CEC Theses and Dissertations


The Role of Information Systems Courses In Postgraduate Business Education

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Computer Education


Center for Computer and Information Sciences


John A. Scigliano

Committee Member

Gerorge K. Fornshell

Committee Member

Steven R. Terrell


Franklin University, was considering the development of a postgraduate program in business administration. Administrators found that curriculum planners first need to evaluate the changes caused by information systems to competencies and capabilities of the business manager in a highly technical and information intensive business environment.

For this study, the competencies were investigated through an analysis of stated information systems course objectives within 160 MBA catalogs and through a survey of 77 Central Ohio management recruiters. Despite the wide range of topics introduced in the MBA curriculum, and the lack of a clear majority for specific topics, a logical pattern was evident. This pattern indicates that a prerequisite information system course introduces the basic concepts of computer technology and computer software, a core course discusses the management of information system resources, and an elective course addresses advanced topics in management information systems.

The management recruiters believe that managers should have a basic knowledge of computer-based information systems and be able to demonstrate the following competencies: 1) Know spreadsheet and business application software on a microcomputer; 2) Apply information systems to general business applications within the office environment, and management support for decision making and productivity; 3) Know the social and ethical issues associated with information systems; and 4) Define the data needs and associated user requirements for an information system.

Several research questions which tested the relationship of ranked competencies expressed by MBA schools and management recruiters were evaluated using Spearman's Rank Correlation Analysis. The results of this evaluation conclude that MBA programs and Central Ohio management recruiters do not agree upon which topics an MBA graduate should be competent upon entering the workforce.

For Franklin University, this author suggests the following recommendations: 1) Develop a goal for business information system competency which spans the undergraduate and graduate business programs; 2) Develop a series of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels which meet the goals for business information system competency; 3) Integrate information system topics into functional areas of study; 4) Develop a structure for academic computing and instructional computing; 5) Organize an advisory group of business leaders who are integrating information technology; and 6) Support future research into the impact of new technologies and new business procedures on the role of information systems in the MBA program.

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