ARTICLE IN PRESS

                   Reviews / International Journal of Information Management 24 (2004) 193–197
194

   C...
ARTICLE IN PRESS

                   Reviews / International Journal of Information Management 24 (2004) 193–197       195...
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Management Information Systems Managing The Digital Firm

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Management Information Systems Managing The Digital Firm

  1. 1. ARTICLE IN PRESS Reviews / International Journal of Information Management 24 (2004) 193–197 194 Colleagues had many opportunities to share their knowledge at the formal presentation sessions throughout the day and in the less formal, late afternoon round-table sessions. The roundtable sessions provided an opportunity to ponder the day’s proceedings and to discuss topics with colleagues in a more relaxed setting. Various commercial organisations mounted exhibitions at the conference. This gave delegates an opportunity to view commercial online education software products and to acquire information about the services offered by organisations such as The American Distance Education Consortium (ADEC). The interaction of delegates in the conference environs was a fruitful outcome of the efforts of the organisers to promote a relaxed atmosphere conducive to the sharing of ideas and experience. On a personal note, the writer of this report was able to make contact with colleagues from a number of US institutions with a view to engaging in collaborative research. The conference also included a number of social events at which delegates were able to meet and mingle in a relaxed atmosphere away from formal sessions. The hospitality which delegates enjoyed was most acceptable, especially to those of us from many air miles beyond the United States. To sum up, within the framework of the conference tracks the presentations dealt with a variety of contemporary issues engaging practitioners in the sphere of online learning. The conference workshops gave delegates the opportunity to attend sessions conducted by leading professionals in the field of online learning and the roundtable sessions provided an opportunity for informal discussion of the day’s business. Evelyn McLellan School of Information and Communication Technologies, University of Paisley, Paisley PA1 2BE, UK E-mail address: mcle-ci0@wpmail.paisley.ac.uk doi:10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2003.12.005 Management information systems: managing the digital firm, 8th Edition K.C. Laudon and J.P Laudon (Eds.); Prentice-Hall, New Jersey, 2004, price d42.99, ISBN 0-13- 120681-8 This text is another product from the prolific Laudon and Laudon stable and is the eighth edition of a now established text. It aims to provide an introduction to management information systems (MIS) that undergraduate and MBA students will find vital to their professional success. This edition, it is claimed, fully explores the digital integration of the firm and the use of Internet technology to digitally enable business processes for electronic business and electronic commerce. It is particularly concerned with how the firm adds value through the Internet. These are bold claims, which warrant further examination.
  2. 2. ARTICLE IN PRESS Reviews / International Journal of Information Management 24 (2004) 193–197 195 As one expects from Laudon and Laudon the text is beautifully produced with plenty of eye- catching images, supporting illustrations, helpful schematics, lists of key terms and tables of various kinds. In short it is highly visual and is clearly aimed at developing conceptual understanding rather than in-depth technical knowledge. The text consists of five principal parts: the organisational foundation of systems; the technical foundations for understanding IS; the means of capturing and distributing information; building systems and finally the management of systems. Each chapter commences with a special diagram designed to position the chapter within the text’s overall scheme of things and concludes with a ‘‘hands-on’’ learning and problem solving application, a relevant small case-study and a ‘‘management wrap-up’’. There is a companion web-site designed to further support interactive learning and problem solving. This is backed-up by comprehensive instructional materials for both the tutor and the student. The text is also available in an interactive multimedia version. There are a number of central themes running through the text which can be summarised as: leading edge perspectives such as collaborative commerce and object oriented modelling; decision support and managing systems for example from the perspective of the supply chain, customer relationship and knowledge management. These are sensible choices and are linked skilfully to the principal theme of the digital firm viewed from the standpoint of enterprise systems and those mechanisms available for enhancing the firm’s ability to add value by fully utilising the value of information systems. A really helpful feature is the ‘‘Running Case’’ which aims to emphasise the importance of real-world problem solving linked with ‘‘hands-on’’ software exercises. The text is wide ranging in its coverage and generally succeeds in its brief of developing conceptual understanding while at the same time looking at deeper issues such as ethics, scalability, reliability and security. It also gives good insight into developing areas such as Web services, business intelligence and wireless applications. There is a particularly useful chapter on value chains and the whole business of appraising added-value. It, however, falls short in its coverage of management decision-making, also its handling of applications development is disappointing. This is principally due to the text’s wide ranging brief. It would therefore be unwise to view this text as the only one that the aspiring undergraduate or new MBA student would need to purchase. In fairness to the authors there is an extensive reference section included at the end of the book, which gives ample guidance to those wishing to read more deeply into areas introduced in the text. Overall this is an extremely useful and well produced book, ideal for the non-specialist student studying an MIS module at intermediate final year undergraduate level or for Part I MBA students. For those seeking a deeper technical insight I suspect they will be disappointed. Stuart Fitz-Gerald School of Business Information Management, Kingston Business School, Kingston University, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey KT27LB, UK E-mail address: fitzgerald@kingston.ac.uk doi:10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2003.12.006

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