Data Flow in an Organization
The data flow within an organization is extremely important for the effective information sharing and processing. In fact, the data flow defines, to a significant extent, the overall effectiveness of the organizational performance. In this regard, the information flow is particularly important in the army, where the information is crucial for the fulfillment of the organizational functions, mission and vision. The information flow in the army is very complicated because of the large share of secret information that has to be encrypted and inaccessible to the public and third parties.
The army has the two-fold information flow. On the one hand, the communication between army and citizens creates the mutual information flow. The army has to communicate its operations and policies to the public because the army, being fully subordinated to the government, has to serve interests of the public, while its primary goal is the defense of the national interests. The public has also to have a possibility to communicate to the army to provide the army with relevant information, problems and other issues which are important for both the army and the public.
On the other hand, the army is subordinated to the government and the President that creates another information flow. In fact, the information circulating between the army government president moves upward and downward. This information has to be absolutely protected and secured from any unauthorized access (Menezes, 2004). The army collects information and conveys it to the government and President to take strategic decisions. At the same time, the government and the President can set new goals and the army has to process the information received from the government and the President to meet these goals. Therefore, the information within the army can flow upward or downward the organizational hierarchy.
The specificity of the army is the top secret information, which is hidden from the public, while the access to the top secret information is restricted. Hence, there is the inner information flow, when the restricted number of people can have access to the top secret information. On the other hand, there is the outer information flow, which is public and all citizens or interested parties can access this information (Menezes, 2004). One of the primary concerns of the army is to remain transparent and to keep the top secret information unavailable to the third parties that means the prevention of information breaches through the maintenance of reliable and efficient information security system.
In addition, there is the internal information flow. The internal information is conveyed clearly and strictly in accordance to the existing hierarchy. Β The army has a strict hierarchy. As a result, one cannot convey the information surpassing the leader.
The information is processed but, as a rule, the army organization does not admit disputes over the information flow. Instead, the information ascends to the top commandment of the army, where strategic decisions are taken. Then the information descends to the lower commandment level to fulfill the strategic decisions taken by the top commandment (Schein, 1999). In such a way, the information descends from the top commandment to the lower level of the organizational hierarchy until the information reaches the target recipient.
Thus, the information flow in the army is complicated by highly efficient because all functions are clearly distributed within the organization and the information flows smoothly.