Information Systems: A Manager's Guide to Harnessing Technology
Pub Date: 2015
ISBN 13: 978-1-9461351-2-4
Publisher: University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing
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The textbook does cover the basics that other MIS textbooks cover: • Systems development – plus cloud, opensource and off the shelf • BI – data read more
The textbook does cover the basics that other MIS textbooks cover: • Systems development – plus cloud, opensource and off the shelf • BI – data warehouses and marts • Telecommunications • Security • E-commerce • Enterprise applications – CRM, ERP and SCM • Ethics I did not find an index or glossary.
I did not find any issues with the accuracy of the information in the textbook. It does in fact try to go beyond what other textbooks provide. Instead of just stating the facts as most other textbooks do the author provides more of the flavor of how things really are in IT.
The relevance is both a strength and a weakness for this textbook. It is very relevant right now but could become outdated very quickly. While this is true of any IT book this one is particular seems to aim at being as relevant to the current market as possible. For many textbooks you need to add current articles as additional reading to stay up to the minute in discussing IT. This text tries to include the up to the minute info. Again, it is very relevant now but may not have great longevity.
Clarity is a strength for this textbook. The author states in the forward that “The information systems (IS) course should be the most exciting class within any university. But far too often students resist rather than embrace the study of tech.” The author strives for a clear and engaging style that is similar to periodicals like “Wired and Fortune.” If is not uncommon to discover after the course is over that many of the students did not read the textbook. The engaging style would hopefully encourage more of the students to actually real it.
The book is very consistent. Each chapter has multiple sections. These sections are written like short self-contained articles with learning objectives, key take always, questions and references.
The book is very modular. In fact an instructor could choose to assign just certain sections or specific articles in the textbook. Each section is written to stand on its own like a periodical article.
The book does not break subjects up like other MIS textbooks. There is not an ethics chapter or a networking chapter or a systems development chapter. Those subjects are interlaced with other subjects throughout the book. While this is a different structure from other textbooks it is more real world since these ideas do not standalone but are incorporated into situations that the students will find in their careers.
The textbook is very well put together. It is also available in different formats such as PDF, XML, ePUB and Kindle.
I did not see any grammatical errors in the textbook.
I did not see anything in the book that was culturally insensitive.
I found the textbook to be quite good. Students can have difficulty with a textbook that is dryly written. The author does make a very good effort to make the subject engaging. As stated above the author’s forward notes that “information systems (IS) course should be the most exciting class within any university.” I absolutely agree but the students don’t always realize that. This book is a step in the right direction in engaging students and helping them realize how exciting IT can be.
It is difficult to create a comprehensive text that addresses substantive the numerous concepts associated with management information systems. This read more
It is difficult to create a comprehensive text that addresses substantive the numerous concepts associated with management information systems. This text covered the concepts it addressed in a substantive manner using a non-technical engaging writing style and exemplary structure. I appreciate the chapter objectives, take aways and questions and exercises. I would be selective in assigning readings from the text, the sequence and supplement it with targeted readings and videos. Supplemental content would include the concepts of business analytics, artificial intelligence and security. In summary, I would consider the text for an introductory/survey management information system course.
The content was accurate and did not demonstrate bias. However, the nature of the content suggests that updates will be systematically required in order to maintain content relevance and accuracy.
The business cases may remain relevant for a period of time. However, it be prudent to update the business cases along with the content to retain relevancy. The fact that the cases may be removed or updated relatively simply, because of the format, is an advantage. Some chapters may require substantive update but the time frame for the updates will vary.
The text was easy to read and clear. The technical terminology and jargon was explained and kept to a minimum. However, it was verbose, which added to the length of the text. Some readers may find the additional details of value.
The chapters were formatted in a consistent manner. The consistent format of the chapters added significant value. The terminology was consistent and relevant to the subject matter.
The modularity of the content was excellent due to the consistent structure of the chapters. The logical, consistent divisions of the chapters facilitated navigation. The occasional self-referencing did not warrant elimination of content.
The overall structure and organization of the text is excellent. Chapters are consistent and informative clearly stating objectives, reinforcing preceding concepts and new concepts clearly introduced. However, the flow of the text is impeded by interspersing technical content chapters with chapters focused on business cases. But, I realize that chapters may be assigned in other than the sequence in the text.
No noticeable navigational issues or ineffective images and charts. The images and charts were relevant and added substance and clarity to the content of the text.
No grammatical errors detected.
