Improving the quality of information exchange among top managers

Elena Giaretta, Paola Castellani, Alessandro Garofalo

Abstract


Purpose. The paper aims to identify the factors that can affect the quality of horizontal information flows at top management level and suggest a method for their removal.

Methodology. From a theoretical perspective that draws from studies on managerial information systems, on top management horizontal communication and on total quality management, a method (narrative action research method, NARM) has been proposed, which is based on the direct involvement of the participants in the flow, in this specific case top managers. The method has been tested on 18 large organizations. Individual interviews of top managers and collective meetings with them were set up to assess their degree of satisfaction in relation to the quality of the flow.

Findings. This method has allowed to find that the factors which the quality of the information flow depends on are mainly organizational-relational in nature, thus highlighting the circular causality relationship between the quality of the information flow and organizational well-being.

Research implications. From a theoretical-conceptual viewpoint, this study has focused on the issue of the strategic information flow and its problems from a relational perspective that appears to have received less consideration in literature.

Practical implications. The method has proved effective in improving the quality of the process, with benefits in terms not only of decision-making capacity but also of organizational climate.

Originality. The method is the result of the original combination of the action research principles of change promotion and narration and problem solving techniques, which are respectively at the base of role-playing and quality circles.

Keywords


senior executive information flow; communication among top managers; information quality; organizational well-being

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References


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