Date of Original Version
Abstract or Table of Contents
Abstract: "An information revolution is impacting how companies will operate in the future. Companies are looking for models that they can use to improve organizational efficiency. Early models decomposed organizations into workers and management and ascribed roles to each; newer models such as that by Deming concern themselves with integration of the parts into the context of the outside world. We suggest an analogy to decomposing processes into unit operations which must then be integrated into total processes within the world market, suggesting that, while the words are different, the process design activities may be very similar. Other important chemical engineering concepts such as process control and information transfer appear to be applicable to organizational management as well. After examining management processes and how information flows in a company, we explore different technologies for information management/consolidation, noting how well each permits the gathering, structuring and using of the data both to operate a company and to understand and improve its performance, particularly in its ability to carry out a complex process such as design. Particular attention is paid to databases, the World Wide Web, and a new information management system under development at Carnegie Mellon University called n-dim. The paper ends with a brief view into Etopia, an information society some time far into the future."