Information Technology for
This book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
Information Technology for
Henry C. Lucas, Jr.
Copyright © 2009 by Henry C. Lucas, Jr.
For any questions about this text, please email: [email protected]
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Information Technology for Management 2 A Global Text
To Scott and Jonathan
TO THE STUDENT
Information technology surrounds you-on your campus and in local businesses.
When you order merchandise over the telephone, chances are your sales represen
tative is using an information system to check inventory and to trigger the ship
ment of your goods. Increasingly you will order products using the Internet, dis
pensing with the telephone and becoming a participant in electronic commerce.
When you use an automatic teller machine, make an airline reservation, or rent a
car, information technology (IT) is working for you again.
Information technology is pervasive in modem organizations-from the largest
manufacturing firms to your comer drugstore, and the stakes are high, as busi
nesses confronted with global competition strive to succeed. Some organizations
will flourish; others will fail. Those that succeed will understand how to use and
manage information technology to their advantage.
The purpose of Information Technology for Management, Seventh Edition, is to
help you learn enough about technology to play an active role in managing infor
mation technology. It is important to understand the strategic uses of IT and how
to apply technology when developing a corporate strategy. You will see how cre
ative organizations have integrated technology with strategy, allowing them to gain
and sustain a competitive advantage. What role does the Internet play for your
firm? What are the advantages your business can obtain from implementing In
tranets and Extranets ? How does technology facilitate the operations of global
You will also see how to use information technology to transform the organiza
tion and to create new lines of business and new relationships with other firms. The
text stresses how you as a manager can use information technology-enabled organi
zational design variables to create new organizational structures, including the
T-Form firm. This new structure takes advantage of electronic communications and
linking, technological matrixing, technological leveling, virtual components, elec
tronic workflows, production automation, and electronic customer-supplier relation
ships to create a flat organization closely linked to other organizations. It uses tech
nology to reduce the number of administrative levels, to decentralize decision
making, and generally to design a highly efficient and effective organization.
You will learn how to exploit technology to enhance your professional and per
sonal productivity. Information technology is a resource. It enables you to re
design the organization, change the firm’s relationship with customers and suppli
ers, as well as its communications patterns. Technology is a variable that you as a
manager will be able to manipulate to effect significant improvements in what the
organization and its employees can accomplish.
A theme throughout the book is that information technology brings change to
organizations, individuals, work groups, relationships among companies, and even
national governments. Information technology provides the manager with a pow
erful resource for bringing about change.
Once you have completed your course, look through a newspaper or business
publication. You will be surprised at your understanding of many of the issues
raised in articles dealing with information technology.
In sum, this text is designed to prepare you for the important role of managing
information technology, to give you and your company a competitive edge.
TO THE INSTRUCTOR
This book is designed for business students with no particular background in in
formation systems. Its primary goal is to help prepare students to assume an active
and significant role in the management, design, and use of information technology.
This edition stresses the changes enabled by IT. Each chapter begins with a short
Focus on Change because technology is creating dramatic changes in the way in
dividuals, work groups, organizations, and even governments function.
The Objectives of This Text
During the past decade, computers and communications technologies have prolif
erated in offices and homes. Organizations distribute the responsibility for tech
nology to all levels of management and to different geographic locations. As a re
sult, managers from supervisor to CEO encounter information technology on a
daily basis. Every day managers make decisions that determine how much value
the firm obtains from its investment in technology.
Organizations have the opportunity to become more efficient and competitive.
Skilled and creative managers are required to accomplish these goals. Today’s
MBAs need the knowledge and confidence to deal with issues related to technology.
They must apply technology aggressively if they are to compete successfully in our
global economy. They must take advantage of the ability that IT gives them to
change the way work is done, communications patterns, and the very structure of the
One of the most important parts of using the technology is the design of informa
tion systems. Much of the distribution of technology to users results from the rapid
diffusion of personal computers or workstations. Applications once considered per
sonal are being shared across networks. Knowledge workers access a number of dif
ferent applications on different computers through a LAN and the Internet.
Knowledge workers may design systems for themselves alone, or they may be
one of many users of a system designed by others. The design of multiuser appli
cations is much more complex than the design of a personal computer system for
an individual user. Many more people are involved in the process, each with
unique and often conflicting needs and expectations.
