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Information Systems

 

Overview


Information Technology (IT) continues to drive rapid productivity growth and structural changes in the economy. Companies win or lose everyday based on their ability to effectively manage IT. Managers need to understand how IT can be deployed to improve business processes, increase productivity, improve customer service and gain strategic advantage over rivals. As the economy transitions from an industrial economy to an information-based economy, information technologies provide existing companies with new ways to compete, while also creating new entrepreneurial opportunities. Research and teaching in the area of information systems broadly deals with the impact of IT on organizations, markets and societies, taking a joint technological and managerial perspective to understand or explain various phenomena of interest in today’s information economy.

 

“This is an exciting time to be part of the Information Systems PhD community as new information technologies are creating new options for businesses, and transforming the way we work and live.”
Vijay Gurbaxani

Professor, Information Systems

 

Click here to view the Information Systems PhD Program Brochure.

 

Course Descriptions

 

MBA Core Class
     Information Technology for Management
MBA Electives
     Critical IT Decisions for Business Executives
     Database Management & Business Applications
     Digital Strategies and Markets
     Edge

 

Course descriptions for the PhD program may be found on the PhD website, and the Undergraduate business classes may be found through UCI’s course catalogue.

 

Faculty

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vidyanand (VC) Choudhary

PhD, Purdue University
Key Areas - Economics of information systems; versioning and product line design for information goods; pricing and quality strategy for information goods; competitive strategy;  economics of software as a service; electronic marketplaces; information intermediaries
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sanjeev Dewan

PhD, University of Rochester
Key Areas - Business value of information technology investments; impact of Web 2.0 technologies; electronic markets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vijay Gurbaxani

PhD, University of Rochester
Key Areas – IT and innovation; strategic sourcing of IT-enabled services; value of IT investment; economics of information systems

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ken Kraemer (Professor Emeritus)

PhD, University of Southern California
Key Areas – Management of computing; globalization of knowledge work and innovation; offshoring new product development; dynamics of computing in organizations; business value of IT; national policies for IT production and use

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tingting Nian

PhD, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University
Key Areas – Econometric analysis, game theory, data science, social media, social networks, user generated content, electronic markets and online communities, text mining and machine learning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mingdi Xin

PhD, New York University
Key Areas - Software and services pricing;  software-as-a-service adoption; IT sourcing strategies; IT service contracts; IT workforce and compensation structure

 

 

For the latest public research in Information Systems Management, click here.

 

Visiting & Affiliated Faculty and Researchers

 


 

Research


Broadly, the information systems area faculty focus on research dealing with the economic impacts of information technology on organizations, markets and societies. IS area faculty have been highly productive in research, and have consistently published in the top IS journals including Management Science, Information Systems Research and MIS Quarterly as well as in leading journals in computer science and other management disciplines. Since 1990, IS area faculty have secured more than $8 million in grant funding from prestigious sources such as the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and world class companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Intel and Boeing. As a measure of impact, the IS area has consistently been ranked in the top 15. In the 2008 Financial Times survey Merage School was ranked #3 in IT and #5 in e-Business internationally. The 2007 Wall Street Journal survey of b-schools ranked the information systems area seventh in the country. In a study of business school productivity in four leading INFORMS journals, the Merage School placed #8 in the ranking with the IS area being cited as a major contributor to the ranking. This survey also commended CRITO on being among the top centers around the country dedicated to research in information systems. A survey by UT Dallas also highlighted the high productivity of the information systems faculty. The IS faculty had the honor of hosting the 2005 Workshop on Information Systems and Economics (WISE), the premier research forum for research in this area.

 

MBA Core Class


207 Information Technology for Management
Focuses on the links between business strategy and information technology, the organizational implications of the technology, and how to successfully incorporate information technology into organizations.

 

291 Information Economics

tba.

 

MBA Electives

 

271 Systems Analysis and Design

Systems analysis and design is focused on developing and formalizing an understanding of the domain and problems to be solved with an information system in a modern business enterprise. Systems analysis and design must now examine how new information system technologies like the Internet, World-Wide Web, and Enterprise Portals enable new information system applications, and pose difficult technical and business challenges in integrating existing/legacy information systems. This is especially true in the context of applications for Electronic Commerce, E-Business and networked business processes, and Internet-enabled organizational forms like virtual enterprises. Prerequisite:  207.

