The Field Manual

for Fellows and Members of Department of Management Information Systems

H. Kemal İlter, Ph.D., Chair - September 14, 2016

The Field Manual of MIS is a manifesto/operations manual for Department of Management Information Systems, it is not a lexicon for the term of scientific field of MIS.

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Chapter 1
Prologue

Organizational culture is a unique property of an academic department to create and boost scientific value for humanity. Our department is established recently (2011) and we are willing to embed scientific best practices, and to create an efficient academic climate and culture in the Department of Management Information Systems. With The Field Manual, we are trying to create a strategic framework to support main processes of the department.

In The Field Manual for the Members of the Department of Management Information Systems, reader can find various subjects which are related to departmental strategy and viewpoints, intrinsic workflows and approaches, implicit rules and regulations, current functions and actions. For many people this document may seemed to be an effort for nothing, a mental waste, or a weird point of view which try to create an artificial social architecture. However, such opinions will also be exist in the future regardless of efforts to create a knowledge-based society.

On the other hand, this document reflects a critical thinking exercise for the system which is based on verbalization. Document-based systems are more powerful and more sustainable as the reader can recognize their effects on various world-wide practices. So, we should create a well-documented architecture for an academic department to create more value for the society.

1.1 Values

Our core values are based on the concepts declared below to get works done! They are binded to all processes related to the department.

  • Open: Open relationships between agents and parties.
  • Free: Freedom of thought and speech in all processes.
  • Proactive: Getting works done proactively.
  • Creative: Making things as we dream.
  • Responsible and Accountable: Awareness of responsibilities of actions and obligations to report, explain, or justify processes.

1.2 Scientific Viewpoint

We are, as researchers, doing science to arrive at knowledge and seeking new ideas which can be answers for questions. In the department, our main research domain is management information systems (plural) which includes mutual scientific areas and academic disciplines. Accordingly, Department of Management Information Systems is a multidisciplinary1 academic unit at Business School of Yıldırım Beyazıt University. To do science is to follow a prescribed method to arrive at knowledge. As Rossiter (2013) notes that the scientific method is not a belief system or religious dogma, but rather a manner of thinking and working towards more complete knowledge of the world. It has been proven to be extremely successful in2:

  • explaining the world as we observe it;
  • predicting what can be further observed, e.g. new observations, new locations, repeat observations, the effect of interventions;
  • engineering, i.e. building things that work.

Science is not prescriptive – it can not say what ought to be done. It can, however, point out the probable consequences of certain actions, as objectively as possible. Therefore, we encourage and support our colleagues to let them for leveraging their personal limits and improving their scientific visions in all sense.

1.3 Administrative Viewpoint

Academic administration is a branch of university or college within employees responsible for the maintenance and supervision of the institution separate from the faculty or academics, although some personnel may have joint responsibilities. Some types of separate administrative structure exists at almost all academic institutions, as fewer and fewer schools are governed by employees who are also involved in academic or scholarly work.

On the other hand, as a new academic unit of the university, we have no additional personnel to assign specific administrative roles. So, we should do almost all administrative assignments by ourselves. For this purpose, as a short-term solution, couple of commissions are established for taking care of specific assignments. All members of the department are willing to help the chair’s office for creating a decentralized department administration according to viewpoints of the department.

1.4 Educational Viewpoint

Our main purpose about the education is to build a creative environment with a must-have scientific knowledge level. Department has three programs at this moment, an undergraduate program and two master’s programs (one with thesis, another without thesis). Their curricula are carefully designed to support self-actualization, professional viewpoint, and knowledge-based creativity in theoretical and practical levels. Addition to this, there are evaluation forms for courses and their instructors. By feedback, we are trying to raise course performances for everybody.

Chapter 2
Administration

Our department has no special administrative office, we are communicating in the way of nature! Departmental issues are discussed in the departmental board meetings which are holding at least one session per month1. Faculty members have rights to vote on decisions while we are seeking a consensus.

2.1 Code of Ethics and Code of Research

There are two comprehensive examples which can be considered to define department’s code of ethics. We hope somebody need to write it in the future for the department itself. Until then, these two seem to be meaningful for the department.
  • ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct - https://www.acm.org/about/code-of-ethics
  • Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice - https://www.acm.org/about/se-code

There is a well written code of research from AIS, maybe we can put some issues on the table for Turkish academia soon.

