IS 5800 Syllabus

Management of Information Systems: SPRING 2018


Course Hours: Thursdays: 6:55-9:00 pm, Room 005 Express Scripts Hall.

This section is based on a “flipped” classroom, a form of blended learning in which students learn content online by reading and watching videos and recorded lectures outside the classroom.  Class time is used for group project work, group presentations and exams.

Course Instructor:

Dr. Mary C. Lacity
235 Express Scripts Hall
(314) 516-6127 (work)
(314) 516-6827 (fax)


Office Hours:  Thursdays: 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm (no appointment needed—just stop in!); other times by appointment

Course Description:


Bulletin description:  This course provides an overview of the established and contemporary issues related to managing information systems within organizations.  Topics include:

*             Global IT spend

*             Role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO)

*             Enterprise Systems (e.g., ERP, CRM, SCM)

*             Managing IT within and across organizations (i.e., IT strategy, governance, organizational structures, technology acceptance)

*             Impact of IT on organizational competitiveness and global economies—if machines do everything, what will people do?

*             Managing IT-enabled projects; Project Management; Change management

*             Business Intelligence, Big Data and the Internet of Things

*             IT sourcing arrangements (outsourcing, cloud computing)

*             IT issues related to security, privacy, intellectual property rights, and ethics

*             Societal impacts of IT such as Green IT and Digital Divide

*             Business value of emergent technologies (e.g., Cognitive Automation (Machine Learning), Blockchain, Robots, Digital Fabrication (3-D printing), Augmented Reality; Social Media;)


Course Instructor:



Dr. Mary C. Lacity is Curators’ Distinguished Professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  She has held visiting positions at MIT, the London School of Economics, Washington University, and Oxford University. She is a Certified Outsourcing Professional ®, Industry Advisor for Symphony Ventures, and Co-editor of the Palgrave Series: Work, Technology, and Globalization. Her research focuses on the delivery of business and IT services through global sourcing and automation.  She has conducted case studies and surveys of hundreds of organizations on their outsourcing and management practices. She has given keynote speeches and executive seminars worldwide and has served as an expert witness for the US Congress.  She was inducted into the IAOP’s Outsourcing Hall of Fame in 2014, one of only three academics to ever be inducted. She was the recipient of the 2008 Gateway to Innovation Award sponsored by the IT Coalition, Society for Information Management, and St. Louis RCGA. She has published 27 books, most recently Robotic and Cognitive Automation: The Next Phase (2018), Robotic Process Automation and Risk Mitigation: The Definitive Guide (2017) and Service Automation: Robots and the Future of Work  (2016)(SB Publishing, UK, co-author Leslie Willcocks).  Her publications have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, MIS Quarterly, MIS Quarterly Executive, IEEE Computer, Communications of the ACM, and many other academic and practitioner outlets. 



Course Materials:


I have selected the most pertinent readings for each module, including foundational readings that remain relevant through time and thought-provoking contemporary readings.  Readings are posted on Canvas. You may also download readings from the online libraries available to all UMSL students.


We will also read selected chapters from three books.  New and used books (kindle, hard copy, soft copy) may be purchased from Amazon.




Required Reading

Brynjolfsson, E. and McAfee, A. (2014) The Second Machine Age, Norton, New York,

ISBN 9780393239355


Chapters 1 & 2,320_.jpg

Rogers, E.M. (2006) Diffusion of Innovations, New York, Free Press, fourth or fifth edition.

