitive advantage in the marketplace.
In my point of view, the CIO should not have revealed the shortcomings of the company. In the current competitive market where information is highly valued, CIOS can never reveal their companies’ shortcomings.
A great lesson to be learned from this scenario is that, the CIOS should not be given an independent mandate to make key decisions affecting their companies without consulting other top management organs.
O’Brien, A.J., ; Marakas, M.G., (2007) Introduction to Information systems
(13th Ed) McGraw-Hill/Irwin, New York
Paul A. Strassmann, (2004) Governance of Information Management, The Concept of an Information Constitution (2nd ed.)