  • AIS Code of Research Conduct - https://goo.gl/fx9MSX

2.2 Delegation and Tasking

Chair’s Office is the main responsible point for all activities of the department in the offical sense. Assigning various tasks to members of the department is one of the tasks of the chair’s office. All assignments should be ready to discuss, present, or share at the due date by the members.

2.3 Policies

The Department of Management Information Systems developed written policies in order to set a clear shared expectation for processes that we will hold ourselves accountable to the school (see Appendices).

2.4 Communication

We communicate each other via mobile phone calls, text messages, and e-mail messages. Additionally some mobile apps like WhatsApp are really helpful for sharing instant ideas, photos, or short documents. In professional sense, we are using Slack (http://slack.com).

Our department has a Twitter account (@deptofmis) to share some important topics and valuable links with students.

2.5 Content Management System

We are using MediaWiki as a content management system (CMS) and a website. All information about the department is always updated on the website (http://j.mp/link2mis).

2.6 Official Documents and Forms

As a unit of the YBU Business School, we are using a framework which is called ”Sistem Kitabı”2 (The System Book) to handle all administrative processes related to the school. The book contains most of the documents, forms, and policy descriptions which are used in the school. We have a couple of additional forms and documents to be able to get feedback from members of the department, students, and third parties.

2.7 Upcoming for 2017

We are currently working on new ideas to implement for the year of 2017, such as (unsorted);

  • Knowledge Base. General knowledge base (Issue tracking, FAQ, Help, MIS literature essentials, Must read books).
  • Style Manual. For homeworks, projects, theses.
  • MIS Core. MIS research areas. Emphasizing key people in the area.
  • Course Cards. Beautiful cards (Course categories, MIS Career info, Elective courses).
  • MIS Entry. Creating value from wasted electronics, renovation, donation for children.

2.8 Departmental Calendar

Department has a calendar which consists of important dates and milestones. It is currently hosted by Google Calendar. Every member of the faculty can access and manuplate it if needed.

Chapter 3
Research

We are working on various topics of management information systems (MIS) such as; Information concepts, Decision making, System concepts and principles, Management and Strategy, Technology Adoption and Diffusion, Sociology and Organization Behavior.

Some items give a clue about the research performance of the department. For 2015, they are as follows; Articles published: 12, Paper in conferences: 14, Books/Book chapters: 16, Research projects: 9.

We have a plan to establish three laboratories in time period of 2017-2020. The first one will be the Business Simulation Lab which is planned for creating mathematical models of business units, commerce systems, and markets based on simulation experimentation on computers to reveal behaviors of businesses as living-organisms. Individual and Social Cognition Lab will be the second one and it aims to understand knowledge acquisition of an individual which can be directly related to observing others within the context of social interactions and experiences. The third lab is a Cyborg Lab to observe various dimensions of human-computer interaction.

Chapter 4
Departmental Activities

4.1 Research Seminar Series (RSS)

Members of the department present their research outputs in monthly seminars. All researchers are welcome for this open discussion platform.

Coordinator: Dilan Özcan Kalfa

4.2 Workshops

Participants use some research tools in workshops for hands-on-experience with scientific approaches in MIS Workshops.

Coordinator: Dr. Keziban Seçkin Codal

4.3 Talks

Invited speakers give interesting speeches about their experiences in business life, a project recently completed, or a product newly introduced.

Coordinator: Nurcan Bozkaya Özdemir

4.4 Professional Connections

Coordinator: Dr. Tunç D. Medeni

Appendix A
Underlying Disciplines and Concepts / Theories Used

Adapted from

Gordon B. Davis. 2000. Information Systems Conceptual Foundations: Looking Backward and Forward. In Proceedings of the IFIP TC9 WG9.3 International Conference on Home Oriented Informatics and Telematics,: Information, Technology and Society (HOIT ’00), Andy Sloane and Felix van Rijn (Eds.). Kluwer, B.V., Deventer, The Netherlands, The Netherlands, 61-82.

Psychology
Theories of human behavior, Motivation theories, Theory of reasoned action.

Cognitive Psychology
Human information processing, Human cognition, Expertise, Artificial intelligence, Cognitive style, Creativity, Knowledge, Cognitive representations/visualization, Human-machine interfaces.

