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Business School

Maynooth, Kildare, Ireland
Information Systems

Summary

 Part of the NUI and formally established as an autonomous university in 1997, Maynooth University traces its origins to the foundation of the Royal College of St. Patrick in 1795, drawing inspiration from a heritage that includes over 200 years of education and scholarship. The University is a place of lively contrasts. It is a modern institution, dynamic, rapidly-growing, research-led and engaged, yet grounded in historic academic strengths and scholarly traditions.

The humanities, social sciences and natural sciences form the academic and intellectual core of the University, complemented by strong departments and programmes in teacher education, computer science and electronic engineering, business and law.  Maynooth University has an international reputation for research in humanities; social and spatial sciences; mathematics, communication and computation; and  human health. This research connects directly with our teaching, and with wider societal needs through a very successful knowledge transfer office.  Maynooth University is very much an engaged university, making significant contributions to social, cultural and economic development at local, regional and national levels. 

The School of Business at Maynooth University aims to serve business & society through:

  • Providing challenging and engaging undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes which encourage students and participants to develop critical capabilities that will help shape the work places and practices of the future
  • To create new knowledge, products and services that underpin sustainable economic growth
  • To partner with practitioners and businesses, not only to ensure that our offerings are relevant, but also so they can develop new insights into ways of improving the performance of organizations and the people who work for them
  • To develop socially responsible managers and leaders and ethical businesses
  • To develop insights which can be shared with businesses, organizations, professionals and society.

We do this by:

  • Delivering top-quality degree programmes through a variety of innovative programmes, and sharing these approaches with other providers of higher education
  • Conducting research and publishing it in the most impactful journals in our respective fields
  • Public engagement with businesses and professionals in a variety of fora
  • Promoting the continual professional development of our staff.

Bachelor Programs

This degree includes an opportunity to take a one-year CV-enhancing work placement (subject to availability) which provides valuable experience and increases employment opportunities upon graduation. As well as learning to communicate, analyse and think critically, there are plenty of opportunities to work in and lead teams: all of these are skills which are sought after by employers in the modern workplace. Throughout the programme, students are encouraged to engage with subjects and sectors that they may not have considered before; in doing so they can uncover new future possibilities for themselves.   Choose this option if you are interested in

  • a business degree that gives you a broad understanding of business, coupled with opportunities to deepen your knowledge through work placement and specialist options in management and marketing, operations, innovation and entrepreneurship amongst others;
  • how businesses motivate, organise and manage people, teams and customers;
  • understanding the principles and practices through which business is organised to create and capture financial returns;
  • gaining an excellent appreciation of the functional areas that are the engine of a business including: marketing, management, operations and supply chains, information technology, strategy and leadership;
  • learning key skills for lifelong work, including how to analyse and think critically about how to solve business problems;
  • availing of the opportunity to take a work placement in a multi-national or Irish firm for a year (subject to availability) – providing you with practical business work experience that can enhance your employment skills upon graduation.

 IT related modules available to this course include:

INTRODUCTION TO MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS

The objective of this course is to present current issues in the management of the information systems resource. This course is centred around the fundamental premise that the primary role of information technology is to provide organisations with strategic advantage by facilitating problem solving, increasing productivity and quality, increasing speed, improving customer service, enhancing communication and collaboration, and enabling business process restructuring. Rather than focusing on the technology itself, the emphasis is placed on the innovative uses of information technologies. In addition, the course will expose participants to debates on current issues in business information management and to create an awareness of the usefulness and limitations of information systems in organisations.

SOCIAL MEDIA

In a digitally connected world, it is becoming increasingly important that social media and social networking skills are integrated into our business and marketing programmes. Social media has grown to be one of the primary communication channels on the internet. It has also become an essential component to many organisations in their digital marketing strategies.

