Information is viewed as what is produced from an IS.
- It is argued by some that information can never have negative value. Provide an argument for this claim. You need not be mathematical, but be clear.
- Evaluate the argument you produced in (a).
• If information always has positive value, does that mean that having more information always increases wealth or value for an organization?
• If information always has positive value, then one should always provide the most detailed information available to the IS user. Evaluate and discuss this claim.
IS366 – Lorne
BestMatch is an international recruitment company that helps companies (their clients) find employees who fit their needs. They have been in business for more than 20 years. They started out by manually matching paper resumes to the job descriptions provided by their clients. Although they still have people scanning resumes for their clients (their personalized, high quality service), current resumes and job descriptions are now electronically stored and can be searched for with a specifically designed search engine. On average, they have thousands of job descriptions and resumes in the database. Customers pay a fee to have BestMatch find good matches. Job seekers pay a fee to have their resume included in the database. Finding a good match is an iterative process.
Two years ago, BestMatch added a fully automated website where employers can post job descriptions and job seekers can post their resume for a small fee. This fee includes the ability to search the online database for potential matches. This database with online submitted resumes and job descriptions is separate from the internal one. The service has been an enormous success. They have more than 20 million resumes online at any given point, and over 15 million job descriptions. Intelligent job agents (software) help users find matches. Resumes and job descriptions are continuously being added and deleted. Resumes or job descriptions left unchanged for more than a year are automatically deleted.
BestMatch would like to get a better insight in its performance, strengths, and weaknesses over the years. Your job is to develop a data mart for this purpose.
- Describe what information you will include in your data mart and how you will go about it. Discuss potential difficulties and solutions.
- Discuss the design of your data mart and how this will provide answers to BestMatch’s questions.
For each part, make sure you give a structured answer and provide realistic examples. If you make assumptions, state them clearly.
IS364 – Lorne
- Discuss the risks associated with large-scale software development. Consider the risks associated with individual projects, as well as those associated with software development as an ongoing activity of the organization.
- What are the relative contributions of various system development methods (such as RAD or XP) and tools (such as CASE or a Developer Workbench) for mitigation of these risks?
- What are the potential contributions of various managerial initiatives (such as standards-based certification or systems auditing) for mitigation of them?
- Describe, in terms of the activities of a fictitious software development firm, an optimal strategy for the management of large-scale software development risks.
A central component to the IS profession is conducting research on the design, adoption, use, and evolution of information systems in organizational settings. A key dynamic in these investigations is the process of understanding of how information and information systems can help organizations become more effective through organizational learning. Argyris and Schön pointed out the difference between “single” and “double” loop learning. Smith (2001) summarizes Argyris and Schön’s perspective as follows. “For Argyris and Schön (1978: 2) learning involves the detection and correction of error. Where something goes wrong, it is suggested, an initial port of call for many people is to look for another strategy that will address and work within the governing variables. In other words, given or chosen goals, values, plans and rules are operationalized rather than questioned. According to Argyris and Schön (1974), this is single-loop learning. An alternative response is to question to governing variables themselves, to subject them to critical scrutiny. This they describe as double-loop learning. Such learning may then lead to an alteration in the governing variables and, thus, a shift in the way in which strategies and consequences are framed. Thus, when they came to explore the nature of organizational learning. This is how Argyris and Schön (1978: 2-3) described the process in the context of organizational learning:
When the error detected and corrected permits the organization to carry on its present policies or achieve its presents objectives, then that error-and-correction process is single-loop learning. Single-loop learning is like a thermostat that learns when it is too hot or too cold and turns the heat on or off. The thermostat can perform this task because it can receive information (the temperature of the room) and take corrective action. Double-loop learning occurs when error is detected and corrected in ways that involve the modification of an organization’s underlying norms, policies and objectives.
In other words, double-loop learning involves more strategic changes based on information provided, while single-loop learning focuses on more tactical improvements. Single versus double-loop learning is summarized in the following figure.
You must design a research strategy to investigate some aspect of single versus double-loop learning in an organization.
- Briefly summarize an organizational system of your choosing and then some basic parameters on how an information system is currently providing information on performance (this can be a hypothetical example if you cannot think of a real one).
- Outline a research strategy including a guiding research question or questions, subsequent research methodology, and how the findings from the study would produce information relative to the single- versus double-loop phenomenon.
- Comment on the practical applications, if any, from your research approach.
Source: Smith, M. K. (2001) 'Chris Argyris: theories of action, double-loop learning and organizational learning', the encyclopedia of informal education, www.infed.org/thinkers/argyris.htm
You are a faculty member in an IS department at East Podunk State University (EPSU). The department, consisting of 12 faculty members, and located in a School of Computer and Information Science, currently offers bachelors and masters degrees in IS, but not a PhD. The department chair, Dr. Crocchiolo, has just appointed you to lead a committee charged with the design a PhD curriculum proposal to be submitted for approval to the Graduate Faculty of the EPSU. The chair wants the proposal to be unique in that it should outline a program that is different than those of existing PhD programs in IS at other universities. University guidelines require a document that is no longer than eight (8) pages double-spaced excluding appendices. The following items must be included:
- Justification for the Proposed Program (What is the potential supply of students and demand for PhDs in the field? What are the research roots and foci of the discipline? What are the financial requirements in terms of space, tuition, etc.?)
- Characteristics of the Proposed Program (How many students will be admitted per year? What course work is required? What examination requirements are there? What other requirements are there other than the dissertation? What makes this program unique? What are strengths of the department faculty? How will the program interact with other programs at EPSU?)
- Methods for Preparing PhDs for Teaching (What are the teaching opportunities for students? What mentoring roles will faculty play? How will the department work with the university’s Preparing Future Faculty office?)
- Methods for Preparing PhDs for Research (What processes will be in place to ensure that students are learning to do independent research? How are these processes related to the dissertation?)
- Dissertation Process (What are the rules for composition of the dissertation committee? What are the rules for approving the proposal? What are the rules for completion of the dissertation?)
- Appendices (List of supporting evidence – in this case you should list what additional information you would provide to the Graduate Faculty via the appendices; you are not required to include the actual appendices.)
State all assumptions you feel are necessary to support your answer.
Suppose you are an IS researcher who wants to test the proposition that software trainees learn better when trainers have information about the trainees’ learning styles. Create two research designs to test this proposition as rigorously as possible, assuming that you have complete control of the research situation, including access to trainees, funding, time, research assistance, etc. Your goal while designing the research is to be able to make statements that are as strong as possible about causal effects involving learning style and software training. In the first design, you must use only one independent variable that is binary (e.g., high and low). In the second, you must use two independent variables, each of which has three levels (e.g., high, medium, and low).
- Describe all variables that you will explicitly manipulate or measure.
- State your hypotheses for each design.
- What statistical procedures would you use to test the hypotheses?
- How do these designs compare in their control powers and in the information they yield?
- Which one tests hypotheses better? Explain why.
Make all assumptions you feel necessary to provide an appropriate answer.