Major: management information systems

Chapter 1: Managing the Digital Firm
1. List and describe four reasons why information systems are so important for business
2. Describe five technology and business trends that have enhanced the role of
information systems in today’s competitive business environment.
3. Describe the capabilities of a digital firm. Why are digital firms so powerful?
4. What is an information system? Distinguish between a computer, a computer program,
and an information system. What is the difference between data and information?
5. What activities convert raw data to usable information in information systems? What is
their relationship to feedback?
6. What is the purpose of an information system from a business perspective? What role
does it play in the business information value chain?
7. What is information systems literacy? How does it differ from computer literacy?
8. What are the organizational, management, and technology dimensions of information
9. What are the Internet and the World Wide Web? How have they changed the roles
played by information systems in organizations?
10. Why do some firms obtain greater value from their information systems than others?
What role do complementary assets and organizational and management capital play?
11. Distinguish between a behavioral and a technical approach to information systems in
terms of the questions asked and the answers provided. What major disciplines
contribute to an understanding of information systems?
12. What are the key management challenges involved in building, operating, and
maintaining information systems today?

Chapter 2: Information Systems in the Enterprise
1. Identify and describe the three levels of the organizational hierarchy. Which types of
information systems serve each level?
2. List and briefly describe the major types of systems in organizations.
3. What are the five types of TPS in business organizations? What functions do they
perform? Give examples of each.
4. What are the characteristics of MIS? How do MIS differ from TPS? From DSS?
5. What are the characteristics of DSS? How do they differ from those of ESS?
6. Describe the relationship between TPS, MIS, DSS, and ESS.
7. List and describe the information systems serving each of the major functional areas of
a business.
8. What is a business process? Give two examples of processes for functional areas of the
business and one example of a cross-functional process.
9. Why are organizations trying to integrate their business processes? What are the four
key enterprise applications for organization-wide process integration?
10. What are enterprise systems? How do they change the way an organization works?
11. What are supply chain management systems? How do they benefit businesses?
12. What are customer relationship management systems? How do they benefit businesses?
13. What is the role of knowledge management systems in the enterprise? What
organizational processes are supported by knowledge management applications?
14. What are the challenges posed by the existence of various types of information systems
in the enterprise? How can these challenges be addressed?

Chapter 3: Information systems, organizations, management and strategy
1. What is an organization? Compare the technical definition of organizations with the
behavioral definition.
2. What features do all organizations have in common? In which ways can organizations
3. How are information technology services delivered in organizations? Describe the role
played by programmers, systems analysts, information systems managers, and the chief
information officer (CIO).
4. Describe the major economic theories that help explain how information systems affect
5. Describe the major behavioral theories that help explain how information systems affect
6. Why is there considerable organizational resistance to the introduction of information
7. Compare the descriptions of managerial behavior in the classical and behavioral models.
8. Which specific managerial roles can information systems support? Where are
information systems particularly strong in supporting managers, and where are they
9. Compare individual and organizational models of decision making.
10. What is the impact of the Internet on organizations and the process of management?
11. Describe appropriate models for analyzing strategy at the business level and the types
of strategies and information systems that can be used to compete at this level.
12. Describe appropriate strategies for the firm level and how information systems can help
companies compete at this level.
13. How can the competitive forces model, information partnerships, business ecosystems,
and network economics be used to identify strategies at the industry level?
14. How have the value chain and competitive forces models changed as a result of the
Internet and the emergence of digital firms?
15. Describe the management challenges posed by the role of information systems in
organizations and suggest some solutions.

Chapter 4: the digital firm: electronic business and electronics commerce
1. What are the advantages of using the Internet as the infrastructure for
electronic commerce and electronic business?
2. How is the Internet changing the economics of information and business
3. Name and describe six Internet business models for electronic commerce.
Distinguish between a pure-play Internet business model and a clicks-and-
mortar business model.
4. Name and describe the various categories of electronic commerce.
5. How can the Internet facilitate sales and marketing to individual customers?
Describe the role played by Web personalization.
6. How can the Internet help provide customer service?
7. How can Internet technology support business-to-business electronic
8. What are Net marketplaces? Why do they represent an important business
model for B2B e-commerce? How do they differ from private industrial
9. Name and describe the principal electronic payment systems used on the
10. Why are intranets so useful for electronic business?
11. How can intranets support organizational collaboration?
12. Describe the uses of intranets for electronic business in sales and marketing,
human resources, finance and accounting, and manufacturing.
13. How can companies use Internet technology for integrating business processes?
How does Internet technology facilitate collaborative commerce?
14. What is channel conflict? Why is it becoming a growing problem in electronic
15. Describe the management challenges posed by electronic commerce and
electronic business and suggest some solutions.

