MIS 5108: Information Technology Policy, Strategy and Management

noodleproudSoftware and s/w Development

Oct 29, 2013 (3 years and 7 months ago)

93 views

MIS 5108: Information Technology Policy, Strategy and Management


Fall
2010

Mondays

6:00


8:30 pm


Professor
Frank Azuola

E
-
mail:
f@
temple.edu

Phone: +1.215.204.
5093

Office Hours: By Appointment


Course Background


Organizations are using information technology in order to shift the competitive dynamics that they
face. In this course, we learn how organizations can create and respond to new competitive
dynamics by using information technology. We will particularly f
ocus on the ways in which
organizations
innovate with

various forms of information technology. We learn analytical
frameworks that can be used to sensitize the situations and formulate appropriate strategic actions
and responses using information technolo
gy. We will use case studies, case research,
and
field
research in order to achieve our learning goals.


Broadly speaking, we will cover three big themes.
First, information technology has radically
reduced the communication cost for remote collaboration

and coordination, which has led to the
emergence of new organizing structures that transcend the traditional organizational boundaries
and space limitations. Open innovation, for example, allows organizations to tap into a much
broader source of new ideas

by democratizing the innovation process and taking advantage of
reduced communication cost and access to shared digital resources. By overcoming constraints on
communication and coordination, the use of digital technology has enabled organizations to
radi
cally decentralize the way they manage innovation across networks of increasingly
heterogeneous actors. Examples of such networked, distributed innovation abound: from software
engineering companies that work with the global hacker community to improve th
eir software, to
manufacturing companies sourcing innovation from customers and suppliers, to mass media
companies drawing on digital content created by users. We will explore and discuss strategic
implications of this type of information technology applic
ations.


Second, change in the innovation process is also taking place due to digital convergence. The
integration and embedding of digital technologies into non
-
digital artifacts is opening up vast new
avenues for radical innovation. Integration of digita
l technologies, often in the form of computing,
memory and transmission capability, not only allows the products and services to become
“smarter”, but also potentially transform the way the products are consumed and experienced. The
embedding of global po
sition systems (GPS) chips and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags
into ordinary products, for example, enable the production of streams of digital data that can be
combined with other forms of digital information


such as digital map on Google Ear
th or social
networks on
Facebook.
com. Therefore, the notion of digital convergence that is often used to
describe the bundling of phone, internet, mobile and TV services need to be expanded to all forms
of artifact design, process change and experience cr
eation in order to theorize about these kinds of
“radical” digital innovations. Radical digital convergence blurs the boundaries across industries and
commerce, as exemplified by the collaboration between Apple and Nike when they introduced Nike
shoes that

interact with iPod. Here, organizations are confronted with heterogeneous knowledge
resources that are often embedded in different pockets of the organizational hierarchy.
We will
explore strategic implications of digitization of products and services, di
scuss how firms can re
-
align its value network in order to maximize the disruptive potential of this type of strategic
innovations.

Third, the advances in
information

technologies and software platforms now allow organizations to
“digitize” multiple aspec
ts of work processes that were previously supported by analogue tools.
Digitized work practices can be modularized, integrated, and reconfigured. In the construction
industry, for example, Building Information Management (BIM) systems have started to lever
age
new kinds of digital information infrastructures that integrate activities related to design,
budgeting, scheduling, material management and human resources. Again, we see the challenge of
managing heterogeneity across organizational borders as a resul
t of digital innovation.
We will
discuss how information technology can allow firms to re
-
design the organization in order to gain
sustainable competitive advantage.

Course Conduct



Only in education, never in the life of the farmer, sailor, merchant,
physician, or laboratory
experiment, does knowledge mean primarily a store of information aloof from doing

--

John
Dewey, 1919.


This course heavily relies on class discussion around real business cases. These business cases bring
the “real world” into
our learning processes. These cases represent the involved companies’ efforts to
apply information technology to enhance their competitive advantage.

Although learning specific “technical” skills of “how to” use various computer programs and
applications

is important, this course focuses on the strategic and managerial applications of those
tools for the following three important reasons. First, information technology changes so fast that
your knowledge of a tool will be obsolete by the time you finish y
our MBA program. Thus, it is
more important to develop your own paradigm of information technology that will allow you to
analyze different information technologies as they come on your radar screen. If you already have
such a paradigm, this course will
challenge your existing paradigm with an aim to expand and
strengthen it. If you don’t have one already, this course will help you build one. Second, this course
is not intended for IT technical specialists, since it is an introduction course. Instead,
this course is
intended for general managers who, in most cases, would not involve in “technical” development
works. For those who aspired to be an IT specialist, this course will provide a perspective of the
other side. Understanding the needs and conce
rns of general managers would allow you to design
and build systems that are more effective. Third, personal computers and the Internet have
penetrated into our daily lives significantly to the extent that it is safe to assume most MBA
students have basic

computing skills for their knowledge work. If you feel this assumption is not
applicable to you, please come to see me. I will provide necessary help for you.

