Recommended reading
The following are recommendations - these books, as well as WiredFast Company or Business 2.0 is excellent background material (and interesting reading, whether you are doing this for grades or not).
Electronic material
Some of the material referenced under the invididual classes will be made available in Blackboard, some through the Norwegian School of Management library.  Additional material may be found at BRINT, Slashdot or other places on the Net with relevance for the theme of the day. For the Internet challenged, books and texts are almost too numerous to mention.  No real recommendations here, how about Internet for Dummies? At least it sells well... For any other book, well, there is always my favorite books page.

Class preparation

Each class will have reading (cases, articles and/or book chapters) associated with it. You are expected to prepare for each class by reading the assigned material (the study questions may help you find a perspective on the reading). Individual time required to analyze material, especially cases, varies significantly.  Some students may be unfamiliar with the use of cases and discussion-based teaching.  Experience suggests that students should plan to spend at the very least two hours (more, if lacking in English language skills, business or technical experience) on reading and analyzing each case (exclusive of articles and other course reading), and prepare extensive notes of their analysis to guide them in their discussion.  The cases will be accompanied by study questions, which provide guidance in analyzing the case. The articles or book chapters may also help in analyzing a case, as well as discussions with your peers.

Classroom discussion
This is a course at the Master level, meaning that there is a joint responsibility between the instructor and the student for the learning reached.  Classroom discussion is the main interaction between teacher and students in this course. It is crucial both for the students' understanding and the quality of the discussion that the students are intimately familiar with the contents of the material before the lecture begins.  When the assigned material contains a case, every student will be expected to be able to give a short (3-5 minute) presentation of the case company, as well as discuss strategic and technological issues of importance, at each class.

Grades are determined as follows:

Detailed seminar plan
The right to make changes at any time is most explicitly reserved....
Date/lecturer Topic & study questions Preparation
Introduction: What is technology, how to study it, why is it important?
Sandvika, Auditorium 3
0830 - 1115
Friday, January 17

Espen Andersen

Introduction, course overview, work processes, administrivia, course objectives. What difference does technology make?

Study questions:
1. What are Malone & Rockart's key arguments? To what extent were they right? Wrong?
2. Which parts of Microsoft's strategy worked -- and which didn't?
3. Why is technology important? Why is it not?  How much do you need to know about technology to manage a technology-based organization?
4: What is the role of technology in a Value Chains, Networks and Shops?
5. A common problem in organizations is the lack of communication between technologists and management.  Why is that?  How can it be countered?
6. What is an information economy?

Read and be prepared to discuss: 
  • The introductory chapter from Utterback.
  • Chapter 1 (The Information Economy) in S&V. Available here for those who haven't yet bought it (but who should).
  • Malone, T. W. and J. F. Rockart (1991). “Computers, Networks and the Corporation.”  Scientific American (September): 128-136. (Paper copy available outside office 42-11).
  • Sherman, S. P. (1984). “Microsoft's drive to dominate software.” Fortune (January 23): 82-90. (Paper copy available outside office 42-11)
  • Fjeldstad, Ø. and K. Haanæs (2001). "Strategy Tradeoffs in the Knowledge and Network Economy." Business Strategy Review 12(1): 1-10. (In Blackboard)
  •  Stabell, C. B. and Ø. D. Fjeldstad (1998).  "Configuring Value for Competitive Advantage: On Chains, Shops and Networks." Strategic Management Journal 19: 413-437. (PDF available in Blackboard, but you should already have read this article in previous courses, so just review it.)
  • Andersen, E. (2002). "Nowhere to Hide" ACM Ubiquity 3(28).
Further reading (for the especially interested): In your spare time:
  • Neal Stephenson's (1999) Cryptonomicon is a highly entertaining tome about technology, history, adventure and just about everything else - and the chapters on the creation of the Epiphyte corporation rings a bell with anyone involved in a startup - including a disillusioned take on what a business plan should contain..

Technology in Value Chains
Sandvika, Auditorium 3
0830 - 1115
Friday, January 24

Espen Andersen

Understanding the role of IT in value chain companies -- value chain integration, parameterization, customer interface.

In this class, we will study Dell Computers, and discuss what role information technology plays in a value chain.

Study questions:
1.  What is the role of information technology at Dell Computer?  What competitive advantages does the Dell Direct model give compared to traditional retail distribution models?
2. According to Porter & Millar, what can IT do for the competitive power of a value chain? 
3. Porter and Millar's article is 18 years old--what parts are it still applicable, what doesn't work anymore?
4. What does the Christensen article say about Dell Computers? What has happened in that industry since the time of the Pearlson case?

