A DELPHI STUDY ON MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS (MIS) MODEL FOR DECISION-MAKING IN SOUTH-EAST NIGERIA UNIVERSITIES.
The purpose of the study was to model Management Information Systems (MIS) for decision-making by administrators of Universities in South-East, Nigeria. Seven research questions and seven hypotheses guided the study. The design of the study was survey research. The specific design was panel study and the Delphi technique was used to elicit responses from the administrators and the MIS experts in a two- round survey.
The instrument for data collection was questionnaire. Eighty-one items reflecting the components of the MIS Model such as MIS objectives, data collection procedures, data processing and analysis methods, data publication method, data dissemination methods, decision making areas and feedback mechanisms were generated and included in the questionnaire. Three experts from University of Nigeria, Nsukka validated the instrument. The final draft of the instrument had a 4-point scale of Very Appropriate, Appropriate, Inappropriate, and Very Inappropriate.
The instrument was pre-tested on 17 respondents from a public university in Kogi State, Nigeria. Internal consistency reliability estimate of the instrument was 0.98 using Cronbach Alpha technique. The experts’ panel was made up of 30 experts consisting of 10 directors of Management Information Systems/Information Communication Technology, 10 academic staff and 10 administrative staff purposively selected from the 10 public universities in South-East Nigeria. During the round one survey, the 81-item questionnaire was administrated to the respondent. Sixty –nine items reached the panelists consensus while 12 items could not reach the consensus based on a mean cut-off point of 3.00 and standard deviation of less than 1.00. In the round two survey, the 69 items were re-administered to the respondents while the 12 items were discarded. Sixty-eight items that reached the panelist consensus in the round two survey were retained for data analysis while the one item on which consensus was not reached was discarded.
The mean score was used to answer all the research questions. t-test was used to test the hypotheses. The following were the major results of the study. Twelve MIS objectives were accepted as appropriate for the MIS Model, seven data collection procedures, 10 data processing and analysis methods, seven data publication methods, nine data dissemination methods, 14 decision –making areas and nine feedback mechanisms were identified and included in the MIS Model for decision- making.
There were no significant differences between the mean responses of administrators and MIS experts regarding the MIS objectives, data collection procedures, data processing and analysis methods, data dissemination methods, decision- making areas and feedback mechanisms aspects of the model. There were significant differences between the mean responses of administrators and MIS experts regarding data publication methods of the MIS Model.
Based on the findings of the study, one major educational implication was that the MIS has a high potential for making relevant information available. It was recommended that universities in South-East, Nigeria should adopt the MIS model to provide relevant information for effective and efficient management of the institutions.
Background of the Study
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) consists of electronic systems used for information collection, processing, storage and retrieval. ICT consists of hardware, software, networks and media for collection, transmission and presentation of information (Pulkinen, 2004). Information occurs in different forms such as voice, data, text and images. ICT is used to communicate, create, manage and distribute information. It includes the newer digital technologies of computers, internet, e-mail, World Wide Web (www), wireless and the older technologies of print, radio and televisions (Pulkinen, 2004).
ICT brings about new opportunities as well as new risks for the goal of sustainable development. Over the last years, the use of ICT in all sectors of education has increased dramatically and continues to do so (Farrel and Wachholz, 2003). Digital technologies have fuelled exponential growth in the society’s ability to generate, exchange and consume information. ICT comprises those technologies that are used for accessing, gathering, processing, and presenting information for decision-making. Modern university education and administration now depend on robust programmes of Management Information Systems (MIS) to support and facilitate teaching, learning,research and management.
MIS involves the collection, processing, analyzing and dissemination of educational data and information and making them available to educational administrators on a timely, routine, reliable and predictable basis for decision-making.MIS, according to Lucey (1989), is a system using formalized procedures to provide the management at all levels in all functions with appropriate information, based on data from both internal and external sources to enable them to make timely and effective decisions for planning, directing and controlling the activities for which they are responsible. Similarly,Boorne (2002) defined MIS as a structured, interacting complex of persons, machines and procedures designed to generate an orderly flow of information for use as the basis for decision-making in an organization. MIS, therefore, is a system that collects, processes, analyses, stores and disseminates information for educational planning and decision-making in the universities.
The growth of information systems services in Nigerian universities began about 1990 with the World Bank intervention to improve the institutional capacities of Nigerian universities (National Universities Commission (NUC), 1991). The specific focus of the intervention was on Management Information Systems (MIS), specially designed to meet the information needs of the managerial staff as they make a variety of decisions for the effective administration of the universities.
In Nigerian universities, MIS is designed to achieve the following objectives ׃ to standardize the system of obtaining reports and statistical information , ensure that such information are accurate and timely , and organize such information for planning and decision-making in order to improve utilization of resources (Fadekemi &Ajayi (2007).The National Universities Management Information Systems (NUMIS) developed by the National Universities Commission (NUC) focused only on three major areas namely, student records, staff records and financial records (NUC, 1991). NUMIS was originally implemented using Dbase as a single package running on one system.
The NUMIS main structure consists of five (5) phases; Data entry, Data update, Query, Reports and File maintenance. These phases are linked up with modules like staff and students’ entities, finance, reference tables, students and staff lists, student and staff information. Despite the implementation of NUMIS in the universities, it has not been adequately utilized in decision-making process in Nigerian universities (Ajayi, & Omirin, 2007). NUMIS has not been adequately utilized in decision- making in universities in South- East, Nigeria.