Certain selected Program publications remain relevant year in and year out. Those listed here are not also listed in Current Research. To request a publication, call us, send us mail, e-mail, or use the order form.

Compaine, Benjamin M., and John F. McLaughlin.
Management Information: Back to Basics. [25 pages; July 1986/Research Report]
In this analysis, Compaine and McLaughlin discuss the critical role of flexible, informal intelligence gathering for organizational decision makers. The authors review the development of the information-intensive society and global economy in which managers need information to compete. Bearing on a decisionmaker's preparedness is information not only from inside and outside the organization and from the manager's own knowledge, but also from "unknown-unknowns" which are diminished with longevity in a job. The authors recommend flexibility, frequent reevaluation of a manager's mix of information sources, and recognition of the utility of informal information gathering to supplement formal MIS. P-86-6

Ernst, Martin L., Ed.
Mastering the Changing Information World. Norwood, N.J.: Ablex Publishing Corp., 1993.

Knauf, Daniel J.
The Family Jewels: Corporate Policy on the Protection of Information Resources. [174 pages; June 1991/Research Report]

Information resources, especially electronic communications and computer systems, are increasingly valuable parts of the modern corporation. Management therefore faces the increasing challenge to develop effective corporate policies to protect these resources. After first asking, Is any action needed? management must then evaluate its options for effectiveness and costs (both operational and financial). Actual value and vulnerability determinations are key elements in needs assessment. Knauf finds that once management has evaluated these elements, it can select effective protection measures. A checklist of such policy options concludes this report. P-91-5

LeGates, John C. B.
The Sound, the Fury, and the Significance. [19 pages; January 1995/Incidental Paper]

This paper examines the publicity surrounding the "information superhighway" and describes who said what when and why. It sheds light on the players, stakes, and motives and on the real nature of the highway. The cable, telephone, and personal computer industries have each had different reasons to promote the belief that the information highway was an economic and social juggernaut. The White House, too, had reasons to jump on the bandwagon. The reality, however, is quite different. So far, there have been mostly nascent services, future product announcements, and trials of impractical benefits in unproved markets. Meanwhile, unheralded, a dynamic "from-the-bottom-up" growth is being driven by current customers and improving technologies. ISBN 1-879716-22-4 I-95-2

Libicki, Martin C.
Standards: The Rough Road to the Common Byte. [46 pages; August 1994/Research Report]

Excellent information technology standards alone are not enough to make the dream of the Information Era come to life. Economics, institutions, and technologies all must be right. Yet standards play a critical, although poorly understood, role, ensuring compatibility when all those trillions of bytes flow among computers and their users. Without standards, intelligent machines cannot be used effectively, equipment cannot interoperate, and information would remain locked in files and archives, largely inaccessible. This paper examines such topics as UNIX, Open Systems Interconnection (OSI), Front Line Manufacturing (CALS), Ada, and ISDN, poses such questions as whether standards are necessary for compatibility, which standards succeed, what directions public policy may take, and concludes that the federal government, among others, needs a better vision of why and where it wants standards
. ISBN 1-879716-15-1 P-94-6

The expanded version of this report, published in 1995 as
Information Technology Standards: Quest for the Common Byte (Boston.: Butterworth–Heinemann, Digital Press, 1995), is now available on our site, in HTML files of both text and graphics

McLaughlin, John F., with Anne Louise Antonoff.
Mapping the Information Business. [83 pages, computer diskette available; September 1986/Research Report]

The information business is a complex of companies and government agencies involved in the creation, acquisition, packaging, processing, storage, transmittal, and distribution of information. Updated in this volume, the information business map displays the operating boundaries of players in the industry along product-service and form-substance axes. The map illustrates the corporate and regulatory churning in the information business and highlights areas that invite further attention from financial analysts, public policymakers, and corporate strategists. In 65 maps, McLaughlin applies the mapping technique to illustrate jurisdictional boundaries of regulatory agencies, the strategic positioning of companies, operations and planning within individual organizations, and some basic forces and trends driving changes in the information business. P-86-9

Oettinger, Anthony G.
The Formula Is Everything: Costing and Pricing in the Telecommunications Industry. [57 pages; October 1988/Research Report]

Folks love to spread the idea that the prices of products or services are tied to the costs of those goods, but it ain't necessarily so. Prices sometimes have little to do with costs. At other times, the two are tightly linked. Which happens when has more to do with politics than with parochial preferences about how the world ought to work. Examples of telecommunications exchange service costing and pricing policy illustrate the relevance of that theme to today's decision makers. Under station-to-station pricing, for instance, Oettinger shows how the formula was every-thing: where there was demand for relating prices to costs, suitable costs were invented to justify prices. Even today the political process, along with the marketplace, continues the evolution of products, services, costs, and prices. P-88-2

Weinhaus, Carol L., and Anthony G. Oettinger.
Behind the Telephone Debates. Norwood, N.J.: Ablex Publishing Corp., 1988.