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Managing and Using
Information Systems
A STRATEGIC APPROACH
Sixth Edition
Keri E. Pearlson
KP Partners
Carol S. Saunders
W.A. Franke College of Business
Northern Arizona University
Dr. Theo and Friedl Schoeller Research Center for Business and Society
Dennis F. Galletta
Katz Graduate School of Business
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
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This book was set in 10/12 Times Roman by SPi Global and printed and bound by Courier Kendallville.
This book is printed on acid free paper.
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ISBN: 978-1-119-24428-8 (BRV)
ISBN: 978-1-119-24807-1 (EVALC)
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Pearlson, Keri E. | Saunders, Carol S. | Galletta, Dennis F.
Title: Managing and using information systems: a strategic approach / Keri
E. Pearlson, Carol S. Saunders, Dennis F. Galletta.
Description: 6th edition. | Hoboken, NJ : John Wiley & Sons, Inc., [2015] |
Includes index.
Identifiers: LCCN 2015041210 (print) | LCCN 2015041579 (ebook) | ISBN 9781119244288 (loose-leaf : alk. paper) |
ISBN 9781119255208 (pdf) | ISBN 9781119255246 (epub)
Subjects: LCSH: Knowledge management. | Information technology—Management. |
Management information systems. | Electronic commerce.
Classification: LCC HD30.2 .P4 2015 (print) | LCC HD30.2 (ebook) | DDC 658.4/038011—dc23
LC record available at http://lccn.loc.gov/2015041210
Printing identification and country of origin will either be included on this page and/or the end of the book. In addition, if the ISBN on this
page and the back cover do not match, the ISBN on the back cover should be considered the correct ISBN.
Printed in the United States of America
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To Yale & Hana
To Rusty, Russell, Janel & Kristin
To Carole, Christy, Lauren, Matt, Gracie, and Jacob
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Preface
Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk
meaningfully about one without the talking about the other.
Bill Gates
Microsoft1
I’m not hiring MBA students for the technology you learn while in school, but for your ability to learn about, use
and subsequently manage new technologies when you get out.
IT Executive
Federal Express2
Give me a fish and I eat for a day; teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime.
Proverb
Managers do not have the luxury of abdicating participation in decisions regarding information systems (IS).
Managers who choose to do so risk limiting their future business options. IS are at the heart of virtually every
business interaction, process, and decision, especially when the vast penetration of the Web over the last 20 years
is considered. Mobile and social technologies have brought IS to an entirely new level within firms and between
individuals in their personal lives. Managers who let someone else make decisions about their IS are letting
someone else make decisions about the very foundation of their business. This is a textbook about managing and
using information written for current and future managers as a way to introduce the broader implications of the
impact of IS.
The goal of this book is to assist managers in becoming knowledgeable participants in IS decisions. Becoming
a knowledgeable participant means learning the basics and feeling comfortable enough to ask questions. It does
not mean having all the answers or having a deep understanding of all the technologies out in the world today. No
text will provide managers everything they need to know to make important IS decisions. Some texts instruct on
the basic technical background of IS. Others discuss applications and their life cycles. Some take a comprehensive
view of the management information systems (MIS) field and offer readers snapshots of current systems along with
chapters describing how those technologies are designed, used, and integrated into business life.
This book takes a different approach. It is intended to provide the reader a foundation of basic concepts relevant
to using and managing information. This text is not intended to provide a comprehensive treatment on any one
aspect of MIS, for certainly each aspect is itself a topic of many books. This text is not intended to provide readers
enough technological knowledge to make them MIS experts. It is not intended to be a source of discussion of any
particular technology. This text is written to help managers begin to form a point of view of how IS will help or
hinder their organizations and create opportunities for them.
The idea for this text grew out of discussions with colleagues in the MIS area. Many faculties use a series of
case studies, trade and popular press readings, and Web sites to teach their MIS courses. Others simply rely on one
of the classic texts, which include dozens of pages of diagrams, frameworks, and technologies. The initial idea for
this text emerged from a core MIS course taught at the business school at the University of Texas at Austin. That
course was considered an “appetizer” course—a brief introduction into the world of MIS for MBA students. The
course had two main topics: using information and managing information. At the time, there was no text like this
1
2
Bill Gates, Business @ the Speed of Thought. New York: Warner Books, Inc. 1999.
Source: Private conversation with one of the authors.