Sociology/Organization Behavior
Nature of work (knowledge work, clerical work, etc.), Governance theories, Organization design concepts, Process models, Culture.

Technology Adoption/Diffusion
Adaptive structuration, Social network theory, Actor network theory, Social influence, Organization change, Organization learning, Trust, Ethics.

Management/Strategy
Strategy, Innovation, Competitive advantage, Resource view of firm, Knowledge management, Risk management, Evaluation, Outsourcing.

Economics
Principal-agent theory, Transaction cost economics, Productivity, Information economics, Social welfare, Adverse selection, Value of information, Incomplete contracting, Intermediation.

System Concepts and Principles
Artificial systems, Requisite variety, Soft systems, Complexity, Control theory-cybernetics, Socio-cybernetic theory of acts, Task/technology fit (equifinality), System economics (reuse), Maintenance of systems (negative entropy), Process theory, System models.

Communications
Media choice, Collaborative work, Speech acts theory.

Decision making
Behavioral decision making, Normative decision models, Group decision making, Neural networks/genetic algorithms.

Information concepts
Mathematical theory of communications, Quality, errors, and bias concepts, Value of information, Semantics, Semiotics (theory of signs).

Appendix B
Statements / Policies / Codes

B.1 Diversity Statement

As of October 14, 2015

The Department of Management Information Systems actively encourage the involvement and participation of everyone. Our department is based on mutual respect, acceptance and encouragement; with each of us taking personal responsibility for helping each other live up to these principles. We believe diversity of ideas, skills, cultures and viewpoints are irreplaceable in keeping Department of Management Information Systems and our community vital, growing and viable. We want our community to be more diverse, by any measure - so whoever you are, whatever your background is, whatever views and goals you have, we welcome you.

B.2 Anti-Harassment and Anti-Bullying Code of Conduct

As of October 12, 2015

The Department of Management Information Systems is dedicated to providing a respectful, harassment-free community for everyone. We do not tolerate harassment or bullying of any community member in any form. This does not only extend to members of the Department of Management Information Systems, but to anyone who chooses to become involved in the larger Business School community of officials, researchers, students, users, and third-parties through events or interactions.

Harassment includes offensive verbal/electronic comments related to personal characteristics or choices, sexual images or comments in public or online spaces, deliberate intimidation, bullying, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks, IRC chats, electronic meetings, physical meetings or other events, inappropriate physical contact, or unwelcome sexual attention. Participants asked to stop any harassing or bullying behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, representatives of the community may take reasonable action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender, expulsion from any Business School event, or expulsion from mailing lists, IRC chats, discussion boards and other electronic communications channels to resolve the issue. This may include expulsion from Department of Management Information Systems membership.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please act to intercede or ask for help from any member of the Department of Management Information Systems, IRC chat admins, website admins, or organizers/representatives of any physical events put on under the auspices of the Department of Management Information Systems.

B.3 Meeting Attendance Policy

As of October 8, 2015

Members of the department are expected to attend most regularly scheduled meetings. Chair’s office does much of its work and nearly all of its decision making via electronic tools. Meetings are typically held monthly, with additional meetings scheduled during periods of high workloads.

Missed meetings seriously diminish the effectiveness of the entire department, and thus of the Business School. The Department of Management Information Systems therefore developed this written policy in order to set a clear shared expectation for meeting attendance that we will hold ourselves accountable to the school.

Members of the department are expected to attend at least 90% of all regularly scheduled meetings. Members of the department are expected to defend regular meeting times in their personal calendars, and to avoid scheduling other meetings during that time.

Department members occasionally miss meetings due to circumstances beyond their control such as illness, travel schedules, jury duty, or holidays. These will generally be considered ”excused” absences. In all cases, board members are expected to notify the board of meetings they know they will miss. ”Silent failure” (i.e. missing a meeting without notification) is unacceptable.

In order to make the department more accountable internally and to the Business School community, we will institute the following ”transparency” measures:

  • All minutes (with attendance, and excused/unexcused absences) will be sent via email to members by the Secretary.
  • Repeatedly absent department members will be noted in the meeting minutes.
  • Percentage of the department meeting attendance will be reported at the end of the academic year (e.g. Prof. Doe attended 95% of scheduled meetings this year).
  • We will maintain a public, year-to-date summary of department member attendance on the department website so that members of the department can check in on our attendance.

