________ refers to the ability to model components and show how the components’ inputs and outputs relate to one another.
You constantly analyze your work in terms of the contribution that you make to the overall output of your organization. This shows your ________ skill.
Which of the components of an information system is the easiest to change and causes the least amount of organizational disruption when changed?
Which of the following would be the most disruptive to an organization when implementing an information system?
A) installing new hardware components
B) creating new databases
C) developing new programs
D) changing reporting relationships
Which of the following is a component of an information system but not of information technology?
You ask your secretary to send information on the meetings that you need to attend in the month. He provides you the details immediately, but he leaves out certain additional details that he deems to be surplus to your requirements. Judge your secretary’s action.
A) The information that your secretary provided was partly good as it was timely, but insufficient.
B) The secretary provided adequate and timely information, but the information did not add value to you.
C) The information that your secretary gave will be considered as good information.
D) The information that you obtained through the secretary was not timely and worth its cost.
Which among the following is the most appropriate technique for creating memorable, strong passwords?
A) base your password on the first letters of the words in a phrase
B) use your favorite foreign words
C) use dictionary words or phrases as passwords
D) use a collection of randomly picked letters, numbers, and special characters
Which of the following is a valid guideline for maintaining good password etiquette?
A) Write down your password in an accessible location.
B) Never ask someone else for their password.
C) Give your password to your coworkers if you anticipate that they may need it in your absence.
D) Share your password with the IT staff in your organization.
Departmental heads should determine the computer hardware and programs that are needed for their department. This is an example of a(n) ________ decision.
________ decisions are those that support broad-scope, organizational issues.
The decision about team members’ roles and authorities is made during the ________ phase of a project.
A project manager has to manage tasks and budgets and solve problems during the ________ phase of project management.
Which of the following information system requirements falls into the content sharing category?
A) providing for team and member recognition
B) tracking versions of many documents
C) presenting intrateam learning
D) offering easy-to-use multiparty communication
Version-management systems ________.
track changes to shared documents
Which of the following factors determines the structure, features, and functions of the information system used in a company?
A) the competitive strategy
B) the brand value of its brands
C) the size of the company
D) the technology used by competitors
Which of the following value chain activities involves collecting, storing, and physically distributing the product to buyers?
A) inbound logistics
C) customer service
D) outbound logistics
Which of the following is a support activity in the value chain?
A) receiving inputs to operationalize the production
B) distributing the products to retailers or buyers directly
C) assisting customers in using the product or service
D) setting up contractual arrangements for procurement
Which of the following is considered a support activity in the value chain of a business?
B) customer service
C) contract negotiation
A(n) ________ is a collection of something, such as data and raw materials.
RAC Associates is a car rental company. The company rents cars to customers in the United States. The company uses controls and procedures to prevent car theft. Such procedures are examples of ________.
supporting business processes
Which of the following principles of competitive advantage is related to process implementations?
A) creating new products
B) enhancing products
C) locking in suppliers
D) differentiating products
An organization wants to achieve competitive advantage through process implementations. Which of the following actions would help them do that?
A) establishing alliances
B) creating new products
C) enhancing products
D) differentiating services
State Moore’s Law. What is the implication of Moore’s Law for managers?
According to Moore’s Law, “the number of transistors per square inch on an integrated chip doubles every 18 months.” Because of Moore’s Law, the ratio of price to performance of computers has fallen drastically. Therefore, it is important for managers to realize that, because of Moore’s Law, the cost of data communications and data storage is essentially zero. The current business scenario is flooded with vast amounts of data that requires the effective assistance of information technology. Many business ventures have sprung up around this effect of Moore’s Law. Future business professionals need to be able to assess, evaluate, and apply emerging information technology to business.
Explain the four nonroutine cognitive skills that are key to career success today.
The four nonroutine skills identified as critical for organizations in the current scenario are:
(1) Abstract reasoning – the ability to make and manipulate models.
(2) Systems thinking – modeling the components of the system and to connect the inputs and outputs among those components into a sensible whole, one that explains the phenomenon observed.
(3) Collaboration – developing ideas and plans with others; provide and receive critical feedback.
(4) Experimentation – creating and testing promising new alternatives, consistent with available resources.
Briefly describe the terms system, information system, and management information system.
A system is a group of components that interact to achieve some purpose. An information system (IS) is a group of components that interact to produce information. A management information system is defined as a system that helps businesses achieve their goals and objectives.
List and briefly explain the five-component model of an information system with an example.
The five components described in the model are: computer hardware, software, data, procedures, and people. These five components are present in every information system, from the simplest to the most complex. For example, when you use a computer to write a class report, you are using hardware (the computer, storage disk, keyboard, and monitor), software (Word, WordPerfect, or some other word-processing program), data (the words, sentences, and paragraphs in your report), procedures (the methods you use to start the program, enter your report, print it, and save and back up your file), and people (you).
Why do businesses develop information systems? Also, point out some of the wrong reasons businesses sometimes cite for developing information systems.