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Preface
v
one; hence, students had to purchase thick reading packets made up of articles and case studies to provide them the
basic concepts. The course was structured to provide general MBA students enough knowledge of the MIS field so
that they could recognize opportunities to use the rapidly changing technologies available to them. The course was
an appetizer to the menu of specialty courses, each of which went much more deeply into the various topics. But
completion of the appetizer course meant that students were able to feel comfortable listening to, contributing to,
and ultimately participating in IS decisions.
Today, many students are digital natives—people who have grown up using information technologies (IT) all
of their lives. That means that students come to their courses with significantly more knowledge about things such
as tablets, apps, personal computers, smartphones, texting, the Web, social networking, file downloading, online
purchasing, and social media than their counterparts in school just a few years ago. This is a significant trend
that is projected to continue; students will be increasingly knowledgeable the personal use of technologies. That
knowledge has begun to change the corporate environment. Today’s digital natives expect to find in corporations
IS that provide at least the functionality they have at home. At the same time, these users expect to be able to work
in ways that take advantage of the technologies they have grown to depend on for social interaction, collaboration,
and innovation. We believe that the basic foundation is still needed for managing and using IS, but we understand
that the assumptions and knowledge base of today’s students is significantly different.
Also different today is the vast amount of information amassed by firms, sometimes called the “big data” problem. Organizations have figured out that there is an enormous amount of data around their processes, their interactions with customers, their products, and their suppliers. These organizations also recognize that with the increase
in communities and social interactions on the Web, there is additional pressure to collect and analyze vast amounts
of unstructured information contained in these conversations to identify trends, needs, and projections. We believe
that today’s managers face an increasing amount of pressure to understand what is being said by those inside and
outside their corporations and to join those conversations reasonably and responsibly. That is significantly different
from just a few years ago.
This book includes an introduction, 13 chapters of text and mini cases, and a set of case studies, supplemental
readings, and teaching support on a community hub at http://pearlsonandsaunders.com. The Hub provides faculty
members who adopt the text additional resources organized by chapter, including recent news items with teaching
suggestions, videos with usage suggestions, blog posts and discussions from the community, class activities, additional cases, cartoons, and more. Supplemental materials, including longer cases from all over the globe, can be
found on the Web. Please visit http://www.wiley.com/college/pearlson or the Hub for more information.
The introduction to this text defends the argument presented in this preface that managers must be knowledgeable participants in making IS decisions. The first few chapters build a basic framework of relationships among
business strategy, IS strategy, and organizational strategy and explore the links among them. The strategy chapters
are followed by ones on work design and business processes that discuss the use of IS. General managers also need
some foundation on how IT is managed if they are to successfully discuss their next business needs with IT professionals who can help them. Therefore, the remaining chapters describe the basics of information architecture
and infrastructure, IT security, the business of IT, the governance of the IS organization, IS sourcing, project
management, business analytics, and relevant ethical issues.
Given the acceleration of security breaches, readers will find a new chapter on IS security in this sixth edition of
the text. Also, the material on analytics and “big data” has been extensively updated to reflect the growing importance of the topic. Further, the chapter on work design has been reorganized and extensively revised. Each of the
other chapters has been revised with newer concepts added, discussions of more current topics fleshed out, and old,
outdated topics removed or at least their discussion shortened.
Similar to the fifth edition, every chapter begins with a navigation “box” to help the reader understand the flow
and key topics of the chapter. Further, most chapters continue to have a Social Business Lens or a Geographic Lens
feature. The Social Business Lens feature reflects on an issue related to the chapter’s main topic but is enabled by or
fundamental to using social technologies in the enterprise. The Geographic Lens feature offers a single idea about
a global issue related to the chapter’s main topic.
No text in the field of MIS is completely current. The process of writing the text coupled with the publication
process makes a book somewhat out‐of‐date prior to delivery to its audience. With that in mind, this text is written
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vi
Preface
to summarize the “timeless” elements of using and managing information. Although this text is complete in and
of itself, learning is enhanced by combining the chapters with the most current readings and cases. Faculty are
encouraged to read the news items on the faculty Hub before each class in case one might be relevant to the topic of
the day. Students are encouraged to search the Web for examples related to topics and current events and bring them
into the discussions of the issues at hand. The format of each chapter begins with a navigational guide, a short case
study, and the basic language for a set of important management issues. These are followed by a set of managerial
concerns related to the topic. The chapter concludes with a summary, key terms, a set of discussion questions, and
case studies.