Chapter 5: Ethical and social issues in the digital firm
1. In what ways are ethical, social, and political issues connected? Give some examples.
2. What are the key technological trends that heighten ethical concerns?
3. What are the differences between responsibility, accountability, and liability?
4. What are the five steps in an ethical analysis?
5. Identify and describe six ethical principles.
6. What is a professional code of conduct?
What are meant by privacy and fair information practices?
8. How is the Internet challenging the protection of individual privacy?
9. What role can informed consent, legislation, industry self-regulation, and technology
tools play in protecting individual privacy of Internet users?
10. What are the three different regimes that protect intellectual property rights? What
challenges to intellectual property rights does the Internet pose?
11. Why is it so difficult to hold software services liable for failure or injury?
12. What is the most common cause of system quality problems?
13. Name and describe four quality of life impacts of computers and information systems.
14. What is technostress, and how would you identify it?
15. Name three management actions that could reduce RSI injuries.

Chapter 6: IT infrastructure and platforms
1. Define IT infrastructure from both a technology and a services perspective. Which
services does IT infrastructure comprise?

2. Name and describe the different levels of IT infrastructure.

3. List each of the eras in IT infrastructure evolution and describe their distinguishing

4. Define and describe the following: Web server, application server, multitiered
client/server architecture.

5. What are Moore’s Law and the Law of Mass Digital Storage? What aspects of
infrastructure change do they help explain?

6. How do network economics, declining communications costs, and technology standards
affect IT infrastructure and the use of computers?

7. List and describe the components of IT infrastructure that firms need to manage.

8. Compare grid computing and edge computing.

9. How can businesses benefit from on-demand computing and autonomic computing?

10. Define and describe open-source software and Linux. How can they benefit businesses?

11. What is Java? Why is it important today?

12. What is the difference between enterprise application integration software and Web
services? What role is played by XML in Web services?

13. Name and describe the three external sources for software.

14. Name and describe the management challenges posed by IT infrastructure.

15. How would using a competitive forces model help firms with infrastructure investments?

16. How would calculating the total cost of ownership (TCO) of technology assets help firms
make infrastructure investments?

Chapter 7: Managing data resources
1. Why is file management important for overall system performance?
2. List and describe each of the components in the data hierarchy.
3. Define and explain the significance of entities, attributes, and key fields.
4. List and describe the problems of the traditional file environment.
5. Define a database and a database management system.
6. Name and briefly describe the three components of a DBMS.
7. What is the difference between a logical and a physical view of data?
8. List some benefits of a DBMS and the solutions it provides for the problems of a
traditional file environment.
9. Describe the principal types of databases and the advantages and disadvantages of
10. What is normalization? How is it related to the features of a well-designed relational
11. What is a distributed database, and what are the two main ways of distributing data?
12. Why are data quality audits and data cleansing essential?
13. Describe the capabilities of online analytical processing (OLAP) and data mining.
14. What is a data warehouse? How can it benefit organizations?
15. What is a hypermedia database? How does it differ from a traditional database? How is
it used for the Web?
16. How can users access information from a company’s internal databases through the
17. What are the challenges of a database environment? What are the four key
organizational elements for creating a database environment?

Chapter 8: telecommunications, networks and the internet
1. Describe the features of a contemporary corporate telecommunications
infrastructure and a simple network.
2. Describe seven major trends in telecommunications.
3. What is the business value of telecommunications and networking? What role
is played by Metcalfe’s Law?
4. Name and describe the three technologies that have shaped contemporary
telecommunications systems.
5. Name the different types of physical transmission media and compare them in
terms of speed and cost.
6. What is a local area network (LAN)? What are the components of a typical
LAN? What are the functions of each component?
7. Name and describe the principal network topologies.
8. Define the following: WAN, MAN, modem, protocol, optical network, and bandwidth.
9. List and describe the various broadband network services.
10. What are the features that define the Internet? How is the Internet governed?
How does it provide business value?
11. Explain how the domain name and IP addressing system works.
12. List and describe the principal Internet services.
13. List and describe alternative ways of locating information on the Web.
14. What are intranets and extranets? How do they provide value to businesses?
15. Describe the capabilities of next-generation networks, including Internet2?
How do they differ from those of the existing public Internet? What benefits
can they provide?
16. Name and describe the principal technologies and tools that support
communication and electronic business.
17. What are Internet telephony and virtual private networks? How do they
provide value to businesses?
18. Describe the challenges posed by networking and the Internet and some ways
to address them.