Discussion pedagogy can be very effective when educational objectives focus on qualities of mi
nd
(curiosity, judgment, wisdom), qualities of person (character, sensitivity, integrity, responsibility),
and the ability to apply general concepts and knowledge to specific situations. The issues around
the use of information technology in organizations

do not present themselves in a neatly packaged
form with a clear
-
cut boundary. Nor, they come with a well
-
defined set of decision criteria. Also,
the decisions often involve difficult choices to be made which requires character, sensitivity, and
respons
ibility. After all, we are not just dealing with technology. We are dealing with people and
organizations.

Discussion pedagogy also puts students in an active learning mode, challenges them to accept
substantial responsibility for their own education, and gives them first
-
hand appreciation of, and
experience with, the application of knowledge to practice. Thro
ugh this, students are encouraged
to use their own knowledge and experiences to build, test, and modify their own management
theories through dialogues with the instructor and fellow students


Required Readings



Some of the reading material
s are

availabl
e for free
and will be posted in Blackboard.

However, the
reading
materials
published by the

Harvard Business Press are copyright protected materials
and
need to be purchased
.
To provide you with easy access to these materials at a reduced cost
,

I have
cre
ated a custom course web site on HBR On
-
line at
:


http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/access/6684998



You
must

first create your own user account at the site and purchase the materials directly from
the web site. In the course schedule

below
, these materials are marked with a dou
ble asterisk.


Grading

Individual Work

Class
Attendance &
Participation
:


25
%

Case Ana
lysis
:





25
%



Small Group Work

Case Research
:





20%

Technology Briefing:




10%

Field Research Project
:



20%


Final letter grades are
not

determined according to a “curve” that specifies in advance the
proportion of people to receive each grade. Instead, letter grades are determined according to the
percentage of possible credit achieved by each student, computed by adding together scores
for
individual grading components multiplied by their percentage indicated above. This “criterion
-
based” grading is done to promote a cooperative climate in which assisting one’s classmates and/or
studying in groups, which I strongly encourage, does not a
dversely affect one’s own letter grade.
The course is graded using the letter grades A
-
F. Those earning 90% or more of the available credit
will receive an A. Those earning 80% or more will receive a B. Those earning 70% or more will
receive a C. Those e
arning 60% or more will receive a D. An incomplete will be given only for cases
in which the student is unable to complete some parts of the course requirements due to verified
illness or family emergencies, and must be completed within one academic semest
er to prevent the
grade from being automatically converted to an F.

The grade cutoff points may be adjusted downward, thereby raising student grades, if the final
distribution of grades is unfavorably low.

Think of this as removing statistical bias, and N
OT as a
curve.

Class participation
: The course will be conducted primarily as a
dicussion
-
based class. It means
that students are expected to
attend class and
participate in the discussion and contributing to the
process of constructing knowledge. The cl
ass participation grade will reflect my judgment of the
quality and quantity of students' contribution during class sessions over the course of the semester.
Much research has found participative and active learning to be highly effective in terms of stud
ent
learning and retention. There are few assigned readings for each class. You are expected to study
the assigned course readings for a given day
before

coming to class. Students should be prepared
to be called upon to discuss issues covered in the assi
gned readings.

Criteria for class participation credit include attendance, punctuality, level of preparation,
professionalism, answering questions, discussing readings, and contributing to group activities.
Tardiness disrupts the flow of class activitie
s and often leads to having to repeat announcements or
instructions. Entering and leaving the room during the class similarly distracts both students and
instructors and conveys a disregard for the material being discussed. You should display your
name c
ards throughout the semester to enhance interaction. I encourage you to engage in critical
thinking, to challenge ideas without showing disrespect for others’ ideas. Please use judgment
when raising issues in class


do not waste the class’s time on a pe
rsonal matter


instead see me
one
-
on
-
one. Effective participation has much more to do with the quality than with the quantity of
your interaction.
In other words, those who attempt to dominate air time for its own sake without
contributing to the advanc
ement of the discussion will

not

be rewarded for it.

If a student is unable to attend a class session, it is the student's responsibility to acquire the class
notes, assignments, announcements, etc. from a classmate. At the end of the semester, I will as
k you
to submit your self
-
evaluation of your class participation. You will be asked to evaluate your own
contributions compared to others in the class and the most ideal participation level on a scale of 1
-
10. You will be asked to provide a short narrative

justifying your self
-
evaluation. I will adjust the
self
-
evaluation score for your participation based on my own evaluation of your participation.

