Information Systems: An Introduction and Overview or “What

Report
Information Systems:
An Introduction and Overview
or
“What’s In A Name”
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
Page 1
What is an Information System?
Let’s look at some different definitions and then
explore the context of an IS in the organizational
setting.
The contrasting definitions should provide a
variety of different perspectives.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Historical Background
The Data Processing Industry grew rapidly in the
1960’s, however, the “quantity” of output, most
often, far outstripped the “quality” of output.
The growth of the 1960’s and 1970’s saw a shift
from “computer” orientation, to “information”
orientation.
The role of “information resource manager” in the
organization offered an opportunity to migrate
from the technocratic image of the past, and
establish an image as a business manager, a general
manager, an information manager. Today this is
the role of the CIO - Chief Information Officer.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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John Diebold (1979) wrote:
“Information, which in essence is the analysis and
synthesis of data, will unquestionably be one of the
most vital corporate resources in the 1980’s. It will
be structured into models for planning and
decision-making. It will be incorporated into
measurements of performance and profitability. It
will be integrated into product design and
marketing methods. In other words, information
will be recognized and treated as an asset.”
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Davis and Olson: (1985)
 A management information system is:
• an integrated user-machine system
• for providing information
• to support the operations, management, analysis, and
decision-making functions in an organization.
• The system utilizes:
– computer hardware and software
– manual procedures
– models for analysis, planning, control, and decisionmaking
– a database
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IFIP/BCS (1985)
An information system is a system which assembles,
stores, processes, and delivers information relevant
to an organization (or to society) in such a way that
the information is accessible and useful to those
who wish to use it, including managers, staff,
clients, and citizens. An information system is a
human activity (social) system which may or may
not involve the use of computer systems.
International Federation for Information
Processing/British Computing Society 1885
curriculum for information systems.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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McNurlin and Sprague
(1989 & 1999)
“The mission for information systems in
organizations is to improve the performance of
people in organizations through the use of
information technology.”
The ultimate objective is performance
improvement - a goal based on outcomes and
results rather than a “go-through-the-steps
process” goal.
The focus is the people who make up the
organization. Improving organizational
performance is by the people and groups that
comprise the organization.
The resource for this improvement is information
technology.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Turban (1990)
A management information system is a formal,
computer-based (but need not be) system intended
to retrieve, extract, and integrate data from
various sources in order to provide timely
information necessary for managerial decisionmaking.
An MIS is a business information system designed
to provide past, present, and future information
appropriate for planning, organizing, and
controlling the operations of the organization.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Alter (1992)
An information system is a combination of
•
•
•
•
work practices
information
people, and
information technologies
organized to accomplish goals in an organization.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Zwass (1992)
A Management Information System is an organized
portfolio of formal systems for obtaining,
processing, and delivering information in support
of the business operations and management of an
organization.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Laudon and Laudon (1995)
Information system - (definition) Interrelated
components that collect, process, store, and
disseminate information to support decisionmaking, control, analysis, and visualization in an
organization.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Turban, McLean, Wetherbe (1996)
An information systems is a collection of
components that collects, processes, stores,
analyzes, and disseminates information for a
specific purpose.
The major components of a computer-based
information system (CBIS) can include (1)
hardware, (2) software, (3) a database (4) a
network (5 )procedures, and (6) people.
The system operates in a social context, and the
software usually includes application programs
which perform specific tasks for users.
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Alter (1996)
An information system is a system that uses
information technology to capture, transmit, store,
retrieve, manipulate, or display information that is
used in one or more business processes.
A business process is a related group of steps or
activities that use people, information, and other
resources to create value for internal or external
customers. Business Processes consist of steps
related in time and place, have a beginning and
end, and have inputs and outputs.
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Lucas (1997)
Information systems may be described by five of
their key components:
• Decisions
• transactions and processing
• information and its flow
• individuals or functions involved
• communications and coordination
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Zwass (1998)
Information System - An organized set of
components for collecting, transmitting, storing,
and processing data in order to deliver information
for action.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Turban, McLean, Wetherbe (1999)
An information system is a physical process that
supports an organizational system by providing
information to achieve organizational goals.
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Alter (1999)
A work system is a system that produces products
for internal and external customers through a
business process performed by human participants
with the help of information technology.
An information system is a particular type of work
system that uses information technology to capture
transmit store, retrieve, manipulate, or display
information, thereby supporting one or more other
work systems.
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Information Systems Today
The early focus on IS was for the support of
operations, management, analysis and decisionmaking in organizations.
A significant emphasis was on models of planning
and control.
