MGMT 550

Information Technology and Business Strategy

Ewan Sutherland Visiting Instructor

Class program


30th and 31st August

Lecture: Introduction

4th September 1995 -- Labor Day -- No classes

5th September 1995

Technology Center session: Introduction to the World Wide Web and News

Discussion questions:

  1. What opportunities does the World Wide Web offer in reaching customers?
  2. Which industries and services are leading the way to exploit these opportunities?
  3. In what ways is marketing on the World Wide Web different from traditional marketing?
  4. Who will be the key players in supplying the technology?
  5. Who is most threatened by the opportunities presented by the World Wide Web?


  1. Web Proficiency Course (

The information society

6th and 7th September 1995

Lecture: The information society


  1. James Quinn and Martin Baily (1994) "Information Technology; increasing productivity in services" Academy of Management Executive 8 (3) 28-51.

11th and 12th September 1995

Case: Singapore TradeNet (A): A Tale of One City (HBS 191-009) Singapore TradeNet (B): The Tale Continues (HBS 193-136)

  1. What was Lee Kuan Yew's vision for Singapore?
  2. What challenges did he face in reaching his goals?
  3. Who were the major stakeholders involved in the redesign of trade documentation?
  4. Was the process used to implement TradeNet successful? What factors contributed to this outcome?
  5. What effect will TradeNet have on countries outside the Pacific Rim?

Privacy and Security

13th and 14th September 1995

Lecture: Security and hacking


  1. Clifford Stoll (1988) "Stalking the Wily Hacker" Communications of the ACM 31 (5) 484-497.

18th and 19th September 1995

Case: Lotus MarketPlace: Households (HBS 9-392-026)

Discussion questions:

  1. Did MarketPlace constitute a real threat to privacy?
  2. Would better presentation have helped?
  3. Should consent for the use of data in marketing always be explicit?
  4. Can the rights of personal privacy and the desires of direct marketers be reconciled?
  5. Is self-restraint an adequate social control or is legislation necessary?


  1. Eric A Weiss et al. (1990) "Self-Assessment" Communications of the ACM 33 (11) 110-132.

The IT industries

20th and 21st September 1995

Lecture: The Global Information Technology Industry


  1. Steven E Prokesch (1993) "Mastering Chaos at the High-Tech Frontier; an interview with Silicon Graphics's Ed McCracken" Harvard Business Review 71 (5) 134-144. (Reprint 93609)
  2. T J Rogers (1990) "No Excuses Management" Harvard Business Review 90 (4) 84-98. (Reprint 90409)

25th and 26th September 1995

Case: Ira C Magaziner and Mark Patinkin (1989) "Fast Heat; how Korea won the microwave war" Harvard Business Review 67 (1) 83-92. (reprint 89114)

Discussion questions:

  1. What was the strategic vision of Samsung?
  2. How did Samsung acquire and transfer the sophisticated technology?
  3. What rôle did smart people play in this story?
  4. How did US-based manufacturers allow this to happen?
  5. What is stopping this being repeated in other sectors?


  1. Andrew Rappaport and Shmuel Halevi "The Computerless Computer Company" Harvard Business Review 69 (4) pp 69-80. (Reprint 91411)

Managing the Information Technology Function

Presentation: Group 1

27th and 28th September 1995

Lecture: Organisational Learning

Presentation: Group 2

2nd and 3rd October 1995

Case: MSAS Cargo International: Global Freight Management, Strategic Information Systems (SMU Cox MIS 92001.1)

Discussion questions:

  1. How would you assess the project management of UNITEL 21?
  2. What went wrong?
  3. What went right?
  4. What advice might Warren McFarlan offer?
  5. What recommendations might you offer to Tom Loughead and Bob Hackett as they look forward? To Brian Clayton?

4th and 5th October 1995

Presentation: Group 3

Case: Tele Danmark EDB: Building a strategic information architecture (INSEAD 695-003-1)

Discussion questions:

  1. What are the problems which IT caused in this merger?
  2. What were the risks involved and how serious were they?
  3. How might the process have been accelerated?
  4. How should IT be organised for the future?