Recent graduates are likely to find themselves on design teams for multiuser
systems. Thus, it is critical that a course in information systems prepare students
to play an active role in the development of new applications that will affect their
productivity and their company’s competitiveness.
Based on the discussion above, this book is designed to help students meet
these three major objectives:
1. To understand the emerging technological issues facing management so stu
dents can effectively manage information systems in organizations
2. To play an active role in applying technology through the analysis, design, and
implementation of multiuser systems that will meet the information needs of
3. To learn how to use technology to transform the organization and create new
relationships, structures, and entirely new organizations
The text is organized into six major parts to help students meet these objectives:
Part One The Role of Managers in Information Technology
The purpose of Part One is to emphasize to students the value of information as a
corporate asset and illustrate the myriad information systems applications they
will face as graduates. Frameworks help them understand the role of technology in
Part Two Organizational Issues
In Part Two we deal with the impact of information technology on the organiza
tion. The book stresses the use of IT design variables in creating new kinds of or
ganization structures. In particular, I advocate developing T-Form organizations in
order to be successful in the highly competitive environment of the twenty-first
century. This section also discusses how the firm can use technology as part of its
strategy to gain a competitive advantage. This discussion of key managerial issues
surrounding the technology and its application helps motivate student learning.
Part Three Information Technology
Important managerial decisions increasingly require an understanding of the tech
nology. Therefore, graduates need to have knowledge of hardware and software
fundamentals. In Part Three I have included the technical information I consider
most important and relevant to future managers.
Part Four Systems Analysis and Design
Poorly designed systems are responsible for many information system problems.
When information needs are not met, users are alienated and the value of the sys
tem diminishes. Part Four prepares graduates to participate in the development of
multiuser systems and make an immediate contribution to their employer.
Part Five Exciting Directions in Systems
Part Five deals with alternatives to traditional transactions processing applications
such as decision-support systems, expert systems, groupware, multimedia, and ar
tificial intelligence. An understanding of these emerging applications offers stu
dents great potential to enhance their organizations’ competitiveness.
Part Six Issues for Senior Management
At the end of the text, we return to the issues facing management currently. Man
agers need to be concerned with security and control, and how to achieve the max
imum benefits possible for the firm’s investment in technology. Part Six encour
ages students to evaluate the problems-and opportunities-that changing societal
conditions and technological advances will create for their businesses. The table
below arrays our three objectives against the six major parts of the text.
Managing Applying Transform the
Part technology technology organization
One The role of managers in IT [Xl [ 1 [Xl
Two Organizational issues [Xl [Xl [Xl
Three I nformation technology [Xl [Xl [ 1
Four Systems analysis and design [Xl [Xl [Xl
Five EXCiting directions in systems [Xl [Xl [Xl
Six Management control of I S [Xl [ 1 [ 1
Note that the first objective-managing information technology-is a theme
woven throughout every chapter. To manage technology effectively, students must
understand its strategic significance and potential impact on the organization. In
addition to these underlying organizational issues, managers must understand the
related technical issues.
The second objective-learning to apply technology through a systems analy
sis and design team-is supported by Parts Two, Three, Four, and Five. These
parts cover the fundamentals of systems development from a managerial perspec
tive. Using the Simon Marshall case, which is found throughout the book, stu
dents complete the logical design of a system. This exercise encourages students
to confront the myriad decisions and trade-offs that constitute the design of a
multiuser system and gain a “real world” understanding of what otherwise would
The third and final objective-transforming the organization-is a theme
throughout the text. It is a significant component of Parts One, Two, Four, and
Five. In one sense, the entire text is devoted to preparing students to use technol
ogy to change the way organizations are structured and operate.
Learning Tools for Your Students
The text has a number of features designed to facilitate student learning, including
• Management Problems and topical vignettes Most chapters contain Man
agement Problems and topical vignettes . Management Problems are “mini
cases” for students to ponder alone or in groups ; some instructors use the
problems to stimulate class discussion. The vignettes illustrate the many dif
ferent ways that information technology is used. They are intended to help the
student become more creative in discovering how to benefit from information
• Chapter Summary A summary of each chapter in the form of a numbered list
containing the most important points in the chapter is found at the end of each
• Implications for Management Another feature is a paragraph after the Chapter
Summary that contains my thoughts on the implications of the chapter material
for a manager. This personal statement explains the importance of the material
the student has just read.
