Laudon - Business Information Systems

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1. Distinguish between a computer, a computer program, and an information system. What is the difference between data and information? The computer is one physical part of the information system. The program is what operates the computer. An information system is the physical system including computers and networks, software (programs), people who operate the system, and the procedures for operating the system. Data is the basic raw element of facts, information is the processed data that is useful and meaningful to people.

2. What activities convert raw data to usable information in information systems? What is their relationship to feedback? Input captures raw data, processing converts the input into more meaningful form and output transfers the processed information to people or activities where it will be used. Some of the output will be used as feedback that will be used to evaluate the data that was input and to correct any problems found. 3. What is information systems literacy? Information systems literacy is a broad-based understanding of information systems -- as opposed to computer literacy which is limited to understanding computers. Information systems literacy includes an understanding of the organization and management dimensions of information systems as well as the technology dimensions. 4. What are the organization, management and technology dimensions of information systems? Organization: Information systems are a part of organizations, and in some cases (such as credit card companies and financial market information services) they are the organization. Information systems will have imbedded within them the SOPs and the culture of an organization. Management: Information systems supply tools and information needed by managers to allocate, coordinate and monitor their work, make decisions, create new products and services and make longrange strategic decisions. Technology: Management uses information systems technology (hardware, software, storage and telecommunications) to carry out their functions. It is the glue that holds the organization together. 5. Distinguish between a behavioral and technical approach to information systems in terms of the questions asked and the answers provided. A behavioral approach to information systems focuses on questions such as behavioral problems of system utilization, implementation and system design, social and organizational impacts of information systems, political impacts of information systems, individual responses to information systems, and cognitive models of human reasoning. Solutions to problems created by information technology are primarily changes in attitudes, managment, organization policy, and behavior. A technical approach to information systems emphasizes mathematically based, normative models to study information systems and the physical technology and formal capabilities of information systems. Solutions to problems deal with improvements in computer hardware, methods of computation, methods of efficient data storage and access, software quality assurance, application of “normative” models of management, and operations research models. 6. What major disciplines contribute to an understanding of information systems? The major disciplines that have contributed to an understanding of information systems from a technical standpoint are computer science, management science, operations research, and the more

technical aspects of management information systems (MIS). The major disciplines approaching information systems from a behavioral standpoint are sociology, political science, psychology, and the more behavioral aspects of MIS. 7. Why should managers study information systems? Managers should study information systems because contemporary information systems directly affect managerial decision making, planning, and the nature of products and services of the organization. Information systems are no longer limited to technical...
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