 

272 Critical IT Decisions for Business Executives
Focuses on developing frameworks for helping management make critical IT decisions.  These issues include how much to invest in IT, how to align IT strategy and business strategy, understanding which management practices enable high return on IT investment, developing sourcing strategies for IT-enabled services including business process outsourcing and information systems services, coordinating with partners, suppliers and customers in value networks, and determining product and operational strategies in increasingly digital environments. Prerequisite:  207

 

274 Database Management & Business Applications
Provides a balanced perspective of managerial and design issues related to capturing, retrieving and analyzing business data for decision making. The course is targeted at managers and does not require any prior technical experience. Many firms like Verizon wireless are interested in predicting churn - which customers are likely to jump to another provider while others like Harrah’s Inc. are using sophisticated consumer databases to provide targeted special offers.  Amazon excels at analyzing customer data to understand purchasing trends and recommend related products.  7-Eleven is using Business Intelligence tools for enterprise planning, integrating budgeting, forecasting, reporting and financial analytics. Wal-Mart has mastered inventory management.  While these decisions occur in different management contexts and in different functional areas, at their core is a critical software -- database software -- that allows companies to engage in informed decision making. About half of the course is dedicated to examining contemporary business applications of databases such as Business Intelligence systems that enable companies to analyze data that resides in a database, and make decisions based on the insight gleaned from that information. Knowledge Management systems enable company-wide sharing of knowledge to enable innovation and improve processes and efficiency. Performance Management systems help to translate broad strategic goals in to performance metrics and goals for individual employees that can be integrated in to the company's processes. The course covers several such applications using case studies, and guest speakers from industry. Prerequisite: 207

 

273 Business Intelligence for Analytical Decisions
This course introduces methods to mine large and small data repositories for business intelligence. The goal of business intelligence is to assist managers in recognizing patterns and making intelligent use of electronic data collected via the internet, e-commerce, electronic banking, point-of-sale devices, bar-code readers, and intelligent machines. Topics include clustering for market segmentation, association rules to discover relationships between different purchase decisions, Naive Bayes classification techniques for predicting future behavior and development and use of decision trees for data based decision making. Examples of successful applications in areas such as credit ratings, fraud detection, database marketing, customer relationship management, and investments are covered. The course is practically-oriented and includes many hands-on exercises.

 

276 Networks and Telecommunications

Designed to provide students with a better understanding of the fundamentals of networking technologies and their applications.  Covers TCP/IP and OSI standards, networking concepts, Intranet/Internet topologies, communications protocols, and an overview of the applications that use them to operate. Prerequisite:  207.


277 Managing Electronic Business

Focusing on the intersection of business and technology, this course helps business managers to understand the strategic issues and managerial implications of doing business in the information age. Studies how new technologies such as the Internet can be used to enhance strategic advantage in established companies as well as opportunities for new ventures. Central issues are business models, electronic markets, information flows in supply chains, business-technology integration, diagnosis of project failures, technology finance, real options applied to e-business projects, ROI analysis of technology investments, and new venture opportunities of emerging technologies (such as Wi-Fi, wireless). These issues are illustrated with case studies, selective readings, and lively executive speakers. Prerequisite:  207.

 

278 Information Systems Project Management

Concentrates on project management techniques in the context of information systems projects:  organizing, planning, budgeting, scheduling, management, leadership, and control.  Special emphasis is placed on issues of system implementation and management of organizational change. Prerequisite:  207.

 

279 Digital Strategies and Markets
This course examines how online social media are impacting organizations and markets. Topics include collective intelligence, online social influence, social networks, and social media monetization.  The target audience consists of students interested in IT consulting, competitive strategy, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

 

290 Digital Strategy and Markets

Topics to be covered include: Organizational and market impact of Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, wikis. Theory and applications of social networks on the Internet    Open source development and collective intelligence Web 2.0 and the transformation of the music industry Piracy, net neutrality and other policy implications The target audience for this course are general managers with interests spanning one or more of IT consulting, competitive strategy, marketing, and entrepreneurship.  Prerequisite:  207.

 

290 Managing Innovation: The Intersection of Business and Technology

To manage in a global and increasingly “flat” world, business leaders must become effective business architects; they must be able to fuse business and technology concepts to deliver differentiation, competitive advantage, and relevant innovation. The class will explore the impact of innovation to business practices, and will introduce business architecture concepts such as component business modeling, application architectures and business case writing. The class will have a mixture of lectures, teamwork exercises, guest speakers and case studies.  5 week course/2 units  Prerequisite:  207.


