MG481      Half Unit
Innovating Organisational Information Technology

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Carsten Sorensen NAB 3.11 and Dr William Venters NAB 3.13


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation. This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MiM), Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange), MBA Exchange and MSc in Operations Research & Analytics. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


A basic knowledge of computing, including hardware and software. Students are expected to have a basic understanding of the challenges of implementing and managing information systems in organisations.

Course content

The course provides students with a practical and theoretical insight into the processes and practices of developing contemporary Information Systems. The course reflects the diversity of contemporary information systems contexts; discussing how we should manage the development of complex Internet enabled systems and services. The course focuses on new technologies and practices including cloud computing, Software as a Service, mobile and ubiquitous information technology, innovating customer relationship management, DevOps, mediating mutual adjustment and mass-scale mediated communities. The changing architectures of information systems towards an Internet based cloud are key themes of the course. Attention is however also given to the development of traditional ERP and information management systems which remain important in enterprises. The course also discusses the development challenges in small start-ups leveraging existing development platforms. Particular attention is given to problem structuring and problem design issues within such complex settings using Soft Systems Methodology and the Unified Modeling Language as a toolkit. Agile methods form a core part of the teaching, with Extreme Programming, Rapid Application Development and Internet-speed development contrasted with development formalism such as the Rational Unified Model and Capability Maturity Models. To ensure that students gain practical experience we include a one-week intensive "bootcamp" group Sprint project run during reading week in which outside consultants present a "real-world" case study of systems development and the groups undertake to rapidly analyse and design a proposal for a technical solution. This allows students to support their theoretical understanding with a strong practical experience of the pressures and difficulties of systems development today. The "bootcamp" group sprint project provides a realistic experience of developing systems within a consulting role and is supported by classes and question and answer session and face to face discussion. Students gain an understanding of the benefits and difficulties of working within a small team under pressure.


20 hours of lectures, 5 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT.

8 hours of these lectures, and 5 hours of classes will occur be during the “Bootcamp” Sprint week which runs during reading week (Week 6) of MT.

Formative coursework

Students discuss articles, practice systems development techniques, and critically evaluate their success. Formative feedback is provided on class participation.

Indicative reading

• Avison, D. & G. Fitzgerald, Information Systems Development: Methodologies, Techniques and Tools, McGraw Hill, 2006

• Beck, K. and C. Andres (2005). Extreme Programming Explained. Addison-Wesley; Benkler, Y. (2006): The Wealth of Networks. Yale University Press

• Beynon-Davis, P. (2019) Business Information Systems, Red Globe Press *This is a textbook on information systems and well regarded. We do not use a textbook in this course and will not refer to this book but if you feel more comfortable with an easy to access textbook on key ideas this is a good place to start.

• Carr, N. G. (2008): The Big Switch. W. W. Norton & Co

• Checkland, P. and J. Poulter (2006). Learning for Action. John Wiley and Sons

• Christensen, C. M., et al. (2016). Competing against luck: The story of innovation and customer choice, HarperBusiness New York.

• Chishti, S. and J. Barberis (2016). The Fintech book: The financial technology handbook for investors, entrepreneurs and visionaries, John Wiley & Sons.

• Evans, D. S. & R. Schmalensee (2016): The Matchmakers. Harvard Business Review Press.

• Fowler, M. (2004): UML distilled. Addison-Wesley Professional

• Galliers, B. & W. Currie, ed. (2011): The Oxford Handbook of Management Information Systems. Oxford University Press

• Greenfield, A. (2017). Radical technologies: The design of everyday life, Verso Books.

• Jarvis, J. (2009): What Would Google Do? Collins

•  Kim, G (2019) The Unicorn Project: A Novel about Developers, Digital Disruption, and Thriving in the Age of Data”

• Knapp, J., J. Zeratsky and B. Kowitz (2016). Sprint: How to solve big problems and test new ideas in just five days, Simon and Schuster.

• Mathiassen, L., J. Pries-Heje, & O. Ngwenyama (2000): Improving Software Organizations. Addison Wesley

• Monson-Haefel, R. (2009): 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know. O'Reilly Media, Inc

• Poppendieck, M. & T. Poppendieck (2003): Lean Software Development. Addison Wesley

• Pralahad, C. K. & M. S. Krishnan (2008): The New Age of Innovation. McGraw-Hill Professional

• Reis, E. (2011): The Lean Startup. Crown Business

• Rittinghouse, J.W. & Ransome, J.F. (2009): Cloud Computing. CRC Press

• Scott, K. (2001). UML Explained. Addison-Wesley; Sommerville, I. (2010): Software Engineering. Addison Wesley.

• Searls, D. (2012). The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge, Harvard Business Press.

• Thiel, P. & B. Masters (2014): Zero to One. Crown Business

• Willcocks, L., W. Venters, & E. Whitley (2014): Moving To The  Cloud Corporation. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

• Zittrain, J. (2008): The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It. Allen Lane.


Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Project (50%) in the MT.

A two-hour unseen examination taken in the ST (50%). The team 'boot camp' project in Week 6 of the MT (50%).

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2020/21: 111

Average class size 2020/21: 19

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills