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Introduction

To many, information has become a strategic asset that any organisation should acquire, maintain and use. Information is now seen as a key to corporate growth and sustainability. Therefore, talking about information becomes part of the day to day job of managers at different levels. Important investments are made to automate the management of information, in other words to make information electronic and facilitate its flow, exchange and storage. With information, employees are continuously encouraged to discover and seize opportunities to attract clients, increase sales and maintain a company's strategic position. Nowadays it is also customers who demand to electronic information at the palm of their hands, in their computers, tablets or mobile phones.

This module seeks to address three issues:

  • the great potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to support the management of information and thus contribute to organisational transformation, improvement and sustained success
  • the reasons behind the widespread failure of information-based systems and technologies to achieve that potential.
  • the possibilities of, and constraints on, closing the gap between what information and technologies offer together and what can actually deliver to organisations.

This module is directed to managers who are responsible for or taking part in projects that bring competitive advantages through the use of information and associated technologies.

Learning outcomes

When you have completed your study of this module and its core readings, you will be able to:

  • explain latest developments in information and communication technologies (ICTs) and information systems (IS)
  • analyse why computerised information systems fail so frequently with reference to the role of information, knowledge, decision making, and types of IS.
  • clarify the basic features of different types of software applications and related ICTs that support information systems, as well as their capabilities, benefits and costs (financial and non-financial)
  • demonstrate different ways in which information systems and the software applications that compose them can be better planned, developed and maintained
  • offer systems thinking as a way to bring together different issues (technical and non-technical) to be considered in the adequate planning, development and implementation of IS.

Study resources

Study guide

The module study guide is carefully structured to provide the main teaching, defining and exploring the main concepts and issues, locating these within current debate and introducing and linking the assigned readings.

Key texts
  • Córdoba-Pachón J-R (2010) Systems Practice in the Information Society. Routledge.
  • Chaffey D (2015) Digital Business and E-Commerce Management. 6th Edition. Pearson.
Readings

Throughout the module you will be directed to study a selection of readings, including journal articles, book extracts and case studies that are of particular relevance and interest to the topics covered in the module.

Virtual learning environment

You will have access to the VLE, which is a web-accessed study centre. Via the VLE, you can communicate with your assigned academic tutor, administrators and other students on the module using discussion forums. The VLE also provides access to the module Study Guide and assignments, as well as a selection of electronic journals available on the University of London Online Library.

Module overview

Unit 1 An Introduction to Information Systems
  • 1.1 Information in Organisations
  • 1.2 Defining Information Systems – The Process Model
  • 1.3 E-Commerce and Digital Business
  • 1.4 Systems and Systems Thinking
  • 1.5 Analysing Information Systems' Case Studies
  • 1.6 Conclusion
Unit 2 Information and Communication Technologies in the Network Society Era
  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 The Network Society
  • 2.3 Communication and Networks
  • 2.4 Software Applications
  • 2.5 Conclusion
Unit 3 The Digital Business Environment and Digital Business Strategies
  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 The Art of War
  • 3.3 Planning for a Digital Business
  • 3.4 Environmental Scanning
  • 3.5 Conclusion
Unit 4 People and Information in Networked Organisations
  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Knowledge at Work
  • 4.3 Defining Organisations
  • 4.4 Management Roles and Management Information
  • 4.5 The Role of People in Information Systems
  • 4.6 The Impact of Computerised Information Systems on Organisations
  • 4.7 Managing Change in Organisations
  • 4.8 Conclusion
Unit 5 Types of Information Systems
  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Types of Information Systems
  • 5.3 Basic Data-Gathering Systems (BDS)
  • 5.4 Information Systems in Action
  • 5.5 Management Information Systems (MIS)
  • 5.6 Decision Support Systems (DSS)
  • 5.7 Executive Information Systems (EIS)
  • 5.8 Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP)
  • 5.9 The Rise of Social Media
  • 5.10 Conclusion
Unit 6 Planning Information Systems
  • 6.1 Introduction
  • 6.2 Revisiting the Information Society
  • 6.3 Managing Transformations
  • 6.4 Engagements
  • 6.5 Unintended Consequences
  • 6.6 A Final Consideration
  • 6.7 Conclusion
Unit 7 Information Systems Development
  • 7.1 Introduction
  • 7.2 IS Planning Revisited
  • 7.3 Types of IS Development
  • 7.4 The System Development Lifecycle
  • 7.5 Information Systems Projects
  • 7.6 Systems Analysis
  • 7.7 System Design
  • 7.8 System Implementation
  • 7.9 System Support
  • 7.10 Conclusion
Unit 8 E-Procurement and Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • 8.1 Introduction
  • 8.2 Revisiting the Supply and Sell Sides of the Networked Organisation
  • 8.3 Systemic Thinking in the Supply Chain
  • 8.4 Supply-Side Strategies – E-Procurement
  • 8.5 Approaches to E-Procurement
  • 8.6 Sell-Side Applications – Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • 8.7 Online CRM
  • 8.8 Social Media and CRM Strategy
  • 8.9 Failed CRM
  • 8.10 Conclusion

Tuition and assessment

Students are individually assigned an academic tutor for the duration of the module, with whom you can discuss academic queries at regular intervals during the study session.

You are required to complete two Assignments for this module, which will be marked by your tutor. Assignments are each worth 15% of your total mark. You will be expected to submit your first assignment by the Tuesday of Week 6, and the second assignment at the end of the module, on the Tuesday after Week 10. Assignments are submitted and feedback given online. In addition, queries and problems can be answered through the Virtual Learning Environment.

You will also sit a three-hour examination on a specified date in September/October, worth 70% of your total mark. An up-to-date timetable of examinations is published on the website in July each year.

Module samples

Click on the links below to download the module sample documents in PDF.