290 – Business Technology Strategy Consulting
This course provides concepts and frameworks for understanding the potential impact of technology in general and information technology (IT) in particular on business strategy and performance, and explores the roles of both general managers and IT executives in using IT to achieve operational excellence and business agility. This course focuses on offering skill set, content and perspectives suitable for newly hired technology centric consultants. The course examines how some firms make IT a strategic asset while other firms struggle to realize value from IT investments by covering topics that include IT assessment and scenario planning; IT investment , prioritization and value analysis; IT risk services, audit and compliance; Balanced Scorecard; Privacy, personalization and data security; and IT sourcing.
 

290 IT-Enabled Operation Innovation

tba.

 

291 Ph.D. Sem-IS

A special topics course.

 

291 Governance, Management, and Impact of IT

IT has become a critical driver of growth in companies and economies, accounting for 50% of capital investment in the US. Accordingly, understanding the drivers and impacts of IT investment is a major area of research in information systems. Initially, research was unable to empirically associate positive outcomes to IT investment, however, more recently, research at the firm and country levels has shown that IT investments contribute strongly to output growth, productivity and market value. These findings reflecting excessively high returns on IT investment presents a puzzle that is the subject of current research. The potential for such high returns also points to the importance of studying effective management of IT. This seminar will cover topics such as contribution of IT investment to firm-level and country level productivity; role of IT in multifactor productivity growth; role of IT in globalization; incorporation of IT risk and externalizations; and impact of unmeasured investments in organizational capital and intangible assets. We will also cover topics on IT governance such as the role of contract design in achieving effective governance of IT sourcing relationships; economic impact of IT outsourcing focusing on market returns and on labor productivity; pricing of IT products and services; and HR practices and human capital development policies that affect information workers’ performance in unstable environments characterized by off shoring.


291 Seminar on Digital Business

Businesses will succeed in the global innovation economy by deriving competitive advantage from IT-enabled strategies and business models. Innovation in organization structure and in processes is a critical component of innovation, and one that is less easily replicated than product innovation. This seminar will study the role of IT in business innovation including business model innovation, and digital business strategies. Business model innovation includes research on network enabled firms and the location of work. Digital business strategies include leveraging customer information for business intelligence and personalization; personalization-for-privacy tradeoffs; design and pricing strategies for electronic marketplaces; role of reputation systems and transaction costs in consumer-oriented electronic markets; analysis of IT-enabled social networks; impact of social media on organizations and markets; supply chain strategy for digital goods; and pricing and versioning strategy for information goods.

 

291 Economic Theory in IS

Technology is changing rapidly and enabling many new ways of doing business. This rapid pace of change makes it important to identify underlying principles and frameworks that can help explain emerging phenomenon. Economics provides a number of such frameworks and this course will cover such topics including transaction cost economics and search costs; agency theory; theory of network goods; systems competition; compatibility decisions and the role of standards; complementary products; auction theory; price discrimination and product versioning; horizontal and vertical differentiation models; Information goods; product bundling and competition; and applications of economic theory in electronic markets and electronic commerce.

 

291 Ph.D. Sem-Info Econ

A special topics course.


297S Information Economics and Business Applications

This course is designed to provide doctoral students in the Merage School with an overview of the basics of information economics, so the students can readily access the literature in their areas based on this key reference discipline. The course will cover both theoretical tools and methods, as well as their applications in the different fields of business research. The target audience for this course is Ph.D. students across all functional areas of Merage. Information Economics deals with how the differential endowment of information among agents affects decision making in organizations and markets. A critical element in the analysis is the interaction between information and incentives. The distribution of information among agents, coupled with the incentive conflicts between them, has a strong influence on the nature of strategic interactions and outcomes, which is the overarching theme of this course. The motivation for this course at Merage is that the typical Ph.D. student is unlikely to have had significant exposure to game theory and information economics, with a focus on applications to business research. Most introductory graduate-level economics courses have so much ground to cover, that they barely touch upon business applications. Ph.D. seminars in different areas also are unlikely to sufficiently cover topics related to information and incentive effects in organizations, due to their pragmatic objective of broadly surveying research in their respective areas. It is hoped that this course will fill the gap, and provide students with a set of essential modeling tools, that will prove valuable in their future academic careers.