ISBN: 0743222091



Chapters 1

Tapscott, D., and Tapscott, A. (2016), Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World, Penguin Random House, NYC

ISBN: 978-1101980132

Chapters 1 & 2


Course Grades:





Exam I

Thursday, Feb 8 in class


Exam II

Thursday, March 1 in class


Exam III

Thursday, April 5 in class


Oral Group Presentation

See schedule below


Class Participation

Required Attendance Days


Because the instructor will raise the student’s lowest exam score by 10 points, the final average is calculated using the following formula:


Final Grade = (Best Exam Score *.20) + (Second Best Exam Score *.20) + ((Worst Exam Score + 10) * .2) + (Oral Grade *.35) + Class Participation


The conversion from a numeric final average to a course letter grade is strictly enforced since the grading generosity comes from adding 10 points to the lowest exam score. The letter grades use the following scale:


92.00 or above


90.00 to 91.99


88.00 to 89.99


82.00 to 87.99


80.00 to 81.99


78.00 to 79.99


72.00 to 77.99


70.00 to 71.99


Below 70.00



Grading Philosophy. Professors do not “give” grades.  Students “earn” grades.  I take grading very seriously.  I thoughtfully grade each assessment item on the assessment sheets.  A sub-culture has emerged among some (certainly not all) graduate students that graduate students are “customers” and that everything they do should be given an A.  Such a view dilutes the value of your education.  I am morally obligated to clearly define expectations (which I do on a very detailed syllabus), to help you as much as I can before your exams and oral presentations (which I do for each individual and group), and to grade the actual performance using the assessment sheets.  


Protesting grades on these grounds are not effective: ignorance about when something is due (that never works-read the syllabus for due dates), ignorance of an assessment item (that never works, everything is posted in Canvas), different perception of performance (as an outside and experienced observer, I am certainly more objective than the student who self-assesses!), personal problems (must be documented and discussed before an exam or presentation), all the hard work they did (that’s an input, not an output), etc. 


I must treat and assess each student the same—fairly and consistently.  I cannot make exceptions for some students.  All that said, I have great empathy for college students, having been one myself for nine years!   I care about your learning. I want to see all students earn high grades!


The exams cover material from the assigned readings, assigned videos/webinars/Voicethreads, professor’s lectures, and group presentations. The exam study guides posted in Canvas will guide you as you work your way through the modules.


Exams are closed notes, closed books, closed Internet—all you need is your brain.


No make-up exams will be given without prior instructor permission or under extreme documentable circumstances.


Students will take 3 exams.  Exams are NOT cumulative.  The instructor will raise the student’s lowest exam score by 10 points. 


Based on years of experience, students are much more likely to perform well on exams if students:


A. Set aside 10 to 15 hours a week to work on a module-put the time slot on your family and work calendars

B. Printed the study guide before working through a module

C. Closely read required readings and closely watch webinars and required videos

D. Actively participate in your learning—answer the study guide questions as you read and watch assigned materials.

E. Start a study group! A study group is an effective and pleasant way to reinforce learning.


Students who have earned As on past exams report that they have followed A through D/E and studied for the exam for 5 to 10 hours the week prior to the exam.  I suggest you schedule time each week to read assignments and schedule 5 to 10 hours the week prior to the exam for studying.


If students have not done A through D, students find it overwhelming to read all the assignments and watch all the videos/webinars in the week prior to the exam.

I want you all to succeed!  Please follow my advice! 

Oral Group Presentation:

The class will be divided into 8 groups. Each group is responsible for presenting a 45 to 50 minute presentation to the class. Each group will be assigned a different IT topic:


Group 1: Organizational uses of social media

Group 2: Green IT
Group 3: Internet of Things

Group 4: IT Security and Privacy

Group 5: Digital Fabrication (3-D printing)

Group 6: Augmented Reality
Group 7: IT Entrepreneurs

Group 8: The Rise of the Robots


Important Information for Group Projects:


Advice and Checklists for Oral Group Presentations

Information about required Academic Articles

Watch recording on finding academic articles (in Canvas under GROUP PROJECT MATERIALS folder)

Information about required Primary Sources

Watch webinar on interview tips (in Canvas under GROUP PROJECT MATERIALS folder)

Information about Citations

PRESENTATION TIMING: The entire presentation should be between 45 and 50 minutes

Each group should spend their time in approximately the following way: (Again, some topics lend themselves to a slightly different format, so be sure to look at my links to your topic.)