The text was not culturally insensitive or offensive. The national and international business cases reflected the business situation without bias.
I found the depth of the subjects covered, non-technical style and structure exemplary. However, the text is verbose. My preference is for text that include a comprehensive glossary and index.
This textbook covers most of the important areas in information systems. Content could be added on business processes, ERP, and systems read more
This textbook covers most of the important areas in information systems. Content could be added on business processes, ERP, and systems development/project management. An index at the end could be beneficial.
Content is accurate and up-to-date. This can be tricky for a book on information systems because the field changes quickly. It is nice to see that the author has updated the book every couple of years.
I would not consider using an edition of this textbook that is more than three years old. This is because of how fast the information system field changes. This edition is only a year old, which is great. One thing to note is that many of the chapters rely on relevant business cases which will become too old at some point (not yet). I would say that a major revision of the textbook will be necessary within five years.
The textbook is written in a very reader friendly style. Many introductory information systems textbooks are full of technical jargon and acronyms. This one is not which makes is very easy to read.
The text is consistent in terms of its use of the terminology across the chapters. I also like the the consistent structure of each chapter, where learning objectives are presented at the beginning, and key takeaways are listed at the end. Examples illustrating the concepts discussed are consistently boxed in.
I really like the modularity of this textbook. As a matter of fact, the ease by which I could move sections and subsections around was the main reason for my use of this textbook in an e-commerce class (despite the fact that the book is written for an introductory information systems course). Chapters 4, 6,7, 8, 10, 12, and 14 are particularly relevant for such a course.
I think I would restructure the chapters every time I would use this textbook, either for an introductory information systems or an -e-commerce course. I tend to think that infrastructure and software/hardware topics (chapters 5, 9, 10, 12) could come earlier. So can the chapter on databases (chapter 11).
I reviewed this book on saylordotorg.github.io website and could not access any of the figures. It would probably not be an issue on a hard copy or an online copy that the students would purchase. Other than that I didn't notice an issue.
The grammatical errors in each chapter are minimal if any.
This is a very US-centric textbook. This is easily understood if we consider the fact that most of the information systems being discussed in textbook have originated in the US. Therefore, I don't see this as a negative. The text is not culturally offensive in any way.
I would strongly recommend this textbook if you have a non-technical audience. Also a great introductory text for e-commerce if you exclude some of the chapters. The discussions are built around cases and stories that bring the concepts to life. And you are free to arrange the chapters any way you want. Best wishes!
Textbook addresses most of the major areas covered in and introductory information technology management course. I would like to see additional read more
Textbook addresses most of the major areas covered in and introductory information technology management course. I would like to see additional content project management, systems planning, and some more on legal and social/organizational issues inherent in information technology systems implementation, but these topics are often not covered in introductory books in this discipline. There is a very thorough table of contents (see Interface section), the chapters are nicely sub-divided and have a clear visual structure. There is no index or glossary.
Content in the text is timely and accurate, error-free and unbiased. Examples are from U.S. based companies, as well as international organizations, which helps to broaden the approaches to information systems. Since the subject of this book is recent information technology and the business world, it is a given that some references will have to be updated and changed, the subject area is just changing very quickly. The text is intentionally presented in a very reader-friendly style that keeps the content from being bogged down with IT jargon, but still explains the IT concepts very well.
The author does a good job of addressing specifics if IS, that can change very quickly, in a broad way by focusing on the overall management and organizational issues and then illustrating those issues with examples from current events and organizations. Overall these examples are recent and relevant. Many of the specific company references are in specially formatted content boxes so they would be easy to remove/modify, or are addressed in whole chapters that could be removed/modified. Organizational references made within the general text are broad enough that they would not have to be removed, but could be updated to reflect recent events.
Text is well written and easy to read. Very well written objectives for each sub-chapter, and good use of formatting to give additional meaning and structure to the content. It is well referenced, though often the references are written directly in the flow of the text (instead of foot/end notes), making some sections harder to read as the reference information is a bit distracting.
The text is clear and consistent, well edited, and written in a single voice. The chapter structure and order are logical and reflective of the discipline.
Book organized into chapters with short (usually 4 to 6 page) sub chapters that make it very easy to move around, or remove small sections if desired with out making the text difficult to read. Subchapters are nicely organized, each starting with Objectives, then finishing with Key Takeaways and a Question & Exercise section. Clear textual and image cues help to identify the different subchapters and sections of the text. The text does reference itself some, but not in a way that would make removing certain sections prohibitive.