This module addresses the many issues surrounding this phenomenon, and provides a high level overview to help individuals and firms navigate social media to gain a competitive edge. As well as covering the theoretical underpinnings of social media and its relationship to business objectives, it also requires students to undertake a practical examination of how to make use of social media for the purposes of information gathering, the maintenance of business contacts, market design, and decision-making. This module enables course participants to harness the power of social media as a core driver of the marketing strategy for their organisation. The module introduces you to the concept of engaging with, and acquiring customers using the creation and sharing of media content. On completion of this module, the learner will understand the value of social amplification and what makes content shareable within social networks.

This module equips the student with the knowledge and skills to target your audience select your platform and make use of social listening and competitor analysis and to successfully resource a content management function. Finally, the module seeks to provide students with a set of tools to gauge social media practices and performance. In part, the module will develop a theoretical awareness of the different values of specific social media within a polymedia environment. 

GLOBAL IT BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

The internet revolution has brought to life a new ecology of networked digital media, radically changing the way we work, play, and communicate. Businesses worldwide face a fundamental change in the ways that consumers interact with brands and each other. As the speed of communication increases, business must have the capacity to respond rapidly to changes in the environment. Social media has helped give consumers a voice, connect them with their friends and other like-minded consumers, and has given them considerable power over marketers and brands. Technologies such as cloud-based storage systems and VOIP systems and on-line collaboration systems have enabled Globally Distributed teams to work together more effectively.

This course focuses on two particular aspects of IT-Enabled International Business Communication:

(a) how business has (and has not) changed due to the rise of social media. It will equip students with the relevant knowledge, perspectives, and practical skills required to develop marketing strategies that leverage the opportunities inherent in social media and consumer-to-consumer social interactions for achieving business and marketing goals. The emphasis of this course is on the various social media channels available to marketers, how to build social marketing strategies, and how to track their effectiveness. Also, since social media is heavily technology-driven we will cover relevant related aspects in digital marketing more broadly, as well as emerging topics in electronic commerce, mobile marketing, and social media startups. 

(b) how students can become equipped to be more effective in Globally Distributed teams both personally and professionally, in a range of multimodal environments. As well as covering the underlying information technology, this course explores techniques for building, leading, managing, and motivating teams that reside in multiple locations. The course addresses methods to overcome the challenges of leading a virtual team with members in various geographical locations, including satellite and global offices and telecommuters. Concepts covered include virtual team structure, knowledge sharing, and knowledge management systems in a virtual, distributed team.

MANAGING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY FOR BUSINESS

The aim of this course is to show that the effective use of modern Information Systems (IS) in Business depends on understanding the relationship between the system and its context. The difference between success and failure depends on managing the elements of that context as a whole, not just the technological aspects. An ‘interaction model’ will be introduced that will drive the agenda of the course – exploring the nature and roles of stakeholders, outcomes, implementation and learning, and internal and external contexts

 

 

Master Programs

MSc IT Enabled Innovation

This course has been nominated for the 2018 Post Graduate Course of the Year award in both the Business, Finance and Managment category and the Design and Innovation Category

This Masters programme exposes students to the leading edge tool for assessing and managing IT, the IT-CMF. This is the world’s most comprehensive IT Management framework and has been developed through years of research with leading global companies. This course differs from many other IT programmes because of its leading edge industry inputs and also because it sets IT Management in the context of the business environment. This is not a programme to develop stand-alone technical IT specialists. This course develops the capacity for participants to understand how IT operates both as a function and as a key interrelated resource within an organisational context. This involves understanding people, work processes, relationships, organisation structures, organisation strategies, and how all of these impact on and are impacted by Information Technology. Modules include:

Digital Business

The management of technology has become an increasingly important activity in organisations in recent years. Information technology has moved beyond the implementation of functional applications to playing a crucial role across all business activities and levels within the organisation. This ubiquitous nature of information technology means that individual successful instances of IT are not enough to guarantee the achievement of organisational goals. Instead, organisations must integrate a number of rapidly changing technologies with overall strategic goals. This has huge implications for the organisation, as the annual global spend on IT is expected to exceed 2.4 trillion dollars in 2017. Managers need to understand how IT is managed within the organisation, how IT can influence innovation, how organisations respond to disruptive technologies and the changing ways in which innovation occurs within and outside the organisation.  