Overview of the topic. Provide general statistics about your topic; why is your topic important to general managers? How much money do companies spend on your topic? What are the promised benefits of this topic if properly managed?  What are the potential pitfalls if mis-managed?  What will we learn from your presentation? If you cite surveys, YOU MUST TELL US ABOUT THE SAMPLE in terms of size of organizations that participated (such as Fortune 500), geographic dispersion (such as U.S. or global), sample size, and date of data collection.  You'll be surprised how surveys report very different figures because of sample diversity. (~10 minutes)

Real–world examples: Explain your topic with rich examples based on your primary and secondary sources.  (For organizational uses of social media, “examples” might include examples of how specific companies engage customers in social media sites; for Green IT group, “examples” may include how specific organizations dispose of e-waste, or specific company’s Green IT polices and practices.) Why did you select these examples?  How are they representative of the lessons you are trying to demonstrate? (~20 minutes)

Generalizations/Lessons Learned/Best Practices: Do a cross-case comparison of similarities and differences among the examples. Extract a set of lessons or best practices for the general manager; tie these lessons back to the examples.  (~5 minutes)

Audience Activity. Each group should only plan 35 to 40 minutes of content to allow 5 to 10 minutes of audience interaction. In the past, students have done very creative things for audience participation including “Name that Entrepreneur”, a short Jeopardy game, a short survey, Taboo game, stand up sit down, etc.  Groups normally reward participation with small prizes like candy.  (~5 to 10 minutes)



Each group will develop power point slides (or Prezi).


On the day of your presentation, please provide a STAPLED, hardcopy set of slides for your instructor. Please print only 2 slides per page.


Please load your final power point slides in GROUP X Group Pages under FILE EXCHANGE. 


Please name the final version of your power point slides exactly as indicated below:




Oral Presentation File Name

File names are case sensitive

Group 1: Organizational uses of social media


Group 2: Green IT


Group 3: Internet of Things


Group 4: IT Security and Privacy


Group 5: Digital Fabrication (3-D printing)


Group 6: Augmented Reality


Group 7: IT Entrepreneurs


Group 8: The Rise of the Robots


I am very happy to work with groups on their specific topic. I strongly suggest that I meet with your groups several times.  At a MINIMUM, I want to review your power point slides at least a week before your presentation.

Oral Group Presentation Grades:

Oral presentations are graded as a group grade rather than as individual grades.  Oral group presentations will be graded using the following form: oral group grade form


Individuals in a group never contribute the exact equal amounts of time, content, and value. This often leads to some people feeling they worked more than others, and some people feeling left out. Usually a leader emerges, one who will hopefully help find the gifts of each individual. Unfortunately, I cannot effectively intervene in these matters and I rely on you as adults to ensure that all members of your group meaningfully contribute to the data gathering, interviewing, analysis, slide design, and presenting the final project.

All group members will receive the same grade for the oral presentation, provided that all members agree that each individual made a significant contribution. If a group member has not meaningfully or fully participated, I will assume that group member was legitimately distracted by other life issues such as illness or heavy work travel. I do expect that members who do not fully participate show their integrity by willingly reducing their percentage of contribution. It is no shame to not fully participate because of legitimate reasons.  It is unethical to ask other group members to falsely report contribution percentages.

In order to provide some accountability, albeit imperfect, I will ask that each group fill in the following form and each group member must sign it. This form is due on the day of presentation.

Please print, fill in, and have every member sign a copy of: group contribution form .

Attendance Policy/Class Participation:

Attendance is required on three exam days, required group project work days, and ALL group project presentations.


Attendance will be taken at the start of each scheduled class on REQUIRED attendance days.


Students must attend all group presentation or students will be required to write 250 word essays on each missed presentation. The essay questions are: "Why is the topic important to general managers? What are the promised benefits of this topic, the potential pitfalls, and overall lessons you learned from the presentation?"  Essays are due May 6 by 8:00 am.  If essays are not turned in, the student will receive a delayed grade in the course.