Read and be prepared to discuss:
  • Porter, M. E., & Millar, V. E. (1985). How information gives you competitive advantage. Harvard Business Review(July-August), 149-160. (I am sure you have this article somewhere already - if not, it is available through Business Premier in BI's Library.)
  • Keri Pearlson and Raymond Yeh (1999): Dell Computer Corporation: A Zero-Time Organization. UTexas Austin.
  • Christensen, C. M., M. Raynor, et al. (2001). "Skate to Where the Money Will Be." Harvard Business Review (November): 73-81. (Available through Business Premier in BI's library.)
  • Check out Dell Corporation's home page and anything you can find on Dell and its competition on the Net..

Value Chain integration and extension: Understanding the role of information technology
Sandvika, Auditorium 3
0830 - 1115
Friday, January 31

Espen Andersen

Understanding the role of IT in value chain companies II -- IT in corporate strategy, in secondary activites, in managment.

1. What technology is typically used at each of Venkatraman's five stages? How has companies' ability to progress up these stages changed with the technology? 
2.  How has information technology contributed to Cisco's success?
3. Cisco has made explicit and optimized a process for acquiring and rapidly incorporating companies.  Why is this a core part of their strategy - and what would make this strategy fail?

Read and be prepared to discuss:
  • Chapter 4 in Utterback.
  • Case: Cisco Systems (HBS 9-398-127)
  • Venkatraman, N. (1994). IT-enabled Business Transformation: From Automation to Business Scope Redefinition. Sloan Management Review (Winter), 73-86. (available through Business Source Premier in NSM Library).
Further reading (for the especially interested):
Competing with technology: The case of Opera
Guest lecturers:
Jon S. von Tetschner, CEO
 and/or Rolf Assev, EVP Marketing and Strategic Alliances.

Sandvika, Auditorium 3
0830 - 1115
Friday, Febuary 7

Opera Software ASA is a small (120 employees) software development company from Oslo.  The company is famous for its Opera browser, available for most computer platforms, and is now on the treshold of doing great in other markets, such as mobile phones.  The case illustrates the challenges facing a company in the commercialization phase.

Study questions:
1. Which markets are Opera aiming for, and what are the critical competitive dimensions in each market?
2. What are the main threats and opportunities for Opera.  Do they have a technology-based competitive advantage?  If so, what is it?
3.  What does it take to make the next generation of mobile phones take off?
4. Who was Claude Shannon?  What was he famous for?

  • Read and be prepared to discuss:
    • Various material about Opera (in Blackboard)
    • Chapter 8 (Cooperation and Compatibility) and 9 (Waging a Standards War) in Shapiro & Varian
    • This article about the battle for the mobile phone browser from Salon Magazine.
    Further reading:
    The Economics of Technology: What do you spend and what do you get?

    Sandvika, February 17th, 0830-1115
    NOTE DATE!!!

    Espen Andersen

    The economics of investing in and using information technology
    One of the hardest problems of managing technology - especially information technology - is deciding on how much to spend and understanding what the economic effect of the investment is.  We will look at this topic both from the viewpoint of a single company and by examining data from many companies.

    Individual assignment I, to be handed in before class, 600 word/two page maximum:
    Imagine you are a CEO worrying about whether you are spending too much or not enough on information technology. How would the InformationWEEK 500 study help you? For help with the analysis, here's an Excel worksheet with the numbers (also in Blackboard). Download the file to your own computer, then analyze it there using Excel or other software.

    Study questions:
    1. What are Hitt & Brynjolfsson's three measures of information technology profitability -- and their conclusions about them?
    2. How do you justify spending money on upgrading desktop computers and Internet bandwidth?

    Who was Doug Engelbart? And what is "bootstrapping".
    Read and be prepared to discuss:
    • Hitt, L., & Brynjolfsson, E. (1996). Productivity, Business Profitability, and Consumer Surplus: Three Different Measures of Information Technology Value. MIS Quarterly, 20(2), 121-142.
    • The InformationWEEK 500, InformationWEEK, September 1995 (distributed, page 43 in Blackboard).
    • Case: The missing Gigabyte
    Further reading for the specially interested:
    Competing with technology: Developing and protecting a competitive position
    Sandvika, Auditorium 3
    0830 - 1115
    Friday, February 21

    Ramiro Montealegre

    Espen Andersen

    In this class, prof. Ramiro Montealegre, from University of Colorado Boulder and Institudo Empresa, Madrid, will discuss the case of BEA Systems, a remarkably successful software company that has shown an ability to adapt to technological and market changes.

    1. What was the competitive environment for BEA Systems when the company was founded?
    2. What were the critical factors that allowed them to grow so large in such a short period of time?
    3. Who are their main competitors and to what extent are they a threat to BEA Systems?
    4. If you were hired as a consultant, what would your advice to Alfred Chuang be?