The focus of the module is on the importance of IT-enabled change within the organisation and realizing competitive advantage from the IT portfolio. Many of the ideas are broadly applicable irrespective of context.

 

IT Governance, Performance and Risk

There is a need to look beyond current IT Leadership and Governance capabilities to develop an enterprise view of IT governance, by creating a “business lens” through which to enable effective oversight of IT across the organisation. The opportunities presented by new technological and digital possibilities, for example with regard to customer data, also increase risk and exposure to an organisation. This module will address these issues. The programme is designed for graduates who will not be familiar with foundational material in this subject area.  A  fundamental  objective  of  the  programme  is  to  develop  participant’s  general understanding of the material and to move beyond to: a) explore advanced content and b) to understand the process and practice of applying their knowledge in specific contexts.  

 

IT Skills & Capabilities:  Digital Enablement 

The information, systems and technology owned or available to the firm are an increasingly important set of resources—often  referred  to  as  the  IT  infrastructure—but  in  the  context  of  IS  management  the  critical resources are the knowledge and skills residing in employees or the employees of third-party vendors. This course will look at what it means to be a ‘Digital’ organization; what this means in terms of the existing IT function within an organization, and the changing relationship the IT function now has with the rest of the organization. The programme is designed for graduates who may not be familiar with foundational material in this subject area. A fundamental objective of the programme is to develop participant’s general understanding of the material and to move beyond to: a) explore advanced content and b) to understand the process and practice of applying their knowledge in specific contexts.

 

Contemporary Issues in IT

The objective of this course is to familiarise students with contemporary issues in Information Technology-Enabled Innovation. Topics will be drawn from strategically important emerging technologies and may include topics such as Artificial Intelligence, Business Analytics, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Blockchain, Internet-Of-Things, Big Data, Cloud Computing, Sustainability, and/or other emerging topics. This mosule is designed for graduates who will not be familiar with foundational material regarding emerging technologies. A fundamental objective of the programme is to develop participant’s general understanding of the material and to move beyond to: a) explore advanced content and b) to understand the process and practice of applying their knowledge in specific contexts.

 

Strategic Management

This course focuses on a series of guiding principles that underpin strategic management decisions in a wide range of organisational settings, be that in the private, public or voluntary sectors. Principles and tools will be explored that offer insights into key strategy themes such as business modelling, management of stakeholders, the boundaries of the firm, behavioural aspects of strategy, creating and sustaining value in a corporate portfolio and strategic choices between growth options and methods (for example acquisitions versus alliances). The purpose of this module is to expose students to principles that are of fundamental importance in formulating strategies that create value (be that economic or social value). The concepts, tools and techniques that are reviewed in this course are brought to practical life through a series of case studies. 

 

Career Planning and Development

This module is designed to enhance students’ appreciation and application of Career Planning and Development (CPD) activities.  The module guides students to direct and elevate their personal CPD through active, formative and reflective learning organised around four themes.  These themes stem from competencies central to career development namely ‘I am Ambitious’, ‘I am a Citizen’, ‘I am Resilient’ and ‘I am Agile’.  Students identify and undertake a range of CPD activities under each theme that target their personal CPD priorities. These activities are pursued outside of lecture hours and will be approved by the module lecturer who provides feedback on initial reflective learning logs. The module also covers HRM practices specifically those relating to career management including employer branding, recruitment, talent development, total reward and negotiations.  Upon completion of the module students submit a reflective learning CPD portfolio which documents their competence progression and their learnings regarding their future career aspirations and plan. 

 

Actionable Insights Through Research 

Decision makers in organisations often have a need for information that goes beyond their own and their teams’ expertise and experience. This may be the case in novel situations or when complex phenomena occur. For example, what causes problem X and how can we address it effectively? In such decision situations, managers often rely on insights from business research to better comprehend phenomena or to test different ideas or suggestion.

