The four sources can be found in two different fields. One is to use the information available with Sears itself, namely through the websites it has and through its press statements. This forms the first set and the second set is the books and periodicals that use the position and history of Sears as examples in discussing various aspects of management. The primary source is the company statements and they are numerous and deal with many branches and aspects of the company. The merger and the creation of Sears's holdings have brought changes in the perceptions and activities and this information are from the company information release, SCDigest's On-Target E-Magazine and the general press releases. The analysis of the Sears system can be done with the parameters that have been stated for a modern information system. Such a system ought to have better tracking functions, and other customer related operations like payments, credit card payments and cancellations or returns. Thus invoice processing and other accounting practices are also integrated. (Geocart, 2011)
Further there is data analysis and reporting, vendor management, customer databases processing and marketing analysis feasibility. Sears online and store front services have merged and this require customized configuration, with the inclusion of the possible services. This is also observed in the competitors. (Geocart, 2011) The delivery if affected through a multi-tier distribution channel would require additional software solutions. Some companies like the Open Text solutions for Sales have solutions that can consolidate the order information and also can be incorporated into the existing systems and Enterprise Resource Planning -- ERP systems and today it is possible to integrate the marketing, accounting, sales, tax and customer data all into one big package that could be used for management access and use from multiple angles. (OpenText Corporation, 2011) This angle can also be investigated by following these reference materials.
Other than these the books that refer to the issues are numerous, and vary from personnel management, marketing and the like. For example Rainer (2008) in 'Introduction to Information Systems' discusses the fact about the creation of Sears holdings and the general effects on the system administration and changes. The book discusses information technology -- IT and how it helps the functional aspects of the organization. The authors have used the Sears and its system as a case study the systems and the electronic aspects of the company and its online presence and other systems have been discussed. These two types of sources are used for understanding the company better. The changes came in the system after the merger. There was a merger in 2004 between Kmart and Sears and the discussion from the source points out the changes in the information systems that affected the supply chains, and the advent of the Sears Holdings creating the necessity to change the business environment and the delivery model to suit the competition with other giants like Wal-Mart. (Rainer, 2008)
At this juncture it is also pertinent to see some of the information that is useful with regards to the systems at Sears and how the Wal-Mart and its competitors have adjusted and it can be seen that Wal-Mart is now the world's largest retail company of the world. It has not only survived the competition but also managed to integrate a system that is unique and efficient. Looking at the strategy of Wal-Mart, it can be observed that as in any organization, human resource is of primary importance and in Wal-Mart the efficiency is kept to a high range partly by integrating the employees into the system in unique ways. For example the employees are designated as associates. Wal-Mart strives on three generic strategies consisting of "focus strategy, the differentiation strategy and overall cost leadership." (Articlesbase, 2009) Substitution reduces the demand for what a firm uniquely provides by shifting the demand elsewhere due to changes in technology. The threats of substitution can be subtle and unexpected like minimizing expenses through videoconferencing instead of air flights to long distance meetings with its managers of other stores, etc. Wal-Mart is having great network with almost over 7800 million associates and serves more than 100 million customers every year. (Articlesbase, 2009)
The data structure and the logistics systems of the Sears company is discussed in the reference Supply Chain Digest's On-Target E-Magazine which explains the available IT support, limitations in their current transportation management systems to build effective intelligence, tools, and limited bandwidth even within the transportation group itself to champion such a project. In Sears, the key design principle has the idea that "numbers should always be relative to something, not just stand alone. How does a given number compare to the plan, the previous year, the previous month. A number should always be put into context." (Supply Chain Digest Editorial Team, 2011)
Information on this account can be seen from the statements of Brad Fisher of Sears. While the analysis of the IT systems and its effects on the performance can be studied in this manner general references have to be resorted to if it is wished that the dynamism behind the change and growth is to be understood. For that the study of the management drivers are essential. To this end the books by various authors can be relied on. Thus the management drivers are structural drivers, technology drivers, and business strategy, based on knowledge-centric drivers, process-focused drivers and economic drivers. (Rainer, 2008)
Various managers of the organization are involved in one or more of these strategies and are affected by them. However it is not possible to say that all managers are affected by all these drivers. The chief managers are concerned more with the economic drivers while the marketing staffs are more involved with knowledge centered information. On the other hand the system that is already in place encourages the structure and authority centered information processing. There are layers of various method of information handling for which the drivers differ from person to person and the actual use they have for the information. Broadly speaking as with other firms, the knowledge drivers relate to this company starts with the problem of knowledge recognition failure that means only a very a few people are involved in the process followed by the process of knowledge hoarding and the inability to unlearn. (Alstete; Halpern, 2008)
In Mark E. Nissen, there is more reliance on the cloud commuting and data retrieval which can be called the codification method in part but it is not found in full because managers of the company especially at the executive levels rely on personal information over the staff network and the peers and colleagues at different stations. Thus along with the highly codified system there also coexist individualism and as of now it can be agreed that the technical environment and the institutional environment exist with the technical codification taking an upper hand, while resource dependency is based on the information, and the organization of response around the streams of information and the protocols of the management of the institutional environment depends upon personal perceptions of the manager. Thus the management strategy largely depends on the operating environment and the systems interior dynamics. (Steidlmeier, 1993)
Other reference materials that can be accessed and used refer to the daily activities of the Sears's holding groups and changes, and the resources include the analysis of Sears as a management paradigm. This takes into account the accounting and financial paradigms of the company as outlined by Cascio & Boudreau (2008) which shows the financial aspects of the system change. There are many other such works which can also provide specific information on the company and its systems and the general analysis of the management concepts.
The analysis of the Sears system can be done with the…