Presentation on theme: "Teaching Information Systems: Going Around the Poles? Steve Smithson London School of Economics."— Presentation transcript:
Teaching Information Systems: Going Around the Poles? Steve Smithson London School of Economics
Introduction Personal experience Importance of teaching information systems –No longer a new field –Subject to fads –Multi-disciplinary Research informs teaching and vice versa
The Engineering View Technology centred Information systems as an offshoot of computer science and a cousin of software engineering A revolutionary, potentially highly pervasive technology needs to be explained and applied The technology appears to be neutral
The Business View Management centred Information systems as a core component of MBAs The technology is an opportunity and/or threat for competitive advantage and organisational change From business strategy to organisational behaviour Need for alignment with the business
The Social Science View Information systems are social systems –Made up of people and artefacts The two-way interaction between people and technology Social construction of technology, actor network theory, structuration etc. Fits within the social sciences –c.f. sociology, social psychology etc.
Discussion The three views are: –Relevant and respectable –Not necessarily mutually exclusive, although they are highly divergent in their underlying philosophies Should we teach one, two or three of them? –Compulsories or options? Implications for: –Staff resources and harmony –Student acceptance and sanity
Conclusion The three poles represent a challenge to the IS community United we stand, divided we fall? –Hello, research assessment exercise Information systems as a broad church? –Why should there be just one orthodoxy? Need for awareness and tolerance, not squabbling and back-stabbing