Public management information systems: Theory and prescription


One reflection of the enormous increase in interest in management information systems (MIS) is the rapid growth of research, theory, and prescription. But available knowledge of MIS is not of equal service to all managers. Managers working in the public sector must exercise particular caution as they seek to draw lessons from MIS literature. The vast majority of MIS knowledge, both formal and “know how,” has been developed from private-sector data sites for application in private sector contexts. Prescriptions developed for the private-sector for “generic” management may be valid for the public sector context. The problem is in determining which findings and prescriptions are applicable to public management and which are not. While MIS theory and research has grown by leaps and bounds, little research and virtually no theory has been published on public management information systems (PMIS). The purposes of this paper are to provide an integrating theoretical framework for PMIS which focuses on the differences between public and private sector environments and to use the framework to develop prescriptive propositions for PMIS. Before presenting the PMIS framework, existing frameworks for MIS research and theory are briefly reviewed

Full Paper

Bozeman, B., & Bretschneider, S. (1986). Public management information systems: Theory and prescription. Public administration review, 475-487.