If a student misses a class, he or she is responsible for the material covered.





Read or Watch



Attendance Required?

1. Thursday,

January 18

Course Overview

Read:  Lacity (2016), “Why General Managers Need to Actively Participate in Information Technology Decisions”


Watch Voicethreads posted in Canvas under course overview folder


·Why general managers need to participate in IT governance

·IT spend-world, country, firm

·IT-enabled competitive advantage, business process excellence, and cost containment


2. Thursday January 25

Assign Students to Group Projects

Review syllabus links to group project topic descriptions before class


·   How group projects will be graded

·   How to find academic references

·   How to stay on track


2. Week of Thursday,

January 25



IT Governance


Read: Kappelman, L.,  McLean, E.,  Johnson, V. and  Torres, R. et al. (2017), “The 2016 SIM IT Issues and Trends Study,” MIS Quarterly Executive, 16(1), 47-80.


Watch Voicethreads posted in Canvas under IT Governance folder


Watch assigned videos on ERP, CRM, and Cloud


·         Understand IT departments (structure, role of CIO)

·          Understand services performed by IT departments

·          Understand IT governance


Do the IT Governance and IT Technology and Management Trends modules on your own


IT Technology and Management


Watch Voicethreads posted in Canvas under Technology and Management

Trends  folder


Read: Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2017:


Watch Video: Gartner 2017 top ten trends:



·         Current IT management trends

·         Current IT technology trends

3. Week of Thursday,

February 1

Effects of  IT on organizational competitiveness and global economies



Read: Brynjolfsson, E. and McAfee, A. The Second Machine Age, 2014, Norton, New York .Chapters 1 &2.


Watch Videos: TED talks by the authors:

Andrew McAfee at TED: What will future jobs look like?


Erik Brynjolfsson at TED: The key to growth? Race with the machines


TEDtalks available at you-tube and also at


·      First and second machine age

·      How have the bounds of technological capabilities changed from 2009 to 2014?

·      What will technology’s capabilities likely be in the future?

·      What does the Second Machine Age imply for the nature of work and global economic prosperity?

NO; Meet with groups and do the module on your own;

4. Thursday,

Exam I

Feb 8




5. Week of Feb 15

Organizational Acceptance of Information Technologies

Read: Rogers, E.M. (2006), Diffusion of Innovations, New York, Free Press, fourth or fifth edition. Read Chapter 1.  

Watch & listen: Webinar Adoption of Innovations I


Read: Gartner hype cycle:


Read: Christensen, C., Raynor, M., and McDonald, R. (2015), “Disruptive Innovations,” Harvard Business Review, 93(12): 45-53.


Watch 3 videos:

Professor Rosemann’s overview of Roger’s theory:


Christensen’s Disruptive Innovation:


Watch webinars/Voicethreads posted in Canvas under Organizational Acceptance of Information Technologies folder



·   Roger’s Adoption Curve

·   Rogers’ Theory on Determinants of Individual Adoption

·   Roger’s Theory on Determinants of Organizational Adoption

·   Consequences of innovations

·   Innovation Research biases

·   Gartner Hype Cycle phases

·   Christensen’s theory of disruptive innovation

NO; Meet with groups and do the module on your own

6. Week of Feb 22

Management of Large Scale IT-enabled Business Projects

Read: short except on Project Management from Lacity, M. (editor), (2008), Major Currents in Information Systems: The Management of Information Systems, Volume 4 (series editors: Willcocks, L., and Lee, A.), Sage, London.


Read Lynch Standish Group 2015 Chaos Report


Read: Nelson, R., (2007), "IT Project Management: Infamous Failure, Classic Mistakes, and Best Practices," MISQE, Vol. 6, 2, pp. 67-78.

Read: Nelson, R. (2014), “IT Project Estimation: Contemporary Practices and Management Guidelines,”MISQE, Vol. 13, 1, pp. 15-30.

