Executive Information Systems (EISs) emerged in the late 1970s to meet the information needs of senior executives. Leading EIS research indicates three major groupings of EIS benefits: (1) Information delivery, i.e., providing more timely, accurate, relevant, and concise information; (2) Task improvement, i.e., improving the efficiency and effectiveness of executives; and (3) Supporting the accomplishment of strategic business objectives (Wallis 1989; Volonio and Watson 1990; Houdeshel and Watson 1987). Mintzberg (1975, 1980) classifies managerial activities into three broad groups -interpersonal roles, informational roles, and decisional roles. McLeod and Jones (1986) suggest that an EIS can be a valued tool if: it can provide and integrate external and internal information; it can offer information with richness (e.g. soft, human, contextual information to enhance hard information); and it can overcome problems typical of traditional MIS hard copy reports by providing accurate, timely, concise and relevant information (Watson, Rainer and Houdeshel 1992). According to Mintzberg (1975), managers use information in four decision roles: resource allocation (e.g. budgetary allocation), disturbance handler, entrepreneur and negotiator. An effective EIS primarily supports disturbance handling and entrepreneurial activity, and to a lesserextent resource allocation (McLeod and Jones 1986). Though prior research alludes to major managerial roles and/or activities, very little research explores grouping of EIS benefits and the implications of such groupings. The purpose of this study is to explore whether there are more than the three broad categories of EIS benefits found in the literature. Secondly, we identify the specific benefits within each category. We also tentatively confirm that these broad categories of benefits support the major roles of managers as specified by Mintzberg (1975, 1980). The findings of this study should be significant considering the fact that the success of an EIS is vital to the organization that has or plans to develop one. To gain insights to these questions, data were obtained from questionnaires sent to organizations that use EIS. The details of the study method and findings are discussed next.
Iyer, Lakshmi S. and Aronson, Jay E., "Grouping EIS Benefits: An Optimal Clustering Approach" (1995). AMCIS 1995 Proceedings. 96.