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This course focuses on business intelligence (BI) and analytics, which is a broad category of technologies, applications, and processes for gathering, storing, accessing, and analyzing data to help its users make better decisions. Both technical and management topics will be covered in this course, including database/data warehouse management, executive IS, business performance management, decision support systems, and others. Hands-on experience is provided through software projects that use several leading-edge technologies and software.
We are in the digital-age. Catalyzed by information technologies, the field of IS has evolved - and information, knowledge, information technologies and their manifestations at the individual, group, organizational and inter-organizational levels are becoming increasing important and profound. As potential researchers in this area, we have tremendous opportunities to traverse growing and changing knowledge gaps regarding the transformational aspects of information technologies in business, organizations and society. The burgeoning information technology catalyst has propelled the “field” of information systems (IS) from one that was consistently challenged as a business school discipline, to one that is relatively more accepted within the academic context. The field has struggled with definitional issues and credibility – but IS researchers have responded through self-governance and enforcement of standards in the conduct and quality of research. Today, IS research is comparable in rigor to the best disciplines within the social sciences. Some have even suggested that it is far tougher to get published in top IS journals than other major journals in business disciplines. While a number of issues remain with the core of the field, such as the difficulty in building sustainable theory within a rapidly changing technological environment, the challenge in addressing the “big” questions of our time, the place of technical versus managerial research, the ability to create a strong conduit to practice, the degree to which IS can be absorbed by other business disciplines, the acceptance of methodologies with different philosophical assumptions, the role of electronic journals, among others, I believe that there is room for optimism about the future. In fact recent technological trends in cloud, analytics, big data, mobile and social computing have created a new “buzz” for businesses and opportunities to enhance and reconfigure existing theories in new and emerging IT contexts.
Despite the ongoing changes in technology, the field as it stands today, is very much influenced by its foundational thinkers who stimulated debate on (what was then considered) new and different perspectives. It also draws from a number of diverse theoretical lens’s many of which are adapted from related (reference) disciplines. It is important for a new doctoral student venturing into this area to construct his or her own schema of the field so that new knowledge can be effectively synthesized. To do this, it is useful to understand key “anchor points” in the field over both time and domain. This course is intended to provide you with these anchor points – so that you can begin your journey of filling in the gaps and creating a logical structure of the field that will frame your further absorption of knowledge. Over time, we look at influential (classical) papers that made a difference in the field. While where we have been is not necessarily a prelude to where we are going, a sense of the roots of the disciplinary tree, history, socialization of knowledge, and the role of the technological catalyst puts the field in perspective. Over domain, we examine key but necessarily incomplete theoretical underpinnings of the discipline. We will also observe a largely a positivist epistemology – so the perspectives espoused here represent an important skeleton of the field – and do not claim to be the only perspectives. Remember, this is only the beginning – and from the dots you encounter in this seminar, you will have the opportunity to build your own picture as you engage with further readings and research through your doctoral study and beyond.
In addition, the course will also start you on the conceptualization of a research paper – which will be implemented in the subsequent seminar. Learning-by-doing and learning-through-frustration is perhaps the best way to struggle through the vagaries of the research process. Let the experiences begin.
Course Objectives: As the first formal research seminar in Information Systems, this course will have the following (ambitious) objectives:
· To provide an overview of key classical articles pertaining to the area of Information Systems. · To introduce key theoretical perspectives that allow IS phenomena to be examined from different vantage points. In doing so, the course will foster the ability to critically think and constructively criticize research papers in the area, as well as begin to form the foundation for building an individual schema for the field. In addition the course will:
- Provide an opportunity to conduct a major research study through a continuous process of interaction with members of the class and guidance from the instructor. This project (conducted in teams) will be implemented in the Spring semester as part of MGT916. The ultimate goal is to surmount the tremendous challenge of producing work that has a chance of being published in top IS journals while you are still in the doctoral program.