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IST 301 Information and Organizations SPRING

Course Personnel
Instructor: E-mail: Rosalie J. Ocker, Ph.D.

Course Materials (required)

To Access Harvard Business Review Articles: Go to the HBR Web site at and make sure to register so you can access your course readings. (You will need to register, but you do NOT need to subscribe.) You will need to purchase your HBR readings using your credit card. To read pdf articles, make sure you have the Adobe Reader, which you can download for free at For technical assistance contact Harvard Business School Publishing at 1-800-810-8858. They are open 8am6pm Eastern Standard Time.

MSDNAA & Virtual Labs

To learn more about the free software made available through the Microsoft Developers Network Academic Alliance (MSDNAA) to students enrolled in IST courses, please visit the following website: What are Virtual Labs (VLABS)? VLABS provide students with a parallel learning environment. To learn more about the Virtual Labs, how to access them, and where to go for technical support, read the following Virtual Labs Overview. VLABs may contain the following software:

Adobe Acrobat Reader I2 Analysts Notebook Adobe Flash Player ArcEditor Cyberlink PowerDVD Emacs Java stack: JDK + Netbeans + JRE JCreator LE Mathematica Mathplayer IE Microsoft Office 2010 Microsoft Project 2010 Microsoft Visio 2010 Mozilla Firefox MuPad Light OpenOffice Quicktime SQL Server 08 R2 Management SSH Visual Studio 2010 1

VLC Winscp VMWare vSphere Client

Course Description
Organizations exist to help direct human and capital resources toward activities that support the organizations goals. The organizations structure helps to determine the division of tasks, the roles and responsibilities of individuals within the organization, and the reporting lines of staff through their managers. When the organizational structure matches with the tasks and the purpose of the organization, they are said to have achieved a strategic fit where the organization is operating at high levels of efficiency and effectiveness. Information technology systems support organizations by linking the individuals within them to facilitate (1) communication, (2) decision-making, and (3) coordination. Information technology systems are designed by evaluating the culture of the organization and understanding the flow of tasks between individuals and between functional areas. Within the IT system design, it is important to consider what the various stakeholders within the organization need of the system, including how they want to interact with the system and how their work is supported by the system. In todays complex and interconnected world where global commerce is supported by globally distributed work, IT systems and knowledge workers are increasingly expected to be able to coordinate activities across organizations. In IST 301, Information and Organizations, students will learn the basic principles of organizational design, including the various ways an organization can be structured, the importance of culture in determining underlying rules and values for the organization, and the relationship of tasks and information flows as they support decision-making and activities. Students will also gain a better appreciation for the importance of diversity within the organization, as well as explore the role that organizational ethics plays in the operations of the organization. From an IT systems design perspective, students will learn how IT systems can support individuals, teams, and distributed work. Students will explore the way that information collected in one part of the organization can be combined with information collected elsewhere to inform the organizations employees and decision-makers.

Course Objectives
Upon successful completion of IST 301, students will be to accomplish the following: 1. Organizational Structure Students will be able to analyze the organizational structure of a variety of organizations based on the characteristics of organizational design, information processing, and information flow. 2. Organizational Culture Students will be able to analyze an organization's culture, including underlying rules, values, and norms regarding power and politics, gender and diversity, and global differences. 3. Organizational Ethics Students will be able to identify ethical issues underlying a given situation. 2

4. Organizational Decision Making Students will be able to identify relevant stakeholders and anticipate the types of information needed to support organizational tasks and decision making at multiple levels in the organizational structure. 5. Distributed Work Students will be able to describe the difference between individual work and distributed work, including tasks, decision making, and information needs.

Prerequisites: IST 210, IST 220 Teamwork

A key to your success will depend upon your ability to be a team player. Slackers beware! You cannot pass this class unless you pull your weight. Should you prove to be a drag on your teams performance, I reserve the right to remove you from the team at which point you will have to complete the team assignments individually. The highest course grade that you can receive under these circumstances is a D.

Course Grading Information

You will be evaluated on a combination of items including: Assignments & Exams Reading Focus Questions Case Assignment Questions Points Breakdown Most are 5 pts. Total Pts per Category 75 Description Each student answers questions pertaining to each reading. Each student answers case study questions pertaining to each case study. Each student posts and replies individually to discussion questions throughout the course. Each student completes and submits the assignment. Exam 1 covers Lessons 1-8. Exam 2 covers Lessons 9-15. Student teams analyze and evaluate Each student assesses his/her team members contribution twice during the semester.

