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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Management utilization of computers in American local governments

Traditional concepts of management information systems (MIS) bear little relation to the information systems currently in use by top management in most US local governments. What exists is management-oriented computing, involving the use of relatively unsophisticated applications. Despite the unsophisticated nature of these systems, management use of computing is surprisingly common, but also varied in its extent among local governments. Management computing is most prevalent in those governments with professional management practices where top management is supportive of computing and tends to control computing decisions and where department users have less control over design and implementation activities. Finally, management computing clearly has impacts for top managers, mostly involving improvements in decision information.

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