Case analyses

During the semester, you

are expected
to write
TWO
case analyses of your own choice
. By the
sec
ond class,

from the list of cases that we’ll be covering in the class (see below),
you need
to
provide me

via e
-
mail

a list of 5 of those cases sorted out top down by highest priority. I will then
assign each of you the cases you’ll be working on. No case should be assigned to more than two
students registered for the class.


Your written case analyses will accou
nt for 10%
each
toward the final course grade.
An additional
5% will be given for the presentation of at least one of the cases in class.


For each case, I have provided few discussion questions. Pick one question and respond to it.
Each
case analysi
s should not exceed one single
-
spaced page with 11 points Times Roman and one
-
inch
margin all around. There should NOT be a separate cover page. Instead, your name and the section
number should be in the heading of the document on the top
-
right corner.

A c
ase analysis should be
submitted via e
-
mail with a file attachment at least by 12 noon on the day before the case is
discussed in the class. Late submissions will not be graded (unless excused by me). The file should
be in Microsoft Word or compatible.


There is no one particular style for a good case analysis. But, there are few things that I am looking
for.

1.

You need to make an effort to be specific to the facts and problems of the case. Many times,
I found that case analyses are full of “general” obs
ervations about information technology
that can be made to virtually any companies. Your analyses, observations, and suggestions
should be specifically tied to the facts and problems presented in the case.

2.

At the same time, you need to strive to make a
list of more general lessons learned from the
case that can be drawn from the specific situation presented in the case. Once you analyze a
case, you must be able to talk about few specific things that have broad applications beyond
the immediate case.

3.

Yo
u need to provide a balanced perspective in analyzing the case. That is, if you are making
a recommendation, you should be able to say why the company not only
should

but also
can

implement your recommendation. In doing that, you should recognize some of

the
important threats to the recommendation and identify reasons to believe that the company
can overcome those. Again, you should draw on specific facts and data as presented in the
case or from your own data about the case, which may not be presented i
n the case.

4.

I generally prefer depth to breadth in case analysis. Instead of touching upon several issues,
pick one issue from the case and deal with it in depth. Some students employ a “shot
-
gun”
approach, by mentioning few key words without showing muc
h effort to think about them
deeply. This approach will not be favorably graded.

5.

Finally, but the not the least, the quality of writing is important. You need to make your
points effectively within a very limited space with a clear and coherent logical s
tructure. I
have seen case analyses that looked as if students wrote them while they were shaving. At
your work, you will not have more than few paragraphs before the executives will throw
away your report into their trashcan.


Case Research:

The goal o
f the project is (a) to write a case study documenting the evolution of
strategic use of information technology by a company that is assigned to your team. In that case
study, your team should research how the firm
has evolved in its use of information tec
hnology
over the years and what is its current strategic focus in using information technology.

The two
companies

we will be discussing are

UPS and FedEx. The class will be divided into two groups that
focus on one of these two companies. The team should
use all publicly available information
including annual reports, company web site, press releases, published articles and case studies, and
any other forms of information in conducting the case study.


The
final case study

should include: (a) the histories

of the involved companies, (b) their current
status, (c) manifested strategies, and (d) the ways in which they exploit information technology to
implement their strategies.
It should follow the style of
the
Harvar
d Business School case studies
that you’l
l be reading in this course, which
should
end

with a clear set of questions
for future IT
strategy.


The report from the case research is due on
October 18
, 20
10
. The main body of the case study
should not exceed 10 single
-
space pages

(with one inch margin on all

sides in 11
-
points Times
Roman)
, with additional 8 pages for supporting materials (such as financial statement, charts, and
figures). The page limit will be strictly reinforced. Any report that exceeds the page limit will be
penalized. The quality of the writing will be also a part of the consideration for grading.


The case study will be posted on
Blackboard

and will be used for
a
case discussion during the week
of
November 1, 2010
.



Technology Briefing:

In teams of

two
peo
ple,

prepare a technology briefing.

Your presentation
should include a discussion of the technology or trend, a layman’s description of how it works (if
appropriate), an analysis of its potential value to organizations, and a discussion of its limitations,

costs, and so forth.
Your goal is to explore new technology trends and seek disruptive innovation
opportunities leveraging the technology. Your target audience is non
-
technical C
-
level business
executives. The goal is to gain further funding for a explora
tory experimental project.
Budget a
bout
20

minutes for the session, plus five minutes
for questions and discussion. Your presentation will
be evaluated
based on the
following criteria

by your peers
:


Content:


How well did you describe what it is?