Most are 5 pts.


Discussion Questions 5 pts. per question


Activity Exams Group Work Peer Evaluations

5 or 10 pts. per activity 1 @ 50 1 @ 80 Grocers @ 20 Case Study @ 40 1 @ 45 pts 1 @ 25 pts Total Points Possible

20 130 60 70


Grading Scale: The grading scale will be based on 450 points. This means that you can (1) miss some individual assignments without negatively impacting your grade or (2) complete all assignments to potentially achieve a higher point total. Note that group assignments and peer evaluations are mandatory. Grade A AB+ B BC+ C D F Percentage 94-100 90-93.99 88-89.99 83-87.99 80-82.99 78-79.99 70-77.99 60-69.99 0-59.99 Total Points 423 + 405 422.99 396 404.99 373.5 395.99 360.0 373.49 351 359.99 315 350.99 270 314.99 Less than 270

Course Schedule
The course schedule is located on Angel. Note that the course schedule is tentative. Changes will be made based on the needs of the class, and other factors.

Class Policies
Assignments: Late assignments: Assignments are expected by the due date. Unless otherwise specified, assignments are due by Sunday midnight. Assignments can be turned in up to two days late and will be assessed a minimum of 10% penalty for each day that they are late (i.e., Angel does not permit fractions in the gradebook; therefore I will round UP). No credit will be given for assignments turned in more than 48 hours after the scheduled due date. Equipment failure is not an acceptable reason for turning in an assignment late. You should always make a backup of your files (if its really important, make two backups). You should make sure you print out your work early enough so that you can find an alternate location to print, if necessary. Communication: Contacting me: You can contact me regarding any concerns you have with this class, with your educational experience in general, and with life. My virtual door is open and my advice is free. Just send me an email. Also, we can arrange a phone call or a Skype video session if you prefer.

University Policies
Academic Integrity: Academic integrity scholarship free of fraud and deception is an important educational objective of Penn State. Academic dishonesty can lead to a failing grade or referral to the Office of Student Conduct. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to: cheating plagiarism fabrication of information or citations facilitating acts of academic dishonesty by others unauthorized prior possession of examinations submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the instructor and securing written approval tampering with the academic work of other students Please note my intolerance of cheating. In my class, you are much wiser to fail an assignment with honor than to cheat. How Academic Integrity Violations Are Handled In cases where academic integrity is questioned, procedure requires an instructor to notify a student of suspected dishonesty before filing a charge and recommended sanction with the college. Procedures allow a student to accept or contest a charge. If a student chooses to contest a 5

charge, the case will then be managed by the respective college or campus Academic Integrity Committee. If a disciplinary sanction also is recommended, the case will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. All Penn State colleges abide by this Penn State policy, but review procedures may vary by college when academic dishonesty is suspected. Information about Penn State's academic integrity policy and college review procedures is included in the information that students receive upon enrolling in a course. To obtain that information in advance of enrolling in a course, please contact us. Additionally, World Campus students are expected to act with civility and personal integrity; respect other students' dignity, rights, and property; and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their own efforts. An environment of academic integrity is requisite to respect for oneself and others, and a civil community. For More Information on Academic Integrity at Penn State Please see the Academic Integrity Chart for specific college contact information or visit one of the following URLs: Penn State Senate Policy on Academic Integrity iStudy for Success! learn about plagiarism, copyright, and academic integrity through an educational module Turnitin a web-based plagiarism detection and prevention system - top Accommodating Disabilities IST welcomes persons with disabilities to all of its classes, programs, and events. If you need accommodations, or have questions about access to buildings where IST activities are held, please contact us in advance of your participation or visit. If you need assistance during a class, program, or event, please contact the staff or faculty member in charge of your IST department. Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. If you have a disability-related need for reasonable academic adjustments in this course, contact the Office for Disability Services (ODS) at 814-863-1807 (V/TTY). For further information regarding ODS, please visit the Office for Disability Services Web site. In order to receive consideration for course accommodations, you must contact ODS and provide documentation (see the documentation guidelines). If the documentation supports the need for academic adjustments, ODS will provide a letter identifying appropriate academic adjustments. Please share this letter and discuss the adjustments with your instructor as early in the course as possible. You must contact ODS and request academic adjustment letters at the beginning of each semester. Disclaimer: Please note that the specifics of this Course Syllabus are subject to change, and you will be responsible for abiding by any such changes. Your instructor will notify you of any changes.