Monday 9th October 1995 -- Columbus Day -- No classes

The Internet

10th October 1995

Technology Center session: World Wide Web and News revisited.

Discussion questions:

  1. How far are we from the virtual classroom and the Global Virtual University Inc.?
  2. What is the WWW good for?
  3. What are Newsgroups good for?
  4. What can we not do over the Internet?
  5. What can we do better over the Internet than on the campus?


11th and 12th October 1995

Presentation: Group 4

Case: Exxon Chemical (IMD 393-028-1)

Discussion questions:

  1. What defines world-class?
  2. Is benchmarking a useful approach in information technology?
  3. Is Exxon benchmarking information, information systems or information technology?
  4. What are the characteristics of I/IT/IS performance on which Exxon can be judged?
  5. How important is world-class IT to Exxon?
  6. How might we benchmark MGMT 550?

Organizational design

16th and 17th October 1995

Presentation: Groups 5 and 6

Lecture: Changing the Mindset

18th and 19th October 1995

Presentation Group 7

Case: Otis Elevator (HBS 191-213)

  1. Describe the information and communications needs of the maintenance and repair mechanics?
  2. Evaluate the approaches taken by field offices to address the organization and communications problems of the Otis field staff?
  3. What difficulties should Bird anticipate with the roll-out of the Keyed Data Terminal (KDT) and Otisline Scheduled Maintenance (OSM) software?
  4. What actions can Bird take to mitigate some of these problems?

23rd and 24th October 1995

Presentation: Group 8

Case: KPMG Peat Marwick: The Shadow Partner (HBS 9-492-002)

Discussion questions:

  1. What technologies does the KPMG Shadow Partner Project require?
  2. What alternative technologies are (or might very soon) be available?
  3. What organizational barriers stand in the way of the Shadow Partner Project?
  4. Should a full systems implementation be authorized? Why or why not?
  5. How might a product champion handle the implementation?

Business Process Redesign

25th and 26th October 1995

Presentation: Group 9.

Case: Pacific Bell: Centrex Reengineering (HBS 9-195-098)

Discussion questions:

  1. How would you evaluate the Centrex Reengineering project?
  2. Why has the pace of change been less than was initially expected?
  3. What other implementation or project management approaches could have been employed to further success?
  4. What lessons can be learned for future projects?
  5. What advice would you give to Pacific Bell senior management as they move towards Core Process Re-engineering?


  1. Michael Hammer (1990) "Reengineering Work; Don't Automate, Obliterate" Harvard Business Review 68 (4) 104-112. (Reprint 90406)
  2. Thomas Davenport and James E Short (1990) "The New Industrial Engineering; IT and Business Process Redesign" Sloan Management Review Summer, pp. 11-27. (Reprint )


30th October 1995

Guest lecture: K Hugh Macdonald

31st October 1995

Lecture: Colonel Edward R Guthrie (US Department of the Army) "Transformation in the Army"

1st and 2nd November 1995

Case: Raymond Caron, Sirkka Jarvenpaa and Donna B Stoddard (1994) "Business Reengineering at CIGNA Corporation: experiences and lessons learned from the first five years" MIS Quarterly 18 (3) 233-250.

Discussion questions:

  1. How has CIGNA achieved its success in BPR?
  2. How unorthodox has CIGNA been in its use of BPR?
  3. Has it obliterated or made mythic changes?
  4. What lesson are there for others?
  5. Has the tide turned on BPR?


  1. James E Short and N Venkatraman (1992) "Beyond Business Process Redesign; redefining Baxter's business network" Sloan Management Review 34 (1) 7-21.
  2. Thomas Davenport and Donna Stoddard (1994) "Reengineering; Business Change of Mythic Proportions?" MIS Quarterly 18 (2) 121-127.
  3. Gene Hall, Jim Rosenthal and Judy Wade (1993) "How to Make Reengineering Really Work" Harvard Business Review 71 (6) 119-131.

