Georgetown University

School of Business

MGMT 550

Information Technology and Business Strategy

Ewan Sutherland

About me


  1. New to teaching in North America
  2. Using new technologies:

The rules of the game

The scope of the course

What is NOT in the course.

What are the key issues?

Sectors where excellence in the use of IT might be found:

The mass market is over, since we can now manufacture on demand at the same price as large batches.

Use of computer technology allows companies to add value. For example, an electricity utility, can offer systems to help customers manage their use of electricity. At first sight this discourages the purchase of their product. However, it allows the sale of added-value services in the energy efficiency business. Moreover, by reducing the volume of electricity sold, it allows the closure of older generating capacity, or plants which have environmental problems. It may simply allow additional sales. Most importantly, it takes the company from selling a "commodity" to selling an added-value product.

Flavour of the month management

Books sold in airports for busy executives to read on the plane on the way to their next meeting. One month it is total quality management, next month empowerment, then business process redesign. The imprints left by such attacks on rational management can be considerable.

Examples of such material include the "Business Secrets of Attilla the Hun", management lessons from Star Trek: The New Generation (complete with a cover photograph of actor Patrick Stewart). A recent volume on leadership by Will Carling is another example. He is captain of the England Rugby Team and has been linked romantically with HRH The Princess of Wales by the yellow press.


Georgetown University is international in scope

Genuinely global course (though only one document in French so far)

Cases from:


Intentionally omitted a case on groupware or CSCW. This is covered by our use of electronic mail, news and the Web.

Are there national differences?

No - a global market



K Hugh Macdonald (ex-ICL, ex-military, Visiting Professor University of Bath)

Edward R Guthrie (Colonel (retired) US Army, ex-US Department of the Army)

Jim Cowie (ex-British Telecommunications, World Bank)

John R Beaumont (ex-University of Bath, Energis Communications, London)


Technology Update

Building and Information Business

Take-home paper