Who should read this book? General managers interested in participating in IS decisions will find this a good
reference resource for the language and concepts of IS. Managers in the IS field will find the book a good resource
for beginning to understand the general manager’s view of how IS affect business decisions. And IS students will
be able to use the book’s readings and concepts as the beginning in their journey to become informed and successful businesspeople.
The information revolution is here. Where do you fit in?
Keri E. Pearlson, Carol S. Saunders, and Dennis F. Galletta
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Acknowledgments
Books of this nature are written only with the support of many individuals. We would like to personally thank
several individuals who helped with this text. Although we’ve made every attempt to include everyone who helped
make this book a reality, there is always the possibility of unintentionally leaving some out. We apologize in
advance if that is the case here.
Thank you goes to Dr. William Turner of LeftFour, in Austin, Texas, for help with the infrastructure and
architecture concepts and to Alan Shimel, Editor‐in‐Chief at DevOps.com for initial ideas for the new security
chapter.
We also want to acknowledge and thank pbwiki.com. Without its incredible and free wiki, we would have been
relegated to e‐mailing drafts of chapters back and forth, or saving countless files in an external drop box without
any opportunity to include explanations or status messages. For this edition, as with earlier editions, we wanted to
use Web 2.0 tools as we wrote about them. We found that having used the wiki for our previous editions, we were
able to get up and running much faster than if we had to start over without the platform.
We have been blessed with the help of our colleagues in this and in previous editions of the book. They
helped us by writing cases and reviewing the text. Our thanks continue to go out to Jonathan Trower, Espen
Andersen, Janis Gogan, Ashok Rho, Yvonne Lederer Antonucci, E. Jose Proenca, Bruce Rollier, Dave Oliver, Celia
Romm, Ed Watson, D. Guiter, S. Vaught, Kala Saravanamuthu, Ron Murch, John Greenwod, Tom Rohleder, Sam
Lubbe, Thomas Kern, Mark Dekker, Anne Rutkowski, Kathy Hurtt, Kay Nelson, Janice Sipior, Craig Tidwell, and
John Butler. Although we cannot thank them by name, we also greatly appreciate the comments of the anonymous
reviewers who have made a mark on this edition.
The book would not have been started were it not for the initial suggestion of a wonderful editor in 1999 at John
Wiley & Sons, Beth Lang Golub. Her persistence and patience helped shepherd this book through many previous
editions. We also appreciate the help of our current editor, Lise Johnson. Special thanks go to Jane Miller, Gladys
Soto, Loganathan Kandan, and the conscientious JaNoel Lowe who very patiently helped us through the revision
process. We also appreciate the help of all the staff at Wiley who have made this edition a reality.
We would be remiss if we did not also thank Lars Linden for the work he has done on the Pearlson and Saunders
Faculty Hub for this book. Our vision included a Web‐based community for discussing teaching ideas and posting current articles that supplement this text. Lars made that vision into a reality starting with the last edition and
continuing through the present. Thank you, Lars!
From Keri: Thank you to my husband, Yale, and my daughter, Hana, a business and computer science student at
Tulane University. Writing a book like this happens in the white space of our lives—the time in between everything
else going on. This edition came due at a particularly frenetic time, but they listened to ideas, made suggestions, and
celebrated the book’s completion with us. I know how lucky I am to have this family. I love you guys!
From Carol: I would like to thank the Dr. Theo and Friedl Schoeller Research Center of Business and Society for
their generous support of my research. Rusty, thank you for being my compass and my release valve. I couldn’t do
it without you. Paraphrasing the words of an Alan Jackson song (“Work in Progress”): I may not be what you want
me to be, but I’m trying really hard. Just be patient because I’m a work in progress. I love you, Kristin, Russell,
and Janel very much!
From Dennis: Thanks to my terrific family: my wife Carole, my daughters Christy and Lauren, and my granddaughter Gracie. Also thanks to Matt and Jacob, two lovable guys who take wonderful care of my daughters. Finally,
thanks to our parents and sisters’ families. We are also blessed with a large number of great, caring neighbors whom
we see quite often. I love you all, and you make it all worthwhile!
vii
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About the Authors
Dr. Keri E. Pearlson is President of KP Partners, an advisory services firm working with business leaders on issues
related to the strategic use of information systems (IS) and organizational design. She is an entrepreneur, teacher,
researcher, consultant, and thought leader. Dr. Pearlson has held various positions in academia and industry. She
has been a member of the faculty at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin where she
taught management IS courses to MBAs and executives and at Babson College where she helped design the popular
IS course for the Fast Track MBA program. Dr. Pearlson has held positions at the Harvard Business S …
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