NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College

INFO-UB.0001.005 (C20.0001): INFO TECH IN BUS & SOCIETY

Spring 2013

Instructor Details

Mantena, Ravindra


TR 2.00 - 3.00

KMEC 8-85


Course Meetings

TR, 3:30pm to 4:45pm

KMC 4-120

Final Exam: Between May 15th and 21st

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet between March 18th and 24th (Spring break)
    Class will meet on:


Course Description and Learning Goals

Course Overview

Information Technology (IT) is the lifeblood of modern organizations and societies. Therefore it is imperative that a modern business professional have at least a basic appreciation of the role it plays in organizations and society. They must be comfortable with the fundamentals of technology and understand its impact on other functional areas, such as strategic management, finance, accounting, marketing, and operations. This course is intended to provide this base set of knowledge and skills.

Course Objectives

This course introduces you to the fundamentals of information technology, especially personal productivity technology, and helps you develop an understanding of its impact on business and society. Broadly, here’s what you’ll learn from the course:

  1. First, as a future knowledge worker you will use personal computer systems in your work every day. You need to know how to publish information on the Internet, model and analyze decisions using a spreadsheet, and get information from relational databases. In this course, your in-class conceptual learning of these topics will be complemented by a set of computer-based self-learning tools and assignments.
  2. Second, in the digital firm, you will be involved increasingly in decisions about information systems. You will therefore need to recognize the large-scale systems that run modern organizations, understand what drives the success of a company’s IT investments, and learn how these investments facilitate effective business strategy and emerging business models, all topics that we will cover in this course.
  3. Third, you must know how to evaluate and analyze information-based products and services in the increasing number of industries that are being transformed by information technology. In this course, you will learn about the unique economics of information pricing and technological lock-in and network effects, so that you can perform informed business analysis and formulate effective strategies in the digital economy.

We will also discuss a set of special topics, which will include information privacy, data mining, search, and the business implications of online social networking. Assignments, projects and case studies throughout the course will reinforce your learning of how to use information technology to solve business problems.


Course Pre-Requisites



Course Outline

Subject to change.


Unit Date  Day Topic
1 29-Jan T Introduction to IT in Business and Society
2 31-Jan R IT, Strategy and Competitiveness I
3 5-Feb T IT, Strategy and Competitiveness II
7-Feb R
4 12-Feb T IT Platforms and Infrastructures I - Computing Technology
14-Feb R
5 19-Feb T IT Platforms and Infrastructures II - Internet Technology
21-Feb R
6 26-Feb T Web Search and Advertising
28-Feb R
7 5-Mar T Analysis using Excel
8 7-Mar R Database Design and Management
  12-Mar T Midterm Review
8 26-Mar T Database Design and Management (continued)
28-Mar R
9 2-Apr T Datamining and Business Intelligence                         
10 4-Apr R  
9-Apr T Computer Crime and Privacy
11-Apr R  
12 16-Apr T Social Media
13 18-Apr R The Economics and Pricing of Digital Goods
23-Apr T
14 25-Apr R Network Effects and lock-in
30-Apr T
  2-May R Group Presentations
7-May T Group Presentations
  9-May R Review Session



Required Course Materials

Required Textbook, Software, and Other Materials:

Textbook:“Information Systems: A Manager’s Guide to Harnessing Technology (v1.3)” by John Gallaugher, Published by Flat World Knowledge, eISBN: 978-1-4533-3272-6.

The book is not available in the bookstore, and must be acquired online. There are several options, at different prices. Please go to the URL provided below to review the options and make your choice. I recommend the All Access Pass ($35), which provides a lot of different options (from printable pdfs, to iPad/Kindle/Nook versions) for you to use per your convenience, and also includes a study pass that allows you to highlight text and make notes.

To purchase the All Access Pass, a hard copy of the textbook, or review other options, go to http://students.flatworldknowledge.com/course/1197383.

Software: Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 (especially Excel and Access)

Other Materials: Press and journal articles, and handouts used in the course will be available for download from the course blackboard site.


Assessment Components

The grading for the course will be based on the following:


Assignments, projects and quizzes

200 points

Class participation

50 points

Midterm examination

100 points

Final examination

150 points


500 points



There will be several individual assignments as well as group projects. Each assignment and project will provide you with a set of instructions and guidelines. Expect to use Excel, Access and the Web extensively. Examinations are old style paper and pen based. They’ll be closed book. We will further discuss their format in class.

In general, homework will be due on Mondays/Wednesdays by 11:59pm. Late submissions will be accepted and graded (if submitted within 48 hours of their due date), but you will only be given credit for 50% of your score.

Group projects will be done in groups of 4 - 5 students. After you have posted your personal Blackboard page, your classmates will know you better, and this will help facilitate the group formation process. During the semester, your TA’s will facilitate this process further, and we will give you a set of detailed guidelines about working in teams. You will also be asked to evaluate the contribution of each of your team members after each group project.

The classroom discussion presents a unique opportunity for you to develop and enhance your confidence and skills in articulating a personal position, sharing your knowledge, and reacting to new ideas. All of you have personal experience with information technology that can enhance our understanding of the subject, and that we want to encourage you to share. The grade we assign for your class participation is a careful, subjective assessment of the value of your input to classroom learning. We keep track of your contributions towards each class session, and these contributions can include (but are not restricted to) raising questions that make your classmates think, providing imaginative yet relevant analysis of a situation, contributing background or a perspective on a classroom topic that enhances its discussion, and simply answering questions raised in class. Emphasis is placed on the quality of your contribution, rather than airtime. A lack of preparation, negative classroom comments, or improper behavior (such as talking to each other, sleeping in the classroom or walking in and out of the class while the lecture is in progress) can lower this grade.


