Information Systems: A Management Perspective, Part 11

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The third edition of this text is built around a practical, widely applicable approach for analysing IT-enabled systems from a business viewpoint. The book goes far beyond merely covering current vocabulary for talking about information systems and technology. It focuses its entire coverage in terms of a systems analysis approach developed with the help of students framework, new real world cases, and more extensive coverage of electronic commerce, hypertext, Java, and other current topics. *Third edition adds more focus instead of more chapters and has now gone from 20 to 15 to 13 chapters in successive editions. *Section on electronic commerce. *Improved visual representation of the framework. *Real world cases - each chapter ends with two real world cases *Completely rewritten to highlight leading edge IT applications in each functional area of business. *Accompanying Web site supplements coverage in the book which is updated periodically and provides links with the most current case material.

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About the author (1999)

Steven Alter" is Professor of Information Systems at the University of San Francisco. He holds a B.S. in Mathematics and Ph.D. in Management Science, both from MIT. While on the faculty of the University of Southern California, he revised his Ph.D. thesis and published it as "Decision Support Systems: Current Practice and Continuing Challenges," one of the first books on this type of information system. Professor Alter's journal articles have appeared in "Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, MIS Quarterly, Communications of the ACM, Communications of AIS, TIMS Studies in Management Sciences, Interfaces, Data Processing, Futures," and "The Futurist."

Prior to joining the University of San Francisco, he served for eight years as a founding vice president of Consilium, Inc. (acquired by Applied Materials in 1998). He participated in building and implementing early versions of manufacturing software used by major semiconductor and electronics manufacturers in the United States, Europe, and Asia. His many roles included starting departments for customer service, documentation and training, technical support, and product management.

Upon returning to academia he decided to work on a problem he observed in industry, the difficulty business people have in articulating what they expect from computerized systems and how these systems can or should be used to change the way work is done. His initial efforts in this area led to the 1992 publication of the first edition of this text. The subsequent editions have benefited from additional research on how business professionals understand information systems. His related articles in "Communications of AIS," the onlinejournal of the Association for Information Systems include:

  • "A General, Yet Useful Theory of Information Systems" (March, 1999)
  • "Same Words, Different Meanings: Are Basic IS/IT Concepts Our Self-Imposed Tower of Babel?" (April, 2000)
  • "Are the Fundamental Concepts of Information Systems Mostly about Work Systems?" (April, 2001)

His hobbies include music, hiking, skiing, yoga, and international travel. He is a member of the Larkspur Trio Dot Com, which occasionally presents reasonably proficient amateur performances of trios for violin, cello, and piano. One enthusiastic reviewer raved, "They certainly played up to their potential." The photo was taken while he was traveling to ICIS 2000, the International Conference on Information Systems in Brisbane, Australia, for which he organized a debate entitled "Does the Trend toward E-Business Call for Changes in the Fundamental Concepts of Information Systems?" Despite coaxing, the koala seemed to have no views on this topic.

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