Information systems exist to help people who work in a business to achieve the goals and objectives of that business. Information systems are not created for the sheer joy of exploring technology. They are not created so that the company can be “modern” or so that the company can show it has a social networking presence on the Web. They are not created because the information systems department thinks it needs to be created, because the company is “falling behind the technology curve,” or for the sole reason that “every other business has one.”
What is the most important component of an information system? Why?
A user is the most important component of an information system. The user’s mind and his/her thinking are not merely a component of the information systems they use, they are the most important component. This is so because, even if the user has the perfect information system, if they do not know what to do with the information that it produces, they are wasting both their time and money. The quality of one’s thinking is a large part of the quality of the information system.
Explain how the five components of an information system are arranged in terms of ease of change and organizational disruption.
The five components of the information systems framework are: computer hardware, software, data, procedures, and people. The five components are shown in order of ease of change and the amount of organizational disruption. It is usually a simple matter to order new hardware and install it. Obtaining or developing new programs is more difficult. Creating new databases or changing the structure of existing databases is still more difficult. Changing procedures, requiring people to work in new ways, is even more difficult. Finally, changing personnel responsibilities and reporting relationships and hiring and terminating employees are both very difficult and very disruptive to the organization.
How is information technology different from information systems?
Information technology and information systems are two closely related terms, but they are different. Information technology (IT) refers to the products, methods, inventions, and standards that are used for the purpose of producing information. IT pertains to the hardware, software, and data components. On the other hand, an information system (IS) is an assembly of hardware, software, data, procedures, and people that produces information. Information technology drives the development of new information systems.
A crucial difference between the two terms is that, while you can buy IT, you cannot buy an IS. That is, you can buy or lease hardware, you can license programs and databases, and you can even obtain predesigned procedures. Ultimately, however, it is your people who execute those procedures to employ that new IT. For any new system, you will always have training tasks and costs, you will always have the need to overcome employees’ resistance to change, and you will always need to manage the employees as they utilize the new system.
Discuss the common definitions of information.
Probably the most common definition of information is that information is knowledge derived from data, whereas data is defined as recorded facts or figures. Another common definition is that information is data presented in a meaningful context. Another definition of information that you will hear is that information is processed data, or sometimes, information is data processed by summing, ordering, averaging, grouping, comparing, or other similar operations. The fundamental idea of this definition is that we do something to data to produce information.
What are the five characteristics of good information?
Data should be:
(1) Accurate – Good information is based on correct and complete data, and it has been processed correctly as expected.
(2) Timely – Good information is produced in time for its intended use.
(3) Relevant – Good information is relevant both to the context and to the subject.
(4) Just sufficient – Good information is sufficient for the purpose for which it is generated, but just barely so.
(5) Worth its cost – For good information to be worth its cost, there must be an appropriate relationship between the cost of information and its value.
Distinguish between cooperation and collaboration.
Cooperation is a group of people working together, all doing essentially the same type of work, to accomplish a job. A group of four painters, each painting a different wall in the same room, are working cooperatively.
Collaboration occurs when a group of people work together to achieve a common goal via a process of feedback and iteration. Using feedback and iteration, one person will produce something, say the draft of a document, and a second person will review that draft and provide critical feedback. Given the feedback, the original author or someone else will then revise the first draft to produce a second. The work proceeds in a series of stages, or iterations.
According to Hackman, what are the three primary criteria for judging team success?
According to Hackman, there are three primary criteria for judging team success: (1) successful outcome, (2) growth in team capability, and (3) meaningful and satisfying experience.
What is the difference between structured and unstructured decisions? Give an example of each.
Structured decisions are those where there exists an understood and accepted method for making the decision. The process through which financial institutions avail credit is an example of structured decision making. Unstructured decisions are those where there is no agreed-on decision-making method. Examples can include facility location, product mix, and capital budgeting.
Explain why structured decisions seldom require collaboration.
A structured decision process is one where there is an understood and accepted method for making the decision. Since the decision process is already understood, there is no reason for collaboration to determine how to make the decision.
Are most strategic decisions unstructured? Give an example of an unstructured strategic decision.
Yes. Since they are made less frequently and generally have a long-term time horizon, most strategic decisions are relatively unstructured. Predicting the direction of the economy or long-term labor planning might be considered unstructured strategic decisions. Operational decisions may also be unstructured like the example of deciding the number of cab drivers needed the night before the homecoming game.
List the four phases of a project.
The four phases of a project are starting, planning, doing, and finalizing.
What is the difference between synchronous and asynchronous communications? Provide examples for each.
Synchronous communications are collaborations where all the team members meet at the same time. Examples include face-to-face meetings, videoconferencing, conference calls, and multiparty chats.
Asynchronous communications occur when team members do not meet at the same time. Emails, discussion forums, and team surveys are examples of asynchronous communication.
What are team surveys? What are their benefits?
Team surveys are a form of communication technology. With these, one team member creates a list of questions and other team members respond.
Surveys are an effective way to obtain team opinions. They are generally easy to complete, so most team members will participate. Also, it is easy to determine who has not yet responded.