• Chapter Projects Most chapters contain a Chapter Project. The projects are de
signed to help students apply concepts discussed in the chapter. Some projects
require the student to conduct research or contact an organization to find out
more about its information processing. I usually use one of the systems design
projects as a group assignment. Students report that the experience of designing
the logic of a system helps pull together much of the material in the course.
• The Simon Marshall case Several of the chapter projects involve the Simon
Marshall case. There is a systems analysis and design problem for Simon Mar
shall that involves PCs, a server, a local area network, a mainframe data source,
and a satellite distribution system. This assignment, carried out as a group proj
ect, helps students master the technical and design material in the text.
The Instructor’s Manual contains a course outline, teaching hints, and answers to
selected questions. Also included are a discussion of all the Management Prob
lems and sample course syllabi.
PREFACE i x
OVERVIEW OF THE SEVENTH EDITION
The seventh edition of Information Technology for Management reflects current
thinking about the role of IT in management. In particular, it stresses the fact that
managers implement new technology to change something: the organization, the
nature of work, relationships with other organizations, or some other facet of busi
ness. The student should look at IT as a resource that he or she can employ to
make major improvements in the organization.
Compared with the previous edition, the seventh edition contains less emphasis
on the technical details and more on the managerial issues of IT and state-of-the
art topics. The tremendous growth of the Internet and Web has had a major influ
ence on the text. Material on the value of information technology and how man
agement should decide on IT investments is greatly expanded. There are also
many new topical vignettes in each chapter.
Over the years, we have seen major changes in the way leading firms use infor
mation technology. Transactions processing systems helped improve efficiencies.
Strategic systems provide some companies with a competitive advantage. Now,
with workgroup technology, group DSS, and extensive connectivity, we have the
ability to use IT to transform the organization. This theme of change is reflected
throughout this current edition.
The text has been extensively updated to reflect advances in technology and in
its application. There are many more examples of applications and systems in the
text to supplement the topical vignettes that are ruled off in the text.
The first chapter sets the stage for the text and attempts to motivate students to
study information technology. The next two chapters discuss the nature of infor
mation and frameworks for IT. Frameworks help students understand the role of
technology in the firm.
Chapter 4 is extremely important; it discusses the impact of information tech
nology on the organization. Consistent with the theme of change, the chapter pre
sents examples of how technology has dramatically changed organizations. It also
presents an approach to actively using technology in the design of new organiza
tional forms. Chapter 5 on the strategic use of IT stresses the difficulty of sustain
ing an advantage once it is achieved. This chapter also contains a lengthy descrip
tion of a firm that has used the technology over the years to develop a clear
competitive advantage. The section on the issues in managing information tech
nology is now clearer and more streamlined.
Globalization is now a major trend in business. Trade barriers are falling, and
firms are expanding their markets beyond their own borders. Chapter 6 explores
the implications of globalization for information technology. What can IT con
tribute to the international firm? What are the special IT problems created by try
ing to operate globally?
Part Three of the text is devoted to information technology; it attempts to pro
vide the student with sufficient familiarity with technology so that he or she can
make good management decisions.
Chapter 8 places the different types of computers available today in perspective.
It discusses the different generations of Intel chips and the features that are used to
increase the speed of these processors. I have attempted to provide a balanced and
realistic picture of the role and future of mainframes, both in this chapter and
throughout the text Chapter 9 contains a discussion of the major operating sys
tems choices today: Windows 98, Unix, and Windows NT.
Chapter 10 presents the fundamentals of database management and describes
how the organization uses a DBMS for transactions processing and to extract in
formation to be used in managing the firm. The chapter also stresses how the stu
dent can use a DBMS for his or her own personal productivity.
Chapter l I on communications emphasizes the role of this technology in trans
forming organizations. The chapter features more material on networks and connec
tivity along with examples of how firms are using communications technology in
creative ways. Chapter 1 2 on networks covers topics ranging from EDI to the Inter
net Networks are one of the fastest growing phenomena in the field, and this chapter
tries to excite the reader about their potential. Chapter 1 2 contains much new mate
rial on electronic commerce and the new models of business that IT enables.