The late 1980’s and early 1990’s saw IS expand
from the support not only of decision-making, but
but for improved communication support as well.
Social impacts began to be recognized.
The explosion of the Web has added the important
characteristic of providing information access.
Today the emphasis in organizations is on the
support of business processes.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Terminology
In many textbooks and contexts, the terms
Management Information Systems (or MIS) and
Information Systems (IS) are used interchangeably.
However, in other contexts, Management
Information Systems are considered as a subset of
the more general Information Systems. MIS are
considered to be information systems which
provides information specifically for managing an
organization generally at a tactical or middle
management level. Information Systems would be a
more general term that can include other systems
(e.g. group communication systems). We will
generally follow this convention.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Types of Information Systems
Transaction Processing Systems (TPS).
Management Information Systems (MIS).
Decision Support Systems (DSS).
Expert Systems (ES).
Executive Information Systems (EIS).
Office Automation Systems (including document
management systems).
GroupWare, Computer-Supported Cooperative
Work (CSCW), and other communication systems.
and much more ….
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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The Early History of IS with other
disciplines
IS and Managerial Accounting
IS and Operations Research
IS and Management and Organization Theory
IS and Computer Science
IS and Cognitive Psychology
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Information Systems vs. Computer
Science
Computer Science has its concentration in the study
of algorithms, computation, software, and data
structures.
Information Systems is an extension of management
and organization theory that applies technical
capabilities and solutions initially developed by
computer science, to tasks in organizations.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Information Technology
Information Technology (IT) sometimes refers to
the technology component of an information
system.
However, the concept is often used by many to
describe the collection of all information systems in
organization.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Putting Things in Context - I
Information Technology - the hardware, software,
and networks that make Information Systems
possible.
Information System - a system that uses
information technology to capture, transmit, store,
retrieve, manipulate, and display information.
Business process - a related group of steps or
activities that use people, information, and other
resources, to create value for internal or external
customers.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Putting Things in Context - II
Firm (or organization) - consists of a large number
of interdependent business processes that work
together to generate products of services in a
business environment.
Business environment - includes the firm and
everything else that affects its success, such as
competitors, suppliers, customers, regulatory
agencies, and demographic, social, and economic
conditions.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Frameworks for Understanding IS
A framework is a brief set of ideas for organizing a
thought process about a particular type of thing or
situation. Any useful framework helps make sense
of the world’s complexity by identifying topics that
should be considered and showing how these topics
are related.
We will consider two such frameworks:
• The Gorry Scott-Morton Framework for MIS
• The Work-Centered Analysis (WCA)
Framework by Alter.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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The Gorry and Scott-Morton
Framework for Management
Information Systems
Note: This framework was first discussed in 1971. The
term Management Information Systems refers to the broad
category we now refer to simply as Information Systems.
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The Gorry and Scott-Morton
Framework for MIS
At the time, (1971), the framework provided a
much needed perspective on the role of MIS in
organizations.
It is more a framework on managerial activities
and a way of looking at decisions in an
organizations. The framework helps us
understand the role of MIS in organizations.
Focuses on the nature and characteristics of
managerial decisions made at different levels in an
organization.
Also Focuses on the characteristics of information
that pertains to the decisions made at these levels.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Structural Outline
Combines the works of Robert Anthony and
Herbert Simon
Robert Anthony’s taxonomy for Managerial
Activity (1965).
Herbert Simon’s Categorization of Decision Types
(1960).
The works of Anthony and Simon are important
foundations of Organizational Theory today.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Robert Anthony’s Taxonomy for
Managerial Activity
You can divide the entire management hierarchy
along the following levels:
• Operations Control
• Management Control
• Strategic Planning
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Anthony’s
Management
Hierarchy
Strategic
Planning
Management Control
Operational Control
Organizational Members
,
Operational Control
concerned with carrying out the tasks necessary
and that need to be performed
lower level of the organizational hierarchy
performed by supervisors of small work units
concerned with planning and control of short-term
(a week to six months) budgets and schedules.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Management Control/Tactical
Management
concerned with the utilization and management of
resources to achieve organizational objectives.
concerned with effective and efficient performance.
Performed by middle managers (e.g. department
heads, plant managers).
set out for one to three years.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Strategic Planning Level
focuses on decisions on the objectives for the
organization as a whole and also on the way to
achieving them
typically involves a small number of high level
people
Carried out by top corporate executives and
corporate boards responsible for setting and
monitoring long-term directions for the
organization three or more years into the future
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Information Requirements
Gorry and Scott Morton were concerned with the
information requirements at the these three levels
They noted that the requirements for information
at these levels were very different.