Group Projects

Guidelines for Group Projects

Business activities involve group effort. Consequently, learning how to work effectively in a group is a critical part of your business education. Every member is expected to carry an equal share of the group’s workload. As such, it is in your interest to be involved in all aspects of the project. Even if you divide the work rather than work on each piece together, you are still responsible for each part. The group project will be graded as a whole: its different components will not be graded separately. Your exams may contain questions that are based on aspects of your group projects.

It is recommended that each group establish ground rules early in the process to facilitate your joint work including a problem-solving process for handling conflicts. In the infrequent case where you believe that a group member is not carrying out his or her fair share of work, you are urged not to permit problems to develop to a point where they become serious. If you cannot resolve conflicts internally after your best efforts, they should be brought to my attention and I will work with you to find a resolution.

You will be asked to complete a peer evaluation form to evaluate the contribution of each of your group members (including your own contribution) at the conclusion of each project. If there is consensus that a group member did not contribute a fair share of work to the project, I will consider this feedback during grading.



At NYU Stern we seek to teach challenging courses that allow students to demonstrate their mastery of the subject matter.  In general, students in undergraduate core courses can expect a grading distribution where: 

Note that while the School uses these ranges as a guide, the actual distribution for this course and your own grade will depend upon how well you actually perform in this course.



The process of assigning grades is intended to be one of unbiased evaluation. Students are encouraged to respect the integrity and authority of the professor’s grading system and are discouraged from pursuing arbitrary challenges to it.

If you believe an inadvertent error has been made in the grading of an individual assignment or in assessing an overall course grade, a request to have the grade re-evaluated may be submitted. You must submit such requests in writing to me within 7 days of receiving the grade, including a brief written statement of why you believe that an error in grading has been made.


Professional Responsibilities For This Course

Classroom Norms

Arrive to class on time and stay to the end of the class period. Chronically arriving late or leaving class early is unprofessional and disruptive to the entire class. Repeated tardiness will have an impact on your grade. Turn off all electronic devices prior to the start of class. Laptops, cell phones and other electronic devices are a distraction to everyone.


Participation and Attendance

This course, like many other courses at Stern, uses learning methods that require active involvement (e.g., participation in discussions and exercises). Not only is this the best way to learn, but it also develops your communication skills. Regular attendance and participation are very important. Active participation requires good preparation—thoughtful reading of the assigned material and completion of assignments, quizzes, and projects before class is essential. We recognize that expressing viewpoints in a group is difficult, but it is an important skill for you to develop. We will do what we can to make this as easy as possible. If you feel that contributing on-line is easier for you than contributing in-class, please feel free to do so. Remember though that only regular and insightful contributions will be rewarded (e.g., asking a question about the homework will typically not increase your class participation grade).

In addition to in-class participation, you should also participate in the online discussion forums, where we will discuss topics ranging from relevant developments in the news to issues related to the class material. The participation should be substantive: read what others have said and reply to their remarks, but do not repeat their points. You can also ask questions of each other. This will help you learn and prepare for exams. The discussion forum can also be used to ask the instructor or TAs questions about assignments and exams as well as to facilitate group formation.

Academic Honor Code

Consistent with Stern's honor code, your exams and quizzes should be completed individually. On individual assignments, you can only discuss the assignment with the TAs, or with the instructor. On group assignments, you can only discuss them with your teammates, with the TAs, or with the instructor. All external sources such as web pages, periodicals, books, etc. should be properly cited in your work. Any attempt to represent the work of others as your own will be considered plagiarism and will be referred to the Stern Disciplinary Committee. Penalties determined by this committee range from academic probation to expulsion. It is in your best interest to submit nothing or a partial assignment, rather than an assignment copied in violation of the honor code.

Individual Consultation

We encourage you to meet with the TAs or with the instructor at any point during the semester to discuss your progress or any problems with the material or the assignments. We would prefer if you could come during the office hours, but if you cannot, please see the instructor after class, or send an e-mail, and we can schedule a time to meet. Please talk to us if you have questions or problems. We are here to help.


Stern Policies

General Behavior
The School expects that students will conduct themselves with respect and professionalism toward faculty, students, and others present in class and will follow the rules laid down by the instructor for classroom behavior.  Students who fail to do so may be asked to leave the classroom. 


Collaboration on Graded Assignments
Students may not work together on graded assignment unless the instructor gives express permission. 


Course Evaluations
Course evaluations are important to us and to students who come after you.  Please complete them thoughtfully.


Academic Integrity

Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. As members of our community, all students agree to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct, which includes a commitment to:

The entire Stern Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in Stern courses and can be found here:

Undergraduate College: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct
Graduate Programs: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/studentactivities/involved.cfm?doc_id=102505

To help ensure the integrity of our learning community, prose assignments you submit to Blackboard will be submitted to Turnitin.  Turnitin will compare your submission to a database of prior submissions to Turnitin, current and archived Web pages, periodicals, journals, and publications.  Additionally, your document will become part of the Turnitin database.


Recording of Classes

Your class may be recorded for educational purposes


Students with Disabilities

If you have a qualified disability and will require academic accommodation of any kind during this course, you must notify me at the beginning of the course and provide a letter from the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD, 998-4980, www.nyu.edu/csd) verifying your registration and outlining the accommodations they recommend.  If you will need to take an exam at the CSD, you must submit a completed Exam Accommodations Form to them at least one week prior to the scheduled exam time to be guaranteed accommodation.


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