Why is version control important for shared content?
Version control involves one or more of the following capabilities: (1) user activity limited by permissions, (2) document checkout, (3) version histories, and (4) workflow. This gives managers better control over shared content.
What is SharePoint Online?
SharePoint Online is an industrial-strength product for content sharing. It has deep and rich features, and it can handle massive amounts of data and hundreds of users. Users can use libraries and lists to manage and/or control content, gather team opinions with surveys and wikis, and share team members’ opinions with blogs.
Describe the process by which organizations develop their information systems.
An organization’s goals and objectives are determined by its competitive strategy. Thus, ultimately, competitive strategy determines the structure, features, and functions of every information system. In short, organizations examine the structure of their industry and determine a competitive strategy. That strategy determines value chains, which, in turn, determine business processes. The structure of business processes determines the design of supporting information systems.
Briefly explain Porter’s five forces model.
Organizational strategy begins with an assessment of the fundamental characteristics and structure of an industry. One model used to assess an industry structure is Porter’s five forces model. According to this model, five competitive forces determine industry profitability: bargaining power of customers, threat of substitutions, bargaining power of suppliers, threat of new entrants, and rivalry among existing firms. The intensity of each of the five forces determines the characteristics of the industry, how profitable it is, and how sustainable that profitability will be.
What are the four competitive strategies firms can choose from according to Porter’s model?
An organization responds to the structure of its industry by choosing a competitive strategy. Porter followed his five forces model with the model of four competitive strategies. According to Porter, firms engage in one of these four strategies. An organization can focus on being the cost leader, or it can focus on differentiating its products from those of the competition. Further, the organization can employ the cost or differentiation strategy across an industry, or it can focus its strategy on a particular industry segment.
Briefly describe the concepts of value, margin, and value chain.
Porter defined value as the amount of money that a customer is willing to pay for a resource, product, or service. The difference between the value that an activity generates and the cost of the activity is called the margin. A value chain is a network of value-creating activities. That generic chain consists of five primary activities and four support activities.
List the primary activities in a generic value chain.
The primary activities are (1) inbound logistics, (2) operations/manufacturing, (3) outbound logistics, (4) sales and marketing, and (5) customer service.
Distinguish between the primary and support activities of a value chain.
The support activities in the generic value chain contribute indirectly to the production, sale, and service of the product. They include procurement, which consists of the processes of finding vendors, setting up contractual arrangements, and negotiating prices. Supporting functions add value, albeit indirectly, and they also have costs. It is difficult to calculate the margin for such activities because the specific value added by a support activity is difficult to know.
Explain linkages with an example.
Porter’s model of business activities includes linkages, which are interactions across value activities. For example, manufacturing systems use linkages to reduce inventory costs. Such a system uses sales forecasts to plan production; it then uses the production plan to determine raw materials needs and then uses the material needs to schedule purchases. The end result is just-in-time inventory, which reduces inventory sizes and costs.
What is the central idea of business process design?
The central idea of business process design is that organizations should not automate or improve existing functional systems. Rather, they should create new, more efficient business processes that integrate the activities of all departments involved in a value chain.
What is a business process? How do you determine the cost and margin of a business process?
A business process is a network of activities that generate value by transforming inputs into outputs. Each activity is a business function that receives inputs and produces outputs. An activity can be performed by a human, by a computer system, or by both.
The cost of the business process is the cost of the inputs plus the cost of the activities. The margin of the business process is the value of the outputs minus the cost.
Describe the challenges that an organization will face when changing business processes.
Changing business processes is not easy to do. Most process design requires people to work in new ways, to follow different procedures, and employees often resist such change
Summarize how organizations determine the scope and requirements of their information systems.
Organizations analyze their industry and choose a competitive strategy. Given that strategy, they design business processes that span value-generating activities. Those processes determine the scope and requirements of each organization’s information systems.
Briefly explain the process-oriented competitive strategies.
Organizations can use various process-oriented competitive strategies to gain competitive advantage. Organizations can lock in customers by making it difficult or expensive for customers to switch to another product. This strategy is sometimes called establishing high switching costs. Organizations can lock in suppliers by making it difficult to switch to another organization, or, stated positively, by making it easy to connect to and work with the organization. Competitive advantage can also be gained by creating entry barriers that make it difficult and expensive for new competition to enter the market. Another means to gain competitive advantage is to establish alliances with other organizations. Finally, organizations can gain competitive advantage by reducing costs.
Explain the concept of switching costs with an example.
Switching costs are the expenses that a customer must pay to move from the current product to a competitor’s offering. By making these switching costs high, it discourages the client from leaving the current provider. In the past, long distance phone service was known to carry high switching costs. Entering an agreement to construct a house also carries high switching costs.
What is the digital divide?
The digital divide is the gap between those who have access to the Internet and those who do not. As the Internet has become a primary source for information in the world, this rift keeps getting deeper and deeper between the haves and the have-nots.
Someone who knows how to search the Internet can learn more readily than someone who does not. And every year, the person with greater knowledge pulls farther and farther ahead.