University of Baltimore
Merrick School of Business

INSS737 - Management of Information Systems - Fall 2000

Thursdays 5:30 - 8:00 PM - BC 225

Professor Al Bento

officeBC 473v-mail837-5272

Office hours: Thursdays 2:00 - 5:00 PM and Fridays 2:00 - 5:00 PM

[case analyses][project][final exam][outline][Forum]


Over the past 20 years, information technology (computers, telecommunications and office automation) and the management of information technology have changed dramatically. In many industries, obtaining competitive advantages became directly related to the deployment of information technology to design, create and provide the main products or services. Often information technology became an integral part of the product or service.

The role of managing information systems changed from (passive) support to the overall operations of the organizations, to (active) contribution to the overall organizational strategy. In this course we take the business view of managing Information Systems, that is, how each manager can use information technology to support organizational strategy and obtain competitive advantages. This a heavily case-oriented course (over twenty Harvard-style cases will be discussed). You should have a solid understanding of Information Systems and Technology (IST), as provided by INSS610 or INSS640, before you start this course. Each class meeting will be divided in three parts:

  1. In class discussion of readings (textbook) and lecture notes. In-depth study of management of information systems and technologies: IST and competitive ability; electronic commerce; information, control and organization; strategic alliances; IST management processes; IST and global issues.
  2. Forum case discussions, prior to the face-to-face meeting. Some cases will only be discussed on the Web, while others will be discussed both on the Web and in the face-to-face meeting.
  3. In class, face-to-face, business case discussions.


To assure fast and timely communications between me and you, and you and other group members, E-Mail will be used extensively in this course. A Forum will also be used for two purposes: (a) discuss cases prior to coming to class, and (b) post information and questions and answers about issues related to the course. I will post last minute notices, assignments, etc, in the Web Board. I will not distribute copies of assignments in class, they will be posted on the syllabus or on the Forum. Your assignments are to be turned-in by e-mail or posted in the Assignments area of the Forum, including the mid-term exam. Therefore be sure that you have access to e-mail and the Web.


(on the World Wide Web)

Class handouts will be available on the Web at the following address of the course syllabus:

The course syllabus will be linked to the class materials. You can see and print the class materials at the Lab and from your office or home (an Internet provider costs between $10-30 per month), using a modern Web browser.


Case analyses (13) 40%
Project 30%
Final exam 30%

Case analyses


Students (two to three) will work in groups to do a follow up study of one of the cases discussed in class. The students will obtain information on the present business and information systems conditions, including threats and opportunities, new challenges, etc. The students will use information provided by the organization Web site, library information retrieval, and e-mail, phone calls, etc, to the companies to write the follow up study.

Final Exam


NOTE: other reading materials will be assigned during the semester and posted on the Forum.

Day Topics (5:30-6:30) Web discussion
(prior to class)
In-class discussion (6:45-8:00)
09/01 Introduction and using the Forum Reply to my posting  
09/08 Challenge of IST [1] Verifone [1-1] Verifone [1-1]
09/15 Manageable trends [2] A Tale of Two Airlines (1-2) A Tale of Two Airlines (1-2)
09/22 Information Technology and Competition [3] Canadian Airlines (2-1) Canadian Airlines (2-1)
09/29 Electronic Commerce [4] H.E. Butt Grocery Co. (2-2) H.E. Butt Grocery Co. (2-2)
10/06 Electronic Commerce Strategies and References Internet Securities, Inc. (2-3) Internet Securities, Inc. (2-3)
10/13 Information Technology Architecture [6] Frito-Lay 1980-1986 (3-2) Frito-Lay 1987-1992 (3-3)
10/20 Organizing and Leading the IT function [5,7] Taco Bell (3-1) Taco Bell (3-1)
10/27 IT Outsourcing [8] Xerox: Outsourcing Global IT Resources (4-1) General Dynamics and Computer Sciences Co. (4-2)
11/03 IT Operations [9] BAE Automated Systems: DIA (4-4) BAE Automated Systems: DIA (4-4)
11/10 No face-to-face meeting (5-2) No face-to-face meeting
11/17 IT Management Processes [10] and IT Project Management [11] Providian Trust (5-3) (5-2) and Providian Trust (5-3)
11/24 UB closed, no classes   Thanksgiving
12/01 The IT Business [13] Singapore Unlimited (4-3) Singapore Unlimited (4-3)
12/08 Project presentations   Project presentations
12/15 in-class final exam   in-class final exam