Organizations as Information Processing Systems

Meeting Information:

Day: Monday
Time: 4:00 – 6:50 PM
Place: Room 211


Name: Prof. Samir Chatterjee
Office: ACB 217
Office Hours: Thursday 2:45-3:45 PM or after class and by appointment
Office Phone: (909) 607-4651

Course Overview

The goal of the course is to introduce students to the major concepts and role of information technology (IT) in the modern organization. Today, IT provides firms and managers with strategic advantage in a competitive and dynamic market. The course takes a practical and managerial approach by bringing in basic terminology, new technologies, communication networks and the Internet, and showing how these become a critical success factor in the operation of companies in the new millennium.

Course Objective:

At the completion of this course, the student should

  • Have a sophisticated awareness of the rich variety of managerial issues raised by information systems and understand the paradigm shift as we move rapidly into the information age, including an understanding of the growing importance of electronic commerce in business.
  • Describe and distinguish among the wide array of information technologies that are available for supporting individuals, groups, and organizations.
  • Identify, describe, and evaluate the role of information technology in relations to the organization’s business and competitive strategies.
  • Articulate trends in information technology and their business implications.
  • Understand the choices that are available in developing or acquiring systems.

Course Requirements:

  1. Regular attendance and active participation in class.
  2. Preparation of reading and questions assigned to class.
  3. Prepare and present the Advances in IT project (done in groups)
  4. Prepare and submit the IT article review (done in groups).
  5. Complete all group projects
  6. Take mid-term and final exams.


Review questions, case studies, participation 15%
Midterm Exam 20%
Final Exam 25%
Advances in IT presentation (Group Project) 20%
I/T Case Review (Group Project) 10%
Group projects, software exercises 10%
 Total 100%

Text and Readings:

Kenneth C. Laudon, Jane P. Laudon, “Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm”, 7th edition, 2002, Prentice Hall Inc., ISBN 0-13-033066-3.

Schedule (may be modified as required):






Sep 9 Overview of Course.

Organizations and IT; Why IS?

Ch. 1 RQ: 1, 2,3, 9, 14; GE Case Study
16th Information Systems in the Enterprise Ch. 2; RQ: 1, 3, 5, 10, 11;
23rd Strategic Information Systems; Organizations & IS Ch. 3; RQ: 2, 3, 4, 12; Rand McNally Case
30th Electronic Commerce & E-Business Ch 4; RQ: 1, 2, 3, 8, 13; Part 1 project (pg 138)
Oct 7 Managing Hardware & Software assets Ch 5 & 6; RQ: 4, 5, 13, 16RQ: 2, 3, 13, 14, 15, 17
14th Managing Data Ch 7; RQ: 3, 7, 12, 14, 15; Ford & Firestone Case
21st Mid-term Exam; Telecommunications Ch 8; RQ: 1, 3, 4, 8, 14
28th Networks & Internet Ch 8, 9; RQ: 5, 8, 9, 10; GM case
Nov 4st Systems Development & Analysis Ch 10; RQ:2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10
11th Business Value & IT economics Ch 11; RQ: 1, 3, 8, 11; Hershey case
18th Knowledge Management Ch 12; RQ: 1, 2, 9, 10, 13, 17; Hill & Knowlton case
25th Decision Support Systems Ch 13; RQ: 2, 3, 6, 9
Dec 2nd IS Security & Control Ch 14; RQ: 2, 8, 9, 11
9th Ethical & Social Impact of Information Systems; Course Review Ch 15;


Class Assignments, Participation:

On the days when a discussion question or a mini-case discussion is scheduled, preparation of the case and discussion is essential. The case method of teaching is only effective when participants have analyzed the case and are prepared to contribute to the class discussion. Students will be “cold called” in order to open the case discussion.

Both the quantity of comments (i.e. how many times a student speaks) and, more importantly, the quality of the comments will be taken into account. The quality of your comments will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Does the comment represent a solid analysis of a case or just a reiteration of case facts?
  • Does the comment address the question currently on the floor, or is it way off the mark?
  • Does the comment demonstrate an ability to listen to and build from what others have said?
  • Is the point made concisely, or is it buried in a long, rambling, diatribe?
  • Does the comment move the discussion to an important area or does it just rephrase what has already been said?
  • If “cold called,” was the student prepared?

The selected student will also hand in a 1-page write-up related to the discussion question or case review.

Group Projects:

The class will organize itself into groups, with each group consisting of three students.

We will need groups to do the following projects:

  • Software assignment projects
  • The I/T case review
  • Advances in IT Presentation

The same grade will be accorded to each group members. A lower grade can be assigned to a group member if the majority of group indicates (which must be done before submitting the work for grading) that this member has been “free-riding” and not contributing to the group’s work. Such input must be submitted as a peer review along with the submission of the work. Any such input after the work is submitted will NOT be entertained.

I/T Case Review

Students are to select and review a topic of interest in the IT area. A typed summary of the topic (2 pages) will be prepared and presented to the class according to a set timetable. Topics will be either selected by the group or assigned by the instructor, based on the course schedule. Each group will then choose the article as desired. Articles must be chosen from magazines, journals, or trade press publications that have publication date of year 2000 and beyond. Some of the more popular IS publications are:

Communications of the ACM,

Harvard Business Review,

Sloan Management Review,

PC Week,


Information Week,


Business Week


The LA Times Publishes “The Cutting Edge” regularly in its Business section. The Wall Street Journal is another source to consult. You might also consult the reference librarians or browse the textbook “References and Bibliography” sections for other similar publications. Then your group prepares a two-page document that summarizes the article, and describes issues in the article that are relevant to the related topics being addressed in the course syllabus. You may be asked to present your write-up in class.

Advances in I/T Presentation

IT is changing at a rapid pace. Keeping abreast of latest technical and management trends is difficult but needed. In this project, each group will select and present a relevant topic that is current and emerging. The purpose of this assignment is

  • for you to document your reading of articles relevant to the course syllabus.
  • To demonstrate your comprehension of recent advances in I/T and how they affect organizations
  • To test your ability to present somewhat complex materials to general audiences.


Students will be required to present their topic. The format of the presentation will be a maximum of 15 PowerPoint slides.  Your presentation will, usually, describe the major issues described in the article. Following a brief introduction, highlight and discuss the important facts and issues presented in the article. If necessary, even quote from it to further emphasize important issues. When alternatives are discussed, make sure to bring your own ideas. In addition to presenting the facts and your thoughts, try to encourage and lead a class discussion on debated issues. Try to surprise your classmates with additional information that will contribute to their knowledge and increase their familiarity with the relevant issues. When wrapping up the presentation, make sure you highlight again the major issues and problems, as well as the proposed solutions and recommendations. Each group will have 20-25 mins to present including Q/A.