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2015/2016  KAN-CEBUV2020U  The IT Manager as a Business Leader

English Title
The IT Manager as a Business Leader

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Stefan Henningsson - Department of IT Mangement (ITM)
Main academic disciplines
  • Information technology
  • Management
  • Strategy
Last updated on 11-02-2015
Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: After the course, students should be able to:
  • 1) Identify and characterize IT management challenges and opportunities.
  • 2) Describe and apply IT management tools and methods presented in the course literature.
  • 3) Analyze IT management problems of real world and argue different solutions how to address them.
  • 4) Reflect on the limitations of tools and methods in the course literature.
Course prerequisites
A fundamental understanding about IT and IT use in organizations is necessary and Strategic and Tactital tools course.
Prerequisites for registering for the exam
Number of mandatory activities: 3
Compulsory assignments (assessed approved/not approved)
In order to be able to take the exam, the students have to pass the mandatory assignment of writing (task 1) and presenting (task 2) a report of IT management challenges in a real world company. This report, which is made in groups of two to four individuals, should describe and analyze IT management challenges (within the same company) based on the course literature. The report is handed in and presented at the last scheduled teaching activity.

The students also have to upload short answers to case questions before the course sessions. Students have to upload answers to at least 7 of 10 cases (task 3).
Take home exam: Written case analysis:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
The examination assignment will consist of a written case analysis in the form of a 72-hour 'take home exam'. The students will get a case and have to perform an individual analysis of the case.
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Case based assignment
Duration 72 hours to prepare
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter and Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
The same mandatory report can be used, but the individual case analysis will be of a different case.
Description of the exam procedure

The students are handed a written case to analyze based on the course litterature. The case and the task will be presented at CBS and published online for students who cannot physically attend.

Course content and structure

The course aims is to train the students in coping with the challenges and opportunities confronting a Chief Information Officer (CIO) in a modern business organization. Students will get the case background for a large number of realistic problem issues, and will be provided with different tools/methods potentially relevant for addressing the issues.
This course uses the IVK Case Series (see literature list) to examine important issues in IT management through the eyes of Jim Barton, a talented business (i.e., non-technical) manager who is thrust into the Chief Information Officer (CIO) role at a troubled financial services firm. The course follows Barton through challenges, mistakes, travails, and triumphs. We take this journey with him, commenting on and debating his choices and decisions. During his first year as CIO, Barton confronts issues related to skill and talent management; IT costs, budgets, value, and chargeback systems; priority setting and financial justification of IT investments; project management; runaway projects and underperforming vendors; security risks and crises; Web 2.0 policies; communications with other senior executives; vendor management; infrastructure standardization; support for innovation; and risk management. As Barton encounters these issues, we address them too, through associated readings. As we examine and critique both research and conventional management wisdom on these topics, we’ll derive a framework for managing IT as a business leader.

The course is based on case based-pedagogy, according to the Harvard method in combination with (rare) lectures, guest presentations, workshops and project work in groups.
Students will have to prepare for case discussion/lectures by reading the IVK chapter as well as other cases to be discussed on that day. Self study and class discussion should help the students to advance identification and characterization of IT management challenges and opportunities, description of tools and methods, and argumentation for relevance and solutions. 
In the exercises, students will have to work in groups with analyzing IT management problems and applying the tools and methods in the course literature. This will also help the students reflect on the limitations of the tools and methods.

Teaching methods
Most of the course is organized as cased-based discussions where students and instructor in common analyze a given case to abstract strategies to deal with the encountered problems.

Group work will focus on investigate IT management challenges in real world, preferably Danish, companies of the students' choice.

Guest lectures will be arranged to contextualize and concretize issues discussed in class.

Powerpoint-based lectures will be extremely rare.
Student workload
Attending class discussion, workshops, lectures, etc. 44 hours
Case preparation and literature studies 99 hours
Miniproject 40 hours
Exam case analysis 24 hours
Further Information

Changes in course schedule may occur

Expected literature

Main course book: 
“The Adventures of an IT Leader”. By Robert D Austin, Richard L Nolan, and Shannon O’Donnell. (2009) Published by Harvard Business School Press. ISBN: 142214660X.

 Additional cases and articles (tentative):

- “A Note on Case Learning,” HBS 899-105
- “Understanding Financial Statements” HBS 5238BC 
- “Zara: IT for Fast Fashion” HBS 604-081 
- “IT Doesn’t Matter” HBS 0306B 
- “Dog Eat Dog” Wall Street Journal
- “The IT Productivity Gap” MIT working papers
- Cisco Systems, Inc.: Implementing ERP” HBS 699-022 
- “Volkswagen of America: Managing IT Priorities” HBS 605-003 
- "Stuxnet" New York Times
- Symantec Internet Security Threat Report
- “Three strategies for Green IT” IT Professional
- “Organizational self-renewal: The role of IS in developing organizational eco-effectiveness” 
- “Bridging the Gap Between Stewards and Creators” HBSP
- Online Streaming Video: “Panel Discussion: The Organizational Dilemma of Stewards and Creators” 
- “The Evolution of Security” 
- “CareGroup” HBS 303-097 
- “The Myth of Secure Computing” HBS 0306J

Last updated on 11-02-2015