There is a great deal of confusion about what kind of architecture is best for a
given application or organization. Chapter 13 attempts to clarify any confusion the
student may have about people who use the different types of technology de
scribed in earlier chapters. This chapter discusses the role of large, medium, and
small computers and illustrates them with examples of different systems, ranging
from a centralized, mainframe airline reservations system to a highly decentral
ized, client-server system at Chevron Canada. New to this edition is a discussion
of Travelocity, a Web site that allows a user with a browser to connect to an exist
ing mainframe reservations system.
A key objective of the text is to prepare students to apply technology through
participation in systems analysis and design projects. We have encountered users
who developed their own systems on PCs that served as the specifications for the
same system to be developed for the entire corporation ! The manager who under
stands how to build systems is at a distinct advantage.
Chapter 15 introduces systems analysis and design while Chapter 16 covers
some design details. One of the highlights of this section is the appendix to the
chapter. This appendix presents a high-level design for a system for the Hardserve
company. There are complete DFDs for the retail store component of the system
and for the subsystem in the company’s warehouse. This in-depth example should
provide students with a good understanding of the output of the design process and
the way in which one describes a system. A second example of object-oriented de
sign for a hypothetical community hospital is also in an appendix to this chapter.
Chapter 1 7 talks about enhancements to the traditional life-cycle approach to
developing a system, especially packages and prototyping. Chapter 1 8 is devoted
to the popular topic of business process reengineering. This chapter presents two
examples of process reengineering and two examples where IT design variables
have been used to reengineer the entire organization.
Implementation is concerned with how you bring about change in the organi
zation. You are trying to see, at the level of the individual system, that systems
provide the maximum return from the firm’s investment in IT. In using IT design
xii PR EFACE
variables, you are likely to be trying to change the structure of the entire organi
zation, a major challenge. Chapter 19 is devoted to implementation; it is still true
that systems are underutilized and that users take advantage of only a fraction of
the capabilities of existing, installed technology. Chapter 19 integrates research
findings to produce an implementation framework to help the student understand
and manage this process.
When the first edition of this text was published, there were no hands-on users
outside of the IS department. We have moved from no contact to terminals to
workstations on the user’s desk. Chapter 20 discusses the range of knowledge
worker interaction with technology and suggests ways to encourage it. The evolv
ing model of client-server computing means that users on workstations will obtain
the data and programs they need to answer their questions from the server.
Chapter 2 1 describes how IT can be used in nontraditional ways to enhance the
effectiveness of individuals and organizations. The DSS part of the chapter con
tains examples of how these applications contribute to improving productivity.
Material on EIS and group DSS is also found in the chapter. Groupware is one of
the most exciting applications for transforming organizations and is discussed in
this chapter. A section on multimedia stresses how this technology can be used for
business, as opposed to entertainment, purposes.
Chapter 22 on intelligent systems contains an in-depth example of an expert
system we developed at the American Stock Exchange. There is also material on
neural networks and coverage of case-based reasoning and genetic algorithms.
Part Six deals with management issues. Chapter 24 includes a discussion of
several different models of IT in the firm and an in-depth discussion of the role of
the CIG. It also contains guidelines or steps for diagnosing and improving the IT
effort in an organization. New to this chapter is an extensive discussion of how the
firm can make decisions about investing in information technology, including cov
erage of the IT Value Equation and the IT Investment Equation. Chapter 25 pre
sents framework for categorizing social issues and a discussion of ethics. It also
includes a discussion about living with future technology.
This seventh edition of the text is intended to help your students appreciate the
contribution of information technology and learn how to manage it.
I am indebted to a number of students and colleagues whose comments and rec
ommendations have greatly influenced the original text and its revisions. Mr. Won
seok Oh at NYU helped conduct research for the book; I am grateful for his ef
forts. The following reviewers have helped in making the major changes found in
this edition of the text:
Mark Frolick, the University of Memphis ; James L. Haner, City University;
Lorin M. Hitt, the University of Pennsylvania; and A. B. Schwarzkopf, the Univer
sity of Oklahoma.
I would like to thank the following people at IrwinlMcGraw-Hill who worked
very hard to design and produce this text: Rick Williamson, Carrie Peters, Chris
tine Vaughan, and JoAnne Schopler.
Finally, I gratefully acknowledge the invaluable support of my wife, Ellen, and
family, who encourage and tolerate the idiosyncrasies of an author.
Henry C. Lucas, Jr.
New York University
PART O N E
1. USING TECH NOLOGY
THE ORGANIZATION 5
The Senior Manager 6
in the Workplace 6
A Visit to Brun Pas sot in France 10
What Is Information Technology? 11
Transforming Organizations 13
and the Manager 15
The Challenge of Change 16
Six Major Trends 17
A Preview of the Book 19
2. INTERPRETING AND
UNDERSTAN DING IN FORMATION 25
The Nature of Information 26
What Is Information? 26
How People Interpret Information 26
A Model for Interpreting Information 28
Characteristics of Information 30
From Information to Knowledge 31
The Decision-Making Process 34
Problem Finding and Solving 34
Types of Decisions 34
How Do Individuals Make Decisions? 35
Stages in the Decision-Making Process 35
The Influence of the Organization 38
A Scenario for the Not-Too-Distant
3. INFORMATION TECH NOLOGY
Frameworks for Information
A Synthesized Framework
Adding Organizations and Decisions
to a Framework
A Framework Based on IT
Changing Technology and Applications
Decision Support, Executive IS,
and Expert Systems
Knowledge Work Support
Supporting Groups and Cooperative
Key Technologies: Communications,
Networking, and Database
A More Contemporary Framework
The Basics of Information Systems
Some Generic Types of Systems
Using Diff erent Types of Technology
Is There Value in IT?
Investment Opportunities Matrix
What Is Value?
The Case of Chrysler
4. THE IMPACT OF IN FORMATION
TECH NOLOGY ON THE
Modern Organizations 76
Organizational Structure and Design 76
What Is Organizational Flexibility? 78
Impact on Flexibility 79
Information Technology Runs the Airline 79
Co-opting the Travel Agent 81
the Securities Industry 82
Natural Growth Generates an Impact 83
Creating New Types of Organizations 84
Examples of Designs Using IT Variables 86
Adding People to the Design 91
Building a T-Form Organization 94
People in the T-Form 94
Other Design Possibilities 94
Adopting the T-Form: An Example 96
5. STRATEGIC ISSUES OF
IN FORMATION TECHNOLOGY 104
and Corporate Strategy 105
Some Examples of Technology
and Strategy 106
The Value Chain 107
Some Generic Strategies 108
A Frameworkfor the Strategic Use
of IT 109
Capitalizing on Information
Creating and Sustaining
a Competitive Edge 112
Using Resources to Advantage 112
Protecting an IT Innovation 113
An Example of Technology
for Competitive Advantage 114
with the Business Environment 116
Managing Information Technology 118
A Vision of the Organization
and Technology 119
Technology for Structuring
the Organization 119
and Decision Making 120
A Corporate Plan for Strategy 120
Alliances and Partnerships 121
New IT Initiatives
The IT Infrastructure
Ongoing Management of IT
6. INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND
I N FORMATION TECHNOLOGY
The Impact of Globalization
International Business Strategies
Key Issues in an International
Implementing International IT
Managing Information Technology
Concentrate on Interorganizational
Establish Global Systems
Build an Infrastructure
Take Advantage of Liberalized
Strive for Uniform Data
Develop Guidelines for Shared
versus Local Systems
Standard Pharmaceuticals International
Asea Brown Boveri
Transnational Virtual Firms and IT
Business Models and IT Management
Integrated Global IT
The Internet, Imperialism,
and Developing Countries
PART T H R E E
7. THE FUNDAMENTALS 157
The Components of a Personal
Primary Memory or RAM 160
The Arithmetic Basis of Computers 160
How Memory Is Organized 162
Memory Technology 163
The Central Processing Unit 164
Doing Arithmetic 165
How Does the CPU Work? 165
An Instruction Set 167
CISC versus RISC 167
What Makes a Chip Perform? 169
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