Degree Name

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Roland D. Spaniol


Most companies do not exploit all potential benefits of Management Information Systems (MIS). To enhance the understanding of how MIS might be better managed, a nationwide mail-survey among 280 randomly selected chief MIS executives of Corporate 1000 firms was conducted.

The first part of the thesis investigated the areas of importance for MIS success and performance ratings of the 85 participating managers on the issues. In the second part relationships between these variables and the success of the MIS operations were established to derive critical success factors.

The findings indicate that there is a shift towards an increased strategic importance of MIS in most companies. Accordingly, the MIS leaders take a strategic view of MIS and stress issues affecting the entire organization over those relating only to the MIS department.

The success of current operations, however, is still mainly influenced by technical factors. Because of the transition from a technical to a strategic orientation of MIS, major problems arise in the areas of strategic MIS issues. For the same reason, the factors perceived as important for future MIS success do not coincide with the twelve critical success factors for current operations.

The critical success factors, recruiting and training data processing staff, end-user computing, and measuring effectiveness enhance MIS success in terms of user satisfaction, effectiveness, and efficiency. Alignment of MIS with business goals, integrating technologies, software development, data quality, user involvement, organizational learning and information system usage, information centers, and efficient data utilization contribute to user satisfaction and effectiveness, but not to efficiency.

Long-range MIS planning is not critical to MIS success since the focus of planning is shifting from internal MIS department issues to the support of the whole organization by aligning MIS with corporate objectives. In contrast to the prevailing opinion in the MIS literature, top management involvement in the definition of MIS goals is also not critical, as top management lacks a sufficient knowledge of MIS. Thus, the MIS manager is to be integrated in the corporate strategy setting and business planning process to ensure a proper alignment of MIS and business objectives.