B.4 Policy on Disclosure of Interests

As of October 9, 2015

Department members are expected to disclose strong personal interests when items are considered. If there is a direct interest in an outcome (beyond the impact on the department at large), the disclosure should be recorded in the minutes.

B.5 Meeting Agenda Content / Distribution Policy

As of October 8, 2015

Agendas should be posted at least two days in advance, include correspondence listing. Agendas should go out to Department of Management Information Systems members list at least two days before every meeting. Also, posted on ybusm.org in the agendas listing. List mailing should be full text of agenda, not just a link. Lead every agenda with something like ”comments or feedback on any agenda item? E-mail the board list at least a day before the meeting.” Agendas should include a list of correspondence received by the Department of Management Information Systems since the last agenda.

Appendix C
Related Occupations

Adapted from

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm

Computer and Information Research Scientists
Computer and information research scientists invent and design new approaches to computing technology and find innovative uses for existing technology. They study and solve complex problems in computing for business, medicine, science, and other fields.

Computer Network Architects
Computer network architects design and build data communication networks, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and intranets. These networks range from small connections between two offices to next-generation networking capabilities such as a cloud infrastructure that serves multiple customers.

Computer Programmers
Computer programmers write and test code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly. They turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow.

Computer Support Specialists
Computer support specialists provide help and advice to people and organizations using computer software or equipment. Some, called computer network support specialists, support information technology (IT) employees within their organization. Others, called computer user support specialists, assist non-IT users who are having computer problems.

Computer Systems Analysts
Computer systems analysts study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and design information systems solutions to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively. They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.

Database Administrators
Database administrators (DBAs) use specialized software to store and organize data, such as financial information and customer shipping records. They make sure that data are available to users and are secure from unauthorized access.

Information Security Analysts
Information security analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems. Their responsibilities are continually expanding as the number of cyberattacks increases.

Network and Computer Systems Administrators
Computer networks are critical parts of almost every organization. Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of these networks.

Software Developers
Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.

Web Developers
Web developers design and create websites. They are responsible for the look of the site. They are also responsible for the site’s technical aspects, such as its performance and capacity, which are measures of a website’s speed and how much traffic the site can handle. In addition, web developers may create content for the site.

Appendix D
Course Offerings

See Course Catalog

Appendix E
Rubrics

See Master's Rubrics in Help Center

Appendix F
Course Evaluation Form

As of May 22, 2016

This form is provided for the purpose of evaluation for MIS courses you registered. Please select appropriate option of each statement which correspond most closely to your desired response according to the scale below.

1. Strongly Disagree — 2. Disagree — 3. Undecided — 4. Agree — 5. Strongly Agree

Thank you for your participation.

— Department of Management Information Systems

General

1. Which course do you want to evaluate?

Global Items

2. This course is well planned and organized.

3. The content of this course is valuable.

4. This instructor is effective in teaching the subject matter of this course.

5. I would recommend a course taught by this instructor to other students.

Course Content, Objectives, and Structure

6. The pace of this course is appropriate.

7. Presentations are interesting and challenging.

8. This course is intellectually stimulating.

9. Facts and concepts from related fields are presented.

10. Classes are worth attending.

Instructor’s Behavior

11. This instructor responds respectfully to student questions and viewpoints.

12. This instructor creates an atmosphere where ideas can be exchanged freely and easily.

13. Class discussions are helpful to my learning.

14. This instructor communicates at a level appropriate to my understanding.

15. Help is available outside class if I have questions.

Communication Skills

16. This instructor communicates well.

17. This instructor speaks clearly and audibly.

18. This instructor presents materials clearly.

19. This instructor’s facility with the language of instruction is good.

Instructional Methods and Materials

20. Required course activities are important to my learning.

21. Required course activities are consistent with course objectives.

22. The course web page was a valuable resource.

23. Assigned homework reinforced material presented in class.

24. Material is summarized in a manner that helps me learn.

Outcomes of Instruction

25. My critical thinking skills have improved because of this class.

26. My problem solving abilities have improved because of this class.

27. I have learned to see relationships among important topics and ideas.

28. I have been motivated to do additional work in this area.

29. This course is so interesting that I would like to take another class in this area.

Comments and Recommendations

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