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By Charlton, Mark.

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An alternative to writing to each organization is to phone, but this is time-consuming and costly, and only feasible if the number of organizations to contact is fairly small. Avoid sending out updates at times when people are likely to be away, such as during the summer. g. social security benefit rates (which usually change in April and September), adult education classes or school, college and university courses which change term-wise. Information, the Life Blood 47 When an updated entry is returned it should be checked to see if the subject or place headings still apply.

Resource-driven information and perception-driven information are opposite extremes of one continuum. Management teams were grasping eagerly at the new computer technology as a solution to their efficiency problems. There were at that time forces in the environment—market, political, social or economic—with which the traditional methods of organization could not cope; it was believed that the computer would provide all the answers. In the space of that time many colleagues began to discover that the impact of computer technology seemed to be contradictory.

Externally, employees can gain entrance to public databases such as Prestel, which are run by autonomous bodies. The drive is towards centralization and hence better management control. Paradoxically, the opposite is being encouraged, whereby every user has the potential to access information which enables them to operate more efficiently, and also to do so outside the control of their manager. Under these conditions it is difficult for managers to 34 A Handbook of Information Technology control not only who reads and writes what but also, and perhaps more importantly, who knows what.

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