The next slide shows these differing requirements
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Information Requirements by
Management Level
Characteristics
of Information
Operational
Control
Source
Largely Internal
Scope
Well defined,
narrow
Detailed
Level of
Aggregation
Time Horizon
Management
Control
Strategic
Planning
Internal and
Largely External
Very wide
Aggregate
Historical
Future
Currency
Highly current
Required
Accuracy
Frequency of Use
High
Need not be up to
the minute
Lower, Estimates
are acceptable
Infrequent, ad-hoc
Very frequent
Simon’s Categorization
concerned with the manner in which humans solve
problems in an organization
differentiated between programmed and
nonprogrammed decisions
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Simon’s Programmed Decisions
they are repetitive and routine
follow a preset definite procedure each time they
occur
programmable is a better concept
Gorry and Scott Morton call it structured
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Simon’s Nonprogrammed
Decisions
they are novel, unstructured
no cut-and-dried method for handling the problem
exists
calls for intelligent, adaptive, problem-oriented
action
nonprogrammable is a better concept
Gorry and Scott Morton call it unstructured
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Structured vs. Unstructured
They are not bipolar concepts
decisions range in a continuum from structured to
unstructured ..…
In between you might have decisions called semistructured.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Combined = A Framework
Gorry and Scott Morton combined the two
concepts of Simon’s Decision Making with
Anthony’s Decision Making Levels and provide the
following Framework for Decision-Making
(See next slide)
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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A FRAMEWORK FOR DECISION MAKING
Type of
Decision/Task
Management
Control
Strategic Planning
Structured
1
Inventory reordering
2
Budget Analysis,
short-term forecasting,
Make or Buy Analysis
3
Plant Location,
Financial
Management
(investment),
Distribution Systems.
Semistructured
4
Bond trading,
Production Scheduling
5
Credit Evaluation,
Budget Preparation,
Plant Layout, Project
Scheduling, Reward
Systems Design
7
Selecting a Cover for a
Magazine, Approving
Loans, Buying Software
8
Negotiating, Recruiting
Executives, Lobbying
6
Building New Plant,
Mergers &
Acquisitions, New
Product Planning,
Compensation
Planning, Quality
Assurance Planning
9
R & D Planning,
New Technology
Development, Social
Responsibility
Planning
Unstructured
Operational
Control
Support Needed
Clerical, MIS, OR
Models, Transaction
Processing Systems
Decision Support
Systems
Human Intuition,
Expert Systems,
Executive Support Systems
A FRAMEWORK FOR DECISION MAKING
Type of
Decision/Task
Structured
Semi-structured
Unstructured
Support Needed
Operational Control
Management
Control
Strategic Planning
1
Inventory reordering
2
Budget Analysis,
short-term
forecasting, Make
or Buy Analysis
3
Plant Location,
Financial
Management
(investment),
Distribution
Systems.
4
Bond trading, Production
Scheduling
5
Credit Evaluation,
Budget
Preparation, Plant
Layout, Project
Scheduling,
Reward Systems
Design
7
Selecting a Cover for a
Magazine, Approving
Loans, Buying Software
8
Negotiating,
Recruiting
Executives,
Lobbying
6
Building New
Plant, Mergers &
Acquisitions, New
Product Planning,
Compensation
Planning, Quality
Assurance
Planning
9
R & D Planning,
New Technology
Development,
Social
Responsibility
Planning
MIS
Management Science
OR Models
Management
Science
DSS,
EIS, ES
EIS,
Neural Networks,
Executive Mental
Models
Support Needed
Clerical, MIS, OR
Models, Transaction
Processing Systems
Decision Support Systems
Human Intuition,
Expert Systems,
Executive
Information/Support
Systems
Framework Comments
The original framework has been augmented with
the right-most column and bottom row showing
some typical support systems available. These are
meant be be illustrative and not inclusive.
The framework shows the need for information
systems to support all cells.
The figure as well as the characteristics of systems
shows that the information requirements vary
considerably from among management levels in an
organization.
The information requirements are also diverse.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Implications: Total MIS is a myth
Gorry and Scott Morton showed that the prevalent
concept (at that time, 1971) of a “totally-integratedmanagement-information-system” was a myth.
Since we can not have a single “total MIS”, we
need the concept of what David and Olsen called a
federation of integrated information systems.
Today technology provides appropriate tools which
gives the appearance of information being totally
integrated.
This is the basic reasoning for the separation of
today’s data warehouses from systems to support
current operations.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Information Systems for
Operational Control
Operational Control: process of ensuring
operational activities are carried out effectively and
efficiently.
