L M Prasad and Usha Prasad (2010)
Management Information Systems, (2nd Edition)
Sultan Chand & Sons, New Delhi
Price: 250/- Pages: 611

Information refers to processed data that can help in the working of an individual and/or organization. With the fast pace of communication and information technology that have been developed, like email, facsimile, cellphones; the development in Material Requirements, Planning, Manufacturing Resource Planning, Enterprise Resource Planning and Supply Chain Management it has become all the more imperative to manage Information Systems. Management Information Systems (MIS) are different from the regular information systems in the sense that MIS in one way also refers to the use of technology and automation which can help managers in decision-making. The book “Management Information Systems” by LM Prasad and Usha Prasad is a helpful book, because it covers the intricacies of MIS.

Just like Finance, MIS can also be regarded as the lifeblood of an enterprise. It is extremely important that the right information should be available to the right persons at the right place at the right time and perhaps at the right price. Undoubtedly, the judicious use of MIS can help manufacturers in lowering production costs, creating and offering new products and services, focusing on a market niche, establishing a link with suppliers and customers and creating strategic alliances.

The book has been effectively divided into five parts. In the first and the second part, the authors have explained the concept of MIS; different types of systems; such as Deterministic and Probabilistic Systems, Open and Closed Systems, Formal and Informal Systems; System Environment; the concept of organization; understanding organizational characteristics to build and use information systems; decision making and types of decisions; behavioural models of the decision maker such as Rational-economic model, Satisficing-administrative model, Muddling through model, Psychological model; the concept of Information Technology and contemporary developments in information technology; Database Management Systems; Object Oriented Database; Hypermedia Database; E-commerce Applications encompassing business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-government (B2G) and consumer-to-administration (C2A) models. Parts 1 and 2 of the book build and edifice for gaining an understanding towards developing meaningful information systems.

It is said “If you fail to plan, then, you plan to fail”. The third part of the text focuses on the aspect of planning for Information Systems. It also covers SDLC, viz. The System Development Life Cycle - the activities that form part of different stages, system implementation and maintenance. An efficient transaction processing system is a pre-requisite for developing efficient management information systems. Part IV of the book is especially devoted to transaction processing and support systems. Stephen Hawking – an IT Futurologist – once said “By 2030, robots will be physically and mentally superior to human beings”. The authors have tried to bring out through meaningful examples how expert systems work and how they can be applied to solve business problems, besides explaining some artificial intelligence techniques like neural networks and fuzzy logic and their application in business. Recent developments have shown that in the absence of effective controls, one of the biggest threats to information systems is from authorized users. Part V of the book is devoted to the controls in Information Systems, Information Security, and audit of Information Systems.

In one of the chapters and extensive study of IT management frame in Japan and the US has been carried out which can be of immense help to the present day managers at all levels. The book contains probing cases which force the reader to think and act as ‘eye-openers’. It also has interesting guidelines for analyzing a case which can be helpful to both management students and practitioners. The authors have done considerable justice to the relatively new concepts of Executive Information Systems, Functional Information Systems, and Integrated Information Systems.

Nonetheless, Management Information Systems is not be reviewed as a miracle of some kind or should not be considered as a magic wand to cure organizational ills; it only provides tools for analysis, decision-making, and interpretation. For proper analysis and interpretation, designing of proper information receiving and disseminating systems is a prerequisite.


Wallace Jacob
Tolani Maritime Institute, Talegaon Dabhade, Pune, Maharashtra
E-mail: wallace_jacob@rediffmail.com