Guidelines for the Essay Portion of the Final Exam

Guidelines for the Essay Portion of the Final Exam
Fall 2007 – MGMT 661
During the semester various information systems (IS) and information technologies (IT) have
been presented. The case has been made that IS/IT significantly impacts the data/information
flows between (a) the functional units within a firm, (b) the firm and suppliers, and (c) the firm
and customers (see figure below). Most of the impacts are positive for firms and result in
improved processes/operations or reductions in cycle time. There are also negative impacts from
IS/IT that manifest themselves in the form of ethical and societal issues resulting from new
applications of IS/IT.
Course Overview
Your task is to use the material from the textbook, PPT notes, or handouts to describe 10
anecdotes where IS/IT has improved the data/information flows between the entities shown in
the figure above. The nature of an anecdote is described below:
An anecdote is constructed as follows. Each anecdote should contain about five
sentences. If you have more than five, you probably are writing too much. The opening
sentences should identify the IS/IT concept, the nature of the data/information, and the direction
of the data/information flow. The remaining sentences should describe how the IS/IT impacts the
data/information flows with respect to quality or time considerations. The anecdote must relate to
the use of IS/IT in a specific firm (see sample anecdote).
Sample anecdote: VW uses a private industrial network to improve the
data/information flow between VW and its suppliers. Data/information flows
include such items as requests for quotes, contract negotiations, purchase orders,
engineering changes, demand forecasts, and production plans. Because this
data/information is shared between VW and its suppliers it has resulted in significant
improvements in the accuracy of all forms of planning. Because the information is
available in real time, VW and its suppliers can quickly react to changes such as
product demand. (L&L, p. 128)
Ground Rules for this Task
1. Sources – The Laudon & Laudon textbook (any chapter even ones not covered),
PowerPoint slides from MGMT 661, any handout or reading from MGMT 661
2. Your response should be in your own words. There should be no direct quotes in
your response
3. Each anecdote must be documented from a source below. Lack of documentation
will result in loss of credit for the anecdote.
a. Textbook – L&L, p. 75
b. PowerPoint – Ch 11, slide 14
c. Handout (SAP R/3)
4. You may bring in one sheet of 8 ½ x 11 paper (one side) that contains a sketch
of your anecdotes and your documentation). This sheet will be turned in with
your exam.
5. No collaboration is allowed. Everything you hand in is your work.
6. Cases can only be used for one anecdote. If you used VW (as above) for an
anecdote you could not use it again. The IS/IT idea can only be used in one
anecdote. In particular, if an individual used private industrial networks or intranet,
he/she could not use another example that focused on private industrial networks or
an intranet. But, other examples might involve private industrial networks or an
intranet, but the focus of other anecdotes is on another concept. For example, supply
chain management (SCM) systems sometimes involve private industrial networks,
the fact that you used private industrial networks in an anecdote like sample 1,
would not preclude using SCM in another anecdote. The new anecdote would focus
on the impact of SCM. The intent of this is to encourage you to use a wide variety of
cases and IS/IT concepts. Note that the sample anecdote cannot be used in your
7. Do not use more than three anecdotes from any one chapter. Spread your anecdotes
across the material. (The fourth anecdote from the same chapter won’t count.).
8. The notion of a customer can be viewed in two ways: You can view customers as
individual consumers or as a firm. In the latter sense, Sears is a customer of
Whirlpool because Sears buys Whirlpool appliances and then sells them to
individuals. There are many IS/IT concepts that would apply to a company like
9. This part of the final exam is worth two-thirds of the final exam score.
Anecdotes can be built from the list below. Do not use items not on this list.
Data mining
Executive support systems
Customer relationship management systems
Supply chain management systems
Enterprise resource planning systems
Electronic data interchange
Mass customization
Electronic procurement
Collaborative filtering
Customer decision support systems
Geographic information systems
Decision support systems
Collaborative commerce
Exchanges/auctions in B2B
Consumer profiling
Online analytic processing
Database management systems
Query languages
Internet telephony
Executive support systems
On-demand computing