How wel
l did you discuss how it works?


How well did you assess its value to organizations?


How well did you identify its limitations?


How well did you evaluate its future potential?


Presentation:


How convincing were you?


How well organized was the presentat
ion?


How well did you handle questions?


How interesting was the presentation?


At a later date, the professor will post a

list of suita
ble technologies for your talk

with the
appropriate instructions.


Field Research Project
: The class will be divided i
n groups of 4 or 5 students. Each team
will work
on a field research project. The project involves developing an IT strategy of a
real
-
world

company.

The idea is for each team to pinpoint a local (for profit

and preferably Fortune 500
) company
. F
or
possible target companies see
:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companies_based_in_the_Philadelphia_area


Selection of company

must be approved by the professor


. The team will

conduct broad research
that provide
s

the basic analysis on the competitive landscape of the industry, firm’s current
business and IT strategy, and opportunities with emerging technologies of the firm’s i
nterests.
This
research should include interviewing company insiders (hopefully C
-
level executives).
Based on
that, the team needs to make specific strategic and technical recommendations for future IT
initiatives. The final report should not exceed 10 sin
gle
-
space pages (with one
-
inch margin on all
sides in 11
-
pint Times Roman) and an executive summary (no longer than 2 pages), with
supporting materials not to exceed 8 pages. The page length will be strictly reinforced. The final
deliverable is due on the
last day of the class,
December 6, 2008.

The teams

are encouraged to
invite the c
lient companies to the final presentation and participate in the Q&A and the final
grading.





Tentative Schedule


Week 1:
August 30


Course Introduction


Week 2: Sept 6

No

class


Labor day


Week 3: September 13

Topics:
Innovation with IT


Case:

Nokia’s Innovation Strategy




Nokia
’ evolution, The dynamics of Strategic Agility: Nokia’s Rollercoaster
E
xperience (READ
only pp. 98


108)**



http://opensource.nokia.com/

--

Currently unavailable (see
http://research.nokia.com/opensource)



Nokia makes Symbian open source (
http://www.bit
-
tech.net/news/2008/06/26/nokia
-
makes
-
symbian
-
open
-
source/1
)



Nokia’s Symbian Deal rewrites the smartphone rules
(
http://www.informationweek.com/news/software/open_source/showArticle.jhtml?articl
eID=208801196
)


Readings:




Pisano & Teece, “How to capture value from innovation: Shaping intellectual

property and
industry architecture” (CMR 380, 11/01/07).**



Christensen & Overdorf, “Meeting the challenge of disruptive change” (HBR March 2000)**




Discussion Questions:

1.

What are the key strategic challenges that Nokia face in 2008?

2.

Analyze Nokia’s open
strategy? What are the risks that are associated with it?

3.

What are the specific ways in which digital technology is challenging the conventional
wisdom in innovation management?


Week 4: September 20

Topic:

Emerging IT in the context of
digital

economy


Readings:




Azuola, et al. Mobile Banking *



Mand
viwalla, et al.
Wireless 1.0

*



Mand
viwalla, et al.
Social Computing
*



The Future of
the
Web

-

http://www.no
upe.com/trends/the
-
future
-
of
-
the
-
web
-
where
-
will
-
we
-
be
-
in
-
five
-
years.html


Discussion Questions:

1.

Select an industry
that you are familiar with.
Discuss how some of the emerging
technologies mentioned in the assigned readings are challenging the fundamental
assumptions held for the industry.

2.

Identify key challenges in implementing your ideas.

Week 5: September 27

Topic: IT infrastructure and Competitive Advantage


Case:

Google’s Innovation Strategy



Reverse Engineer Google’s Innovation Engine (HBR R0804C2)
**


Readings:




Weill, Subramani, & Marianne,
Building IT infrastructure for Strategic Agility

(SMR, Fall
2002)
*



Service Oriented Architecture,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Service
-
orie
nted_architecture
.





Discussion Questions:

1.

Describe
Google’s

IT architecture. What are its key components and defining
characteristics? What are its potential weaknesses and threats for future growth of the
firm?

2.

What are the roles of
Google’s

IT architecture for its implementation of its
innovation
strategy?

3.

What is the core competency of
Google

and how is IT used to support it?


Week 6: October 4

Topic:

Transforming innovation process with digital technology


Case:

InnoCentive.com (A) (HBS C
ase 9
-
608
-
170)**


Readings:




Chesbrough, The new business logic of open innovation (HBR

Strategy & Innovation, March
2003)**

Discussion Questions:

1.