Chapter 9: the wireless revolution
1. How does wireless technology provide business value?
2. Name and describe the principal wireless transmission media and devices.
3. List and describe the major cellular network standards and cellular network
4. What is Bluetooth? Describe its capabilities. For what types of applications is it best
5. What is Wi-Fi? Describe the 802.11b standard for wireless networking. How does it
6. What are the benefits and challenges of using Wi-Fi?
7. What is WiMax? How does it differ from Wi-Fi?
8. What is EV-DO? How does it differ from WiMax and Wi-Fi?
9. Compare the WAP and I-mode standards for wireless access to the Web.
10. What is the difference between nomadic computing and mobile computing?
11. List and describe the most important types of m-commerce services and applications.
12. How do wireless portals and voice portals help users access information on the Web?
13. Describe the payment systems for m-commerce. What role is played by mobile wallets?
14. What are some of the barriers to m-commerce?
15. How can wireless technology support customer relationship management and supply
chain management?
16. What is RFID? How does it work? How does it provide value to businesses?
17. What are wireless sensor networks? How do they work? What applications use them?
18. Describe the challenges posed by wireless technology and some ways to address them.

Chapter 10: Security and control
1. Why are computer systems so vulnerable? Describe the most common threats against
contemporary information systems.
2. Why are the Internet and Wi-Fi networks so difficult to secure?
3. What is malware? Distinguish between a virus, a worm, and a Trojan horse.
4. What is a hacker? How do hackers create security problems and damage systems?
5. How can software affect system performance and security?
6. What is computer crime? Provide two examples of crime in which computers are a target
and two examples in which computers are used as instruments of crime.
7. What is identity theft? Why is it such a big problem today? How does phishing promote
identity theft?
8. How can computer systems and networks be used for cyberterrorism and cyberwarfare?
9. What security problems are created by employees?
10. Define security and control. How do they provide business value? How are security and
control related to recent U.S. government regulatory requirements and to computer
11. Distinguish between general controls and application controls.
12. What is the function of risk assessment? How is it conducted for information systems?
13. Define and describe the following: security policy, acceptable use policy, authorization
14. Distinguish between fault-tolerant and high-availability computing and between disaster
recovery planning and business continuity planning.
15. How does MIS auditing enhance the control process?
16. Name and describe three authentication methods.
17. Describe the roles of firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and antivirus software in
promoting security.
18. How can encryption be used to protect information? Describe the role of encryption and
digital certificates in a public key infrastructure.
19. What management challenges are raised by information systems security and control?
How can these challenges be addressed?

Chapter 11: enterprise applications and business process integration
1. What is an enterprise system? How does enterprise software work?
2. How do enterprise systems provide value for a business?
3. What is a supply chain? What entities does it comprise? What is supply chain
4. List and describe the five major supply chain processes.
5. What is the bullwhip effect? How can supply chain management systems deal with it?
6. What are supply chain planning systems and supply chain execution systems? What
functions do they perform?
7. How can the Internet and Internet technology facilitate supply chain management?
8. How do supply chain management systems provide value for a business?
9. What is customer relationship management? Why are customer relationships so
important today?
10. How is partner relationship management (PRM) related to customer relationship
management (CRM)?
11. Describe the tools and capabilities of customer relationship management software for
sales, marketing, and customer service.
12. Distinguish between operational and analytical CRM.
13. How do customer relationship management systems provide value for a business?
14. What are service platforms? How can they be used with enterprise applications to
provide more cross-functional process integration?
15. What are the challenges posed by enterprise applications? How can these challenges be

Chapter 12: managing knowledge in the digital firm
1. What is knowledge management? How does it promote organizational learning? Why is it of great
interest to business?
2. Describe the important dimensions of knowledge. Distinguish between data, knowledge, and
wisdom and between explicit and tacit knowledge.
3. Describe the stages in the knowledge management value chain that add value as data and
information are transformed into useful knowledge.
4. Describe the role played by organizational and management capital in knowledge management.
5. What are structured knowledge systems? Describe their capabilities.
6. What are semistructured knowledge systems? Describe their capabilities.
7. How do taxonomies and tools for tagging facilitate knowledge management?
8. Describe the capabilities of knowledge network systems.
9. Describe the role of the following in facilitating knowledge management: portals, collaboration
tools, and learning management systems.
10. What are knowledge work systems? What role do they play in knowledge management? What are
the generic requirements of knowledge work systems?
11. Describe how the following systems support knowledge work: computer-aided design (CAD),
virtual reality, and investment workstations.
12. What are intelligent techniques? Why are they of interest to businesses for knowledge
management? How does artificial intelligence differ from human intelligence?
13. Define an expert system, describe how it works, and explain how it can contribute to knowledge
14. What is case-based reasoning? How does it differ from an expert system? How does it support
knowledge management?
15. What is a neural network? How can neural networks help companies with knowledge management?
16. Define and describe fuzzy logic. For what kinds of applications is it suited?
17. What are genetic algorithms? How can they help organizations solve problems? For what kinds of
problems are they suited?
18. What are intelligent agents? How can they be used to benefit businesses?
19. What management challenges are raised by knowledge management systems? How can businesses
obtain value from their knowledge management investments?

