Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 13 Number 4 1997 pp. 167-192

Information Requirements of Turnaround Managers at the Beginning of Engagements

Fredenberger, William B, Lipp, Astrid, and Watson, Hugh J

ABSTRACT: Managers who specialize in reviving failing businesses were surveyed to determine the information, the characteristics of the information, and the availability of the information they require during the first stage of a turnaround assignment, when the financial crisis must be addressed. One hundred turnaround managers rated the importance and availability of seven types of reports (financial, working capital, cost, expense, personnel, asset, and market analyses) at the onset of their engagements. For each type of report, the turnaround managers also specified which levels of reporting, time horizons, reporting intervals, and sources of the information they consider important. Finally, they specified how each type of report is used during financial crises. Results indicate that not all information considered important by turnaround managers in financial crises is available when it is needed. The second major finding was that, for all seven types of analyses, turnaround managers prefer current information that is either by cost/profit centers or detailed, and for all but asset reports, a monthly reporting interval is preferred. Although they consider financial and working capital analyses most important, all seven types of reports are either directly or indirectly used to improve cash flows while a company is in a financial crisis. Because these analyses are not available, it appears that the former CEOs did not use the information that turnaround managers require.

Key words and phrases: financial crises, information attributes, information characteristics, management information needs, turnaround, turnaround managers