Strategic Information Systems

6th and 7th November 1995

Lecture: From OLTP to Strategic Alignment Process


  1. Michael Porter and Victor Millar (1985) "How Information Technology Gives you Competitive Advantage" Harvard Business Review 63 (4) 149-160. (Reprint 85415)
  2. David Feeny and Blake Ives (1990) "In Search of Sustainability; reaping long-term advantage from investment in information technology" Journal of Management Information Systems 7 (1) 27-47.

8th and 9th November 1995

Case: Seven-Eleven Japan Co. Ltd (on World Wide Web)

Discussion questions:

  1. How innovative has Seven-Eleven Japan been?
  2. What was the nature of the success of Seven-Eleven Japan?
  3. Does it have a distinct IT strategy?
  4. Having acquired Southland what should Seven Eleven Japan Company do?


  1. N Venkatraman (1994) "IT-Enabled Business Transformation; from automation to business scope redefinition" Sloan Management Review 35 (2) 73-87.

13 and 14th November 1995

Case: Duncan G Copeland and James L McKenney "Airline Reservation Systems; lessons from history" MIS Quarterly 12 (3) 350-370. and Max D Hopper (1990) "Rattling SABRE; new ways to compete on information" Harvard Business Review 68 (3) 118-125. (Reprint ?)

Discussion questions:

  1. What allowed American Airlines to go beyond efficiency gains?
  2. How significant a competitive weapon has been and is SABRE?
  3. Should American Airlines go direct to customers, by-passing travel agents?


  1. Tom Malone, JoAnne Yates, and Robert Benjamin (1989) "The Logic of Electronic Markets" Harvard Business Review 67 (3) 166-170. (Reprint 89311)
  2. Robert Benjamin and Rolf Wigend (1995) "Electronic Markets and Virtual Value Chains on the Information Superhighway" Sloan Management Review 36 (2) pp 62-72. (Reprint 3625)

15th and 16th November 1995

Case: Soumitra Dutta and Yves Doz "Linking Information Technology to Business Strategy at Banco Comercial Português" Journal of Strategic Information Systems 4 (1) 89-110.

Discussion questions:

  1. In such a conservative environment how did BCP develop such on avant garde strategy?
  2. How did NoveRede overcome being locked out of the Multi-Banco chain of cash dispensers?
  3. How did BCP develop new applications?
  4. How much competitive advantage can IT offer BCP in the future?


20th and 21st November 1995

Case: Eastman Kodak Co: Managing Information Systems through Strategic Alliances (HBS 9-192-030)

Discussion questions:

  1. What core competencies in IT does Kodak require to fulfill its strategy?
  2. Evaluate the selection of partners by Kodak.
  3. How do you tell someone he/she is being 'outsourced'?
  4. How do you decide what can be done inside and what can be outsourced?
  5. What are the CSFs in 'managing' outsourcing?


Richard L Huber (1993) "How Continental Bank Outsources its 'Crown Jewels' " Harvard Business Review 71 (1) 121-29. (Reprint 93102)

F Warren McFarlan and Richard L Nolan (1995) "How to Manage an IT outsourcing Alliance" Sloan Management Review 36(2) pp 9-26. (Reprint 3621)

Mary C Lacity, Leslie P Willcocks and David F Feeny (1995) "Maximize Flexibility and Control" Harvard Business Review 73(3) 84-93. (Reprint 95306)

John Cross (1995) "British Petroleum's Competitive Approach" Harvard Business Review 73 (3) 94-102. (Reprint 95302)

22nd November 1995

Guest lecture: to be announced

23rd November 1995 -- Thanksgiving recess -- no classes

CEOs, CIOs, MBAs and other TLAs

27th and 28th November 1995

Case: Back Bay Restaurant Group Inc (Georgetown University School of Business)

Discussion questions:

  1. Does the IS function have a future?


  1. Michael Earl and David Feeny "Is your CIO Adding Value" Sloan Management Review 35 (3) 11-20. (Reprint 3531)

Presentations for Building an Information Business

29th and 30th November 1995

4th and 5th December 1995

6th and 7th December 1995