Chapter 13: enhancing decision making for the digital firm
1. What is business intelligence? What applications and technologies does it include?
2. What are the different decision-making levels and decision-making constituencies in
organizations? How do their decision-making requirements differ?
3. What is the difference between an unstructured, semistructured, and structured
4. List and describe the stages in decision making.
5. What is the difference between a decision-support system (DSS) and a management
information system (MIS)?
6. What is the difference between a data-driven DSS and a model-driven DSS? Give
7. What are the three basic components of a DSS? Briefly describe each.
8. How can DSS help firms with supply chain management and customer relationship
management? How do DSS provide value for a business?
9. What is a geographic information system (GIS)? How does it use data visualization
technology? How can it support decision making?
10. What is a customer decision-support system? How can the Internet be used for this
11. What is a group decision-support system (GDSS)? How does it differ from a DSS? What
underlying problems in group decision making led to the development of GDSS?
12. Describe the three elements of a GDSS and five GDSS software tools.
13. How can GDSS provide value for a business?
14. Define and describe the capabilities of an executive support system (ESS).
15. How can the Internet and enterprise systems provide capabilities for executive support
16. How do ESS enhance managerial decision making? How do they provide value for a
17. What are the challenges posed by systems to support decision making? How can these
challenges be addressed?

Chapter 14: redesigning the organization with information systems
1. Why can an information system be considered planned organizational change?
2. What are the major categories of an information systems plan?
3. How can enterprise analysis and critical success factors be used to establish
organization-wide information systems requirements?
4. Describe each of the four kinds of organizational change that can be promoted with
information technology.
5. What is business process reengineering? What steps are required to make it effective?
How does it differ from business process management?
6. How do information systems support process changes that promote quality in an
7. What is the difference between systems analysis and systems design? What activities
does each comprise?
8. What are information requirements? Why are they difficult to determine correctly?
9. Why is the testing stage of systems development so important? Name and describe the
three stages of testing for an information system.
10. What role do programming, conversion, production, and maintenance play in systems
11. Compare object-oriented and traditional structured approaches for modeling and
designing systems.
12. What is the traditional systems life cycle? Describe each of its steps and its advantages
and disadvantages for systems building.
13. What do we mean by information system prototyping? What are its benefits and
limitations? List and describe the steps in the prototyping process.
14. What is an application software package? What are the advantages and disadvantages
of developing information systems based on software packages?
15. What is meant by end-user development? What are its advantages and disadvantages?
Name some policies and procedures for managing end-user development.
16. What is outsourcing? Under what circumstances should it be used for building
information systems?
17. Describe the management challenges posed by building systems and suggest some

Chapter 15: understanding the business value of systems and managing change
1. Name and describe the principal capital budgeting methods used to evaluate
information system projects.
2. What are the limitations of financial models for establishing the value of information
3. Describe how portfolio analysis and scoring models can be used to establish the worth
of systems.
4. How can real options pricing models be used to help evaluate information technology
5. Have information systems enhanced productivity in businesses? Explain your answer.
6. Why do builders of new information systems need to address change management?
7. What kinds of problems provide evidence of information systems failure?
8. Why is it necessary to understand the concept of implementation when managing the
organizational change surrounding a new information system?
9. What are the major causes of implementation success or failure?
10. What is the user-designer communications gap? What kinds of implementation
problems can it create?
11. Why is there such a high failure rate among enterprise application implementations
and business process reengineering (BPR) projects? What role do information
systems play in the success or failure of mergers and acquisitions?
12. What dimensions influence the level of risk in each systems development project?
13. What project management techniques can be used to control project risk?
14. What strategies can be used to overcome user resistance to systems development
15. What organizational considerations should be addressed by information systems
16. What challenges are posed by trying to determine the business value of systems and
manage system-related change? Suggest some solutions.

Chapter 16: managing international information systems
1. What are the five major factors to consider when building an international information
systems architecture?
2. Describe the five general cultural factors leading toward growth in global business and
the four specific business factors. Describe the interconnection among these factors.
3. What is meant by a global culture?
4. What are the major challenges to the development of global systems?
5. Why have firms not planned for the development of international systems?
6. Describe the four main strategies for global business and organizational structure.
7. Describe the four different system configurations that can be used to support different
global strategies.
8. What are the major management issues in developing international systems?
9. What are three principles to follow when organizing the firm for global business?
10. What are three steps of a management strategy for developing and implementing
global systems?
11. What is meant by cooptation, and how can it be used in building global systems?
12. Describe the main technical issues facing global systems.
13. What is offshore software outsourcing? What challenges does it pose? What are the
cost components of offshore software development?
14. What are the challenges posed by global systems? How can these challenges be