Overall the chapter order and organization is logical and structured well. The selection of chapters is appropriate to the discipline. The structure of the chapters is well presented visually and the breakdown of content into subchapters makes the book easy to read, as well as creates a good framework for moving through the content. (NOTE, this review reflects the chapter structure from the versions available at lardbucket, see Interface section)
Some issues with finding the full book, but is more of a repository issue than an issue with the actual book. The link here is to the Saylor.org edition, it contains all of the charts/graphs that are mentioned in the book, but the chapter structures is more compressed (11 chapters), and there is no table of contents or author information. If you use the versions available at lardbucket (http://2012books.lardbucket.org), some versions have the images (v. 1.2) and some do not (V 2.0), BUT this site has a better (I think) chapter structure (14 chapters), good table of contents and author information.
I found no grammatical error in the text
The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive. Many of the companies used in the examples are US based, but not exclusively. International issues in implementing I.S. is addressed, (different standards, social norms, regulations) though not extensively.
I plan to adapt and adopt this book for my course, and will add some sections from other open textbooks to make a full content solution.
Table of Contents
About the Author
Chapter 1: Setting the Stage: Technology and the Modern Enterprise
1.1 Tech’s Tectonic Shift: Radically Changing Business Landscapes
1.2 It’s Your Revolution
1.3 Geek Up—Tech Is Everywhere and You’ll Need It to Thrive
1.4 The Pages Ahead
Chapter 2: Strategy and Technology: Concepts and Frameworks for Understanding What Separates Winners from Losers
2.2 Powerful Resources
2.3 Barriers to Entry, Technology, and Timing
2.4 Key Framework: The Five Forces of Industry Competitive Advantage
Chapter 3: Zara: Fast Fashion from Savvy Systems
3.2 Don’t Guess, Gather Data
3.3 Moving Forward
Chapter 4: Netflix: The Making of an E-commerce Giant and the Uncertain Future of Atoms to Bits
4.2 Tech and Timing: Creating Killer Assets
4.3 From Atoms to Bits: Opportunity or Threat?
Chapter 5: Moore’s Law: Fast, Cheap Computing and What It Means for the Manager
5.2 The Death of Moore’s Law?
5.3 Bringing Brains Together: Supercomputing and Grid Computing
5.4 E-waste: The Dark Side of Moore’s Law
Chapter 6: Understanding Network Effects
6.2 Where’s All That Value Come From?
6.3 One-Sided or Two-Sided Markets?
6.4 How Are These Markets Different?
6.5 Competing When Network Effects Matter
Chapter 7: Peer Production, Social Media, and Web 2.0
7.4 Electronic Social Networks
7.5 Twitter and the Rise of Microblogging
About the Book
Information Systems: A Manager’s Guide to Harnessing Technology is intended for use in undergraduate and/or graduate courses in Management Information Systems and Information Technology.
The teaching approach in Information Systems: A Manager’s Guide to Harnessing Technology can change this. The text offers a proven approach that has garnered student praise, increased IS enrollment, and engaged students to think deeper and more practically about the space where business and technology meet. Every topic is related to specific business examples, so students gain an immediate appreciation of its importance. Rather than lead with technical topics, the book starts with strategic thinking, focusing on big-picture issues that have confounded experts but will engage students. And while chapters introduce concepts, cases on approachable, exciting firms across industries further challenge students to apply what they've learned, asking questions like:
Why was Netflix able to repel Blockbuster and WalMart? How did Harrah's Casino's become twice as profitable as comparably-sized Caesar's, enabling the former to acquire the latter? How does Spain's fashion giant Zara, a firm that shuns the sort of offshore manufacturing used by every other popular clothing chain, offer cheap fashions that fly off the shelves, all while achieving growth rates and profit margins that put Gap to shame? Why do technology markets often evolve into winner-take-all or winner take-most scenarios? And how can managers compete when these dynamics are present? Why is Google more profitable than Disney? How much is Facebook really worth?
The teaching approach in this text encourages students to think deeper and more practically about the space where business and technology meet. Every topic is related to specific business examples, so students gain an immediate appreciation of its importance. Rather than starting with technical topics, the book starts with strategic thinking, focusing on big-picture issues that interest students.
About the Contributors
Information Systems: A Manager's Guide to Harnessing Technology is adapted from a work produced by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution. This adapted edition is produced by the University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing through the eLearning Support Initiative.