Describe the basic business model of InnoCentive.

2.

Compare and contrast the open innovation and closed
innovation.

3.

How can other firms apply its design principle in managing their own
innovation process?


Week 7: October 11

Topic:

Open Innovation and Transformation of Software Industry


Case:

MySQL Open Source Database in 2004

(
HBR
)
**


Readings:




West &
Gallgher, “Challenges of open innovation: the paradox of firm investment in open
-
source software”*


Discussion Questions:

1.

Describe MySQL’s primary competitive advantage and how sustainable are they?

2.

Describe MySQL’s innovation strategy and compare it with
other well
-
known open innovation
cases such as Linux.

3.

What are the options for MySQL moving forward?

What are the strategic risks for these
options?



Week 8: October 18

(Case Research Write
-
up Due Date)


Topic
:


Digital Opportunities of Innovations in
Pharmaceutical Industry


Case:

Globalization at Wyeth
**


Week 9: October 25


Topic:

Emergence of Mobile Media Industry



Cases:

iPod and iPhone




iPod vs. Cell Phone: A Mobile Music Revoution? (HBS Case 9
-
707
-
419)**



iPhone vs. Cell Phone (HBS Case 9
-
708
-
451)**


Readings:




Gawer & Cusumano, “How companies become platform leaders” (SMR, Winter

2008)*
*


Discussion Questions:

1.

How did iPod and iPhone challenged the existing music record industry’s business model?

2.

Apple’s

strategy is a closed model. Design a basic innovation and business model for open
innovations.

3.

Who should be the partners in forming an alternative open innovation network and what
will be the incentives for them?

4.

What are the key technological features t
hat will enable for the continuing expansion of the
mobile music entertainment industry?

5.

What is your suggestion for Apple’s strategy for iPhone mobile application store? Are there
strategic differences between mobile music and mobile application that migh
t affect Apple’s
strategy?


Week 10: November 1

Topic:

Digital Transformation of
AEC Industry



Readings:




Yoo, Boland, and Lyytinen (2008), Digital Transformation of the A
rchitecture,
E
ngineering,
and
C
onstruction (AEC)

Industry: An Innovation Perspective
(
http://www.aecbytes.com/viewpoint/2008/issue_36.html
)



Mortensen Construction, Benjamin D. Hall Interdisciplinary Research Building*


Discuss Question
s:

1.

What are the key emerging technologies that affect the AEC industry?

2.

How can firms in AEC industry take advantage of open innovations?

What are the main
differences and similarities between Frank Gehry and Mortensen?

3.

What are the technological features
that can further transform the AEC industry? What are
the strategic importance
s

of
digital representations

in AEC industry? Would it be equally
significant in other industries?

4.

What are the business models
for AEC firms in leveraging digital technologies?


Week 11
:
November 8


Case Studies

We will have a discussion on the UPS and FedEx case studies that you wrote.

Week 12
: November
15

Topic:

Transforming Automotive Industry


Case:




OnStar: Connecting to Customers Through Telematics (HBS Case
GS38
) **

Readings:



Chesbrough, “Why companies should have open business models” (SMR, Winter 2007)**


Discussion Questions:

1.

How does telematics service challenges the existing industry structure in automotive
industry? What are the weak links? Where can you gain th
e largest value?

2.

Compare the differences in the innovation strategies for telematics and OPND. How can GM
apply open innovation to take full advantage of emerging digital technology?

3.

If GM wants to apply open innovations, who should be attracted to the
network and what
should be the incentives for them?

4.

What are the strategic opportunities and risks involved in open innovations with digital
technology?


Week 13: November 22

Topic:

Technology Briefings Presentations (Must
email

PowerPoint slides

to

the
professor

by
noon on
Nov 12 at the latest)


Week 14
:
November 29


Topic:

Transforming the World


Case:

Living Labs



http://www.cdt.ltu.se/projectweb/4421cddc626cb/Index.html



http://www.livinglabs
-
europe.com/


Readings:




Prahalad & Hammond, “Serving the World’s Poor, Profitably” (HBR September 2002)
**



Christensen, Baumann, Ruggles & Sadtler, “Disruptive innovation for social chan
ge” (HBR,
December 2006)**




Discussion Questions:

1.

Describe the basic idea of living labs. Find similar initiatives elsewhere and compare them
with the Living Lab initiatives.

2.

How can Living Lab initiative be a response to call to innovate for the world’s

poor?

3.

How can one start a living lab in Philadelphia? What are the strategic opportunities and
risks? Who should be attracted to the network and what should be the incentives for them?



Week 1
5
: December 6

(Field Research Write
-
up Due Date)


Project
Presentations