Processing support:
• Transaction processing
• Report processing
• Inquiry processing
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Information Systems for
Management Control
Management Control: Information that is required
by managers of departments, profit centers, etc. to
measure performance, decide on control actions,
formulate new decision rules to be applied by the
operational personnel and allocate resources.
Processing support:
• Planning and budget models to assist managers in finding
problems and preparing plans and budgets.
• Variance reporting programs; Exception Reports
• Problem analysis models
• Decision models to analyze a problem situation and provide
solutions
• Inquiry models to assist in responding to queries.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Information Systems for Strategic
Planning
Systems that are designed to help managers
perform the strategic planning function
This function has the responsibility of developing
strategies to achieve objectives and goals
Such systems might have to provide information
on:
•
•
•
•
economic outlook
political environment
competitive environment
impact analysis of alternative strategies, etc.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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A Short Sidebar….
Transaction Processing Systems
vs.
Management Information Systems
presented now since this is an important
distinction, so let’s get it right early!
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Transaction Processing Systems
A transaction is an elementary activity conducted
during business operations (e.g. merchandise sale).
Earliest Information Systems in organizations.
Support the monitoring, collection, storage,
processing, and dissemination of the organization’s
basic business transactions.
Provides backbone for many other applications
involving other support systems.
On-line systems called OLTP vs. batch
Routine, repetitive tasks.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Business Transactions in a Factory
Payroll: employee time cards, employee pay and
deductions, payroll checks.
Purchasing: purchase orders, deliveries, payments
(accounts payable)
Sales: sales records, invoices and billing, accounts
receivable, sales returns, shipping
Manufacturing: production reports, quality-control
reports
Finance and Accounting: financial statements, tax
records, expense accounts
Inventory management: materials usage, inventory
levels
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Transaction Processing Systems - 3
In addition to processing the routine critical
organizational activities, transaction processing
systems also provide the source data for many
other type of information systems used at the
tactical and strategic levels in the organization.
Recall that tactical and strategic levels use
aggregated data, over multiple time periods. TPS
are often the source of this information. TPS often
populate data warehouses which provide on-line
analytical processing (OLAP).
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TPS Data Entry Screen
Management Information Systems
Systems that convert TPS data into information for
monitoring performance and managing an
organization.
The MIS provides periodic information to
functional (operational) and mid-level (tactical)
managers on routine matters such as operational
efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity.
Example: An HRIS can provide the HR manager
with percentages of people who are on vacation or
call in sick. It can compare actual to forecasted
values, or to an industry average.
MIS are used for planning, monitoring, and
control.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Sample MIS Management Report
The Work Centered Analysis (WCA)
Framework
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The Work Centered Analysis
(WCA) Framework
The Work-Centered Analysis (WCA) is a
framework for thinking about business processes
and the information systems that support them. It
focuses on the work being done.
Work is the application of human and physical
resources such as people, equipment, time, effort,
and money to generate outputs used by internal or
external customers.
It ideas from several prominent management
theories including Total Quality Management,
business process reengineering, and systems theory.
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Alter’s (1995) Definition of an
Information System
An information system is a system that uses
information technology to capture, transmit, store,
retrieve, manipulate, or display information that is
used in one or more business processes.
A business process is a related group of steps or
activities that use people, information, and other
resources to create value for internal or external
customers. Business Processes consist of steps
related in time and place, have a beginning and
end, and have inputs and outputs.
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
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Examples of Information Systems
Supporting Business Processes
Bar-code scanners and computers identify items
sold and calculate the bill (Performing customer
checkout).
Airline reservation system keeps track of flights
and accepts reservations for customers (making
airline reservations).
System that identifies people by scanning and
analyzing voice prints (preventing unauthorized
access to restricted areas).
Word processing system for typing and revising
book chapters (Writing a book).
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Elements of the Work-Centered
Analysis (WCA) Framework:
The internal or external customers of the business
process
The products (or services) generated by the
business process.
The steps in the business process.
The participants in the business process.
The information the business process uses or
creates.
The technology the business process uses.
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The WCA Framework
CUSTOMERS
PRODUCTS
BUSINESS PROCESS
PARTICIPANTS
INFORMATION
CIS 465 Fall ‘99 - IS Overview
TECHNOLOGY
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The WCA Framework
The WCA framework implies that although people
sometimes speak of computers as systems, the
system business professionals should focus on is the
system performing the work.
The system performing the work is much broader
than the technology. It includes the business
processes, the participants, any information used,
and any technology used.
The links are two-way, implying that the elements
should be in balance. Also, changes in one place
may result in changes in other elements.
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