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ERIC Number: EJ930375
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 64
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1547-9714
Information Orientation, Information Technology Governance, and Information Technology Service Management: A Multi-Level Approach for Teaching the MBA Core Information Systems Course
Beachboard, John; Aytes, Kregg
Journal of Information Technology Education, v10 p139-160 2011
Core MBA IT courses have tended to be survey courses that cover important topics but often do not sufficiently engage students. The result is that many top-ranked MBA programs have not found such courses useful enough to include in their core MBA requirements. In this paper, we present a design of an MBA course emphasizing information technology and intending to be a valuable part of a core MBA program. The primary audience for this course is the general MBA student, and the primary teaching objectives of the course are for students to (1) recognize that IT plays a vital role in the functioning of most modern organizations, (2) recognize that the effective application of IT requires the active engagement of non-IT as well as IT management, and (3) acquire the tools and concepts necessary for non-IT managers to participate in the effective management of an enterprise's IT resources. The basic framework by which we accomplish these objectives conceptualizes IT management into three domains of activity: executive-level IT governance, enterprise-level IT governance/management, and functional-level IT governance/management. Executive-level IT governance issues reside at the board and executive level and include parameters involving the strategic application of IT. Enterprise-level IT management/governance includes those activities that are best accomplished through joint business and IT management participation, such as the development of IT service level agreements. These two areas are most emphasized in the course. Functional-level IT management refers to those activities that should be solely the responsibility of IT managers. This framework provides a means for parsing out IT management responsibilities with the intent of emphasizing that some IT management activities require the involvement of non-IT managers. As a means for helping students understand what an enterprise needs to do well to use IT to support its goals, we applied the Information Orientation framework (Marchand, Kettinger, & Rollins, 2001). This framework considers how well organizations (1) collect, process and maintain their information (information management practices), (2) share information and use it to support decision making, and (3) employ specific IT management practices. These three domains comprise an organization's "information orientation maturity," which is posited to relate to an organization's success. To provide explicit implementation guidance, we delve more deeply into specific actions that managers can take to raise their enterprise's information orientation by synthesizing the topics of IT governance and enterprise architecture as presented by a number of prominent authors. Included at this level are such things as executive-level IT steering committees, the management of IT investments, and the laws, industry standards, and legal and ethical issues involved in enterprise level IT decisions. We then take the discussion down to the next level and use the concepts of IT service management to convey how managers can align IT services with business needs. The IT Services Management (ITSM) literature (1) emphasizes the design of IT services rather than the specification of business applications and technology, and (2) makes explicit the linkage between IT services and the business processes they are intended to support. An IT service orientation helps make the relationship between IT investment and business value more explicit and offers a vocabulary more easily understood by non-IT management, thus helping to improve communication between IT and the activities it supports. Finally, to help solidify students' conceptual understanding, the course includes an experiential learning component. We assign a semester-long project where student teams consult with area businesses (or not-for-profit organizations). The assignment calls for the structured application of one of the conceptual frameworks introduced in the course. The students administer structured surveys, perform open-ended interviews, conduct participant observation, and analyze their findings, providing oral and written reports to the client and to the class. We find that students not only benefit from their own efforts but vicariously through the sharing and comparing of experiences with other groups. MBA students have generally found this course design useful. Pre- and post-course survey data indicate that students better appreciate the roles that non-IT managers play in the effective application of IT resources as a result of the course. (Contains 1 table, 5 figures, and 1 footnote.)
Informing Science Institute. 131 Brookhill Court, Santa Rosa, CA 95409. Tel: 707-537-2211; Fax: 480-247-5724; Web site: http://JITE.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A