Watch You-tube videos on Project failures


Watch Webinars


·   Waterfall vs. Agile methods

·   Statistics/measures on project success rates

·   Reasons projects fail

·   Project management best practices

·   Change management objectives and practices

NO; Meet with groups and do the module on your own

7. Thursday March 1

In Class Exam II


8. Week of March 8


Do Option A or Option B





IT Sourcing











Cloud Services

Read: Lacity, M. and Willcocks, L. (2013), “Sourcing of Information Technology Services,” The Computing Handbook Set, Information Systems and Information Technology (Volume II)(Heikki Topi, ed.), Article 60.

Watch webinars posted in Canvas under IT Sourcing folder


· IT Sourcing decisions(options, locations, other)

· determinants of IT sourcing decisions

· outsourcing success rates

· determinants of ITO outcomes

· enduring ITO challenges

NO; Meet with groups and do the module on your own

Read: Loebbecke, C., Thomas, B., and Ulrich, T., “Assessing Cloud Readiness at Continental AG,” MIS Quarterly Executive, (11)1: 11-23.

Read: Lacity, M., and Reynolds, P. (2014), “Cloud Services Practices for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises,” MIS Quarterly Executive, Vol. 13, 1, pp. 31-44.

Watch webinars posted in Canvas Cloud Services folder


· Cloud basics

· What value do clients seek from cloud services?

· What practices ensure success?

· Is cloud services is becoming the “great equalizer” between large and small-sized firms?


NO; Meet with groups and do the module on your own




Cognitive Automation

Read: Lacity, M. (2017), “The Cogs and Wrenches of Cognitive Automation,” Working paper.

Lacity, M., Scheepers, R., Willcocks, L., and Craig, A. (2017), “Reimagining the University at Deakin: An IBM Watson Automation Journey”, The LSE Outsourcing Unit Working Research Paper Series.

Lacity, M., Willcocks, L. and Craig, A. (2017), “Service Automation: Cognitive Virtual Agents at SEB Bank,”

Watch You-Tube Video: Why the rise of the robots won’t mean the end of work

Watch Voicethreads posted in Canvas under Cognitive Automation folder


·         Understand what’s different about CA

·         Machine Learning, NLP, and Machine Vision

·         Challenges with data and algorithms

·         Gaining the triple-win

·         Risks to avoid or minimize

·         Action principles for success

·         Implications for the future of work

NO; Meet with groups and do the module on your own

9. Week of Thursday  March 15


Read Chapters 1 & 2: Tapscott, D., and Tapscott, A. (2016), Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World, Penguin Random House, NY

Watch video: The real value of bitcoin and crypto currency technology - The Blockchain explained

Watch voicethreads

Blockchain defined – Learn the major components of a blockchain and what functions do they serve

Why blockchains? – Learn what problems do blockchains aim to solve

History of Bitcoin – Learn how Bitcoin jumpstarted a new currency

Challenges – Learn about the dark sides and challenges of blockchains

Future Implications – Learn how are/will blockchains transform or disrupt industries

NO; Meet with groups and do the module on your own

10. Thursday March 22


Professor to review slides for groups 1 and 2 during class


11. Thursday April 5

EXAM III in Class


12. Thursday April 12

Group 1: Organizational uses of social media

Group 2: Green IT

Professor to review slides for Group 3 from 5:45 to 6:15

Group 4 from 6:15 to 6:45


13. Thursday April 19

Group 3: Internet of Things

Group 4: IT Security and Privacy

Professor to review slides for Group 5 from 5:45 to 6:15

Group 6 from 6:15 to 6:45


14. Thursday

April 26

Group 5: 3-D printing

Group 6: Augmented Reality

Professor to review slides for Group 7 from 5:45 to 6:15

Group 8 from 6:15 to 6:45


15. Thursday

May 3

Group 7: IT Entrepreneurs

Group 8: The Rise of the Robots