The purpose of this module is to foster an understanding of how research feeds into the decision making process in organizations (i.e., through actionable insights) and to prepare you to carry out independent research. We will discuss how to transform a decision problem into a question that can guide research. We will learn how to develop theoretical models of how the world ought to work with the goal of informing our research question. Furthermore, students will learn how to test their predictions (i.e., models) against empirical data. Throughout this module, students will begin developing relevant practical skills, such as undertaking a literature review, research design, data collection and analysis of data.

The practical relevance of business research to managers will be highlighted throughout the Actionable Insights Through Research module. Industry speakers will talk about different stages in their decision making process (e.g., problem recognition) and how these translate into actionable research (e.g., business research questions). This will illustrate the link between different needs of decision makers and the implementation of business research. For some students, Actionable Insights Through Research is also the beginning of your Business Research Project. The module is experiential in design. Time in class will include some lectures and discussion, accompanied by exercises that lead to the development of essential research skills.

Placement Project

This module aims to offer students the opportunity to integrate their academic study with coordinated realistic jobs. Placement seeks to bring the concepts, tools and competencies developed on the Master program into the realities of work placed implementation. Students develop an understanding of the professional and practical competencies and skills required by the world of industry, and translate the conceptual insights of the theoretical modules into a set of actions.

Students learn how to apply their knowledge from the program and gain new insights into the practicalities of work life. This learning is supported by taught classes, in-group discussions and exercises which are designed to promote students’ self-reflection on the relationships between theories, competencies central to career development and work experience. Students are encouraged to critically elaborate on the competencies gained at work, and on how to improve, reshape and prioritise their career management strategies accordingly. 

Upon completion of the module students submit a reflective work placement learning report and a project. The report details the work activities performed and the technical competencies acquired during placement as well as placement contribution to professional continuous development and future career plans. The project documents students’ capability to bridge theoretical knowledge and practical competencies, by critically reflecting on dynamics experienced at work and on the actions taken to deal with them. Students are also required to give in-class presentations tackling crucial aspects of work-related dynamics.

 

 

Courses

BBS BUSINESS & MANAGEMENT (BMA)

Lecture

This module considers the analysis, formulation, and implementation of strategy. Students are introduced to the concept of strategy from a variety of perspectives. Students gain an appreciation of strategic analysis of the competive environment and competitive strategy; considering strategy from a resourse based perspective; and understanding the role of vision, mission and organisation purpose. Both corporate level-strategy and business level strategy are explored and students are exposed to the methods of strategic development and processes through which firms’ grow. Business model innovation and the role that strategy plays in innovation is also explored.

 

 
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People

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Roger Sweetman lectures in Information systems. His principal teaching interests are around project and portfolio management, the role of technology is business and social media. His research focuses on complexity in Software Project Portfolio Management and he is associated with the LERO research centre. His research  draws on complexity theory to improve the day to day management of portfolios of IS projects. He has extensive public and private sector experience. He initially worked as a software design engineer with a number of ambitious companies in the IT storage and processor design sectors. He then joined  the Department of Marine as a project scientist, providing storage solutions for the Irish National Seabed Survey. Before coommencing is doctoral research he worked for 5 years in the Research Accounts Office of NUI Galway. He is also a qualified accountant and holds an MBA from NUI Galway

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Editors

Have you met...
People

Roger Sweetman lectures in Information systems. His principal teaching interests are around project and portfolio management, the role of technology is business and social media. His research focuses on complexity in Software Project Portfolio Management and he is associated with the LERO research centre. His research  draws on complexity theory to improve the day to day management of portfolios of IS projects. He has extensive public and private sector experience. He initially worked as a software design engineer with a number of ambitious companies in the IT storage and processor design sectors. He then joined  the Department of Marine as a project scientist, providing storage solutions for the Irish National Seabed Survey. Before coommencing is doctoral research he worked for 5 years in the Research Accounts Office of NUI Galway. He is also a qualified accountant and holds an MBA from NUI Galway

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