    Read and be prepared to discuss:
    • Case: BEA Systems (available from Eli Steller, room 42-11)
    • Chapter 5 and 6 (Recognizing Lock-In and Managing Lock-In) from Shapiro & Varian
    Further reading (for the especially interested):
    In your spare time:
    • Rich, B. R. and L. Janos (1994). Skunk Works. New York, Little, Brown.  (The history of Lockheed Martin's "skunk works," a highly innovative group of engineers who developed the U2 spy plane, the SR-71 Blackbird, and Stealth technology.)  Great for war stories on how to run technical teams.
    • Brand, Stewart (1995). How Buildings Learn. New York, Penguin Books.  (Great book on what makes some buildings great for living in--rather than just looking at.  A technology book -- about houses)
    Technology evolution
    Sandvika, Auditorium 3
    0830 - 1115
    Friday, Febuary 28

    Espen Andersen

    Individual assignment II, to be handed in before class (that means before 0830!!!!), 600 word/two page maximum: (more text in Blackboard).
    HP, Lexmark, Canon and Epson dominate the market for inkjet printers, but face competition from providers of "reconditioned" inkjet cartridges.  From the perspective of the printer companies, how can they protect their revenue stream using for instance technology,  legislation, alliances, pricing or other mechanisms?

    Things to consider before class:
    1. Are there other industries where the printer/cartridge phenomenon operates?
    2. Can computers be smarter than people?  Can computers be intelligent?  If computers got to be smarter than people, what would that mean for humans?
    3. What is a dominant design (see Utterback.)  What are the dominant designs of the Internet?
    4. Which industry started in New England, was one of Norway's largest export industries before the first world war, and completely disappeared in the 1930s?
    5. (This is not in any of the articles, but easy to find on the Internet): When was the mouse invented, and by whom? How about the graphical user interface? The laser printer?

    Read and be prepared to discuss:
    • Chapter 3 (Innovation as a game of chutes and ladders) from Utterback
    • Chapter 5 and 6 (Recognizing Lock-In and Managing Lock-In) from Shapiro & Varian
    • Anything you can find on the printer market (to produce the individual assignment)
    For the specially interested:

    In your spare time:

    • Hofstadter, D. M. (1979). Gödel, Esher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. New York, Vintage Books.  (Wonderful book on computers, music, art, mathematics and most of all--self-referential systems.)
    • Dennett, D. C. (1991). Consciousness Explained. Boston, MA, Little, Brown & Co.  (What is consciousness--and where in the brain does it reside?)
    The politics of technology Sandvika, Auditorium 3
    0830 - 1115
    Friday, March 7

    Espen Andersen

    In this class, we will discuss various political implications of information and other technology - both from business and societal perspective.

    Study questions:
    1. Two of Friedman's terms are "the golden straightjacket" and "the electronic herd" - and these two concepts create problems for finance ministers the world over.  What are they? (they may not be in this chapter, but you can guess.....)
    2. The central point in Klein's book is that multinational companies have more power than democratic institutions, and that they exploit that power to their advantage.  How powerful is really a company such as Nike? Starbucks?  World News Corporation?
    3. What have questions 1 and 2 really got to do with technology, anyway?
    4. Imagine an industry that is largely regional in nature but gradually becoming more globalized - for instance food retail stores.  What happens to the existing companies?  Why?
    5. Under what circumstances can regulation influence technology?  Can you find examples where political interference in technology evolution has worked?  Where it hasn't?
    6. How does the role of politicians change as globalization increases?

    Read and be prepared to discuss:
    • Chapter 10: “Information Policy” in Shapiro & Varian.
    • Landes, David S. (1998). The Wealth and Powerty of Nations. New York, Abacus, chapter 14 and 15 (if you did not pick it up during class, you can get it from Eli Steller, office 42-11.)
    • Klein, N. (2001). No Logo. London, Flamingo, chapter 9, “The Discarded Factory”  (if you did not pick it up during class, you can get it from Eli Steller, office 42-11.)
    • Friedman, T. L. (1999). The Lexus and the Olive Tree. New York, Farrar, Strauss Giroux., chapter 3 and 4 (if you did not pick it up during class, you can get it from Eli Steller, office 42-11.)
    Further reading (for the especially interested).  Yes, I know I went off the deep end here, but you need something to occupy you when this course is over.:
    • Diamond, J. (1998). Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies. New York, Norton. Jared Diamond is an anthropologist who was asked by a native in new Guinea something like this: "Why was it that you won - why didn't we, the people of New Guinea discover Europe and America and invaded them?"  He has spent many years trying to answer that question - and this book is the fascinating result.
    • Lessig, L. (2001). The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World. New York, Random House.  Check out Lawrence Lessig's blog and the article about him in Wired Magazine.
    • Eric Raymond: The Cathedral and the Bazaar, excellent piece on the relationship between the open source and the free software movement.  Can be found various places on the Internet.
    • Howard Rheingold (2002): Smart mobs: The next social revolution.  New and interesting book on the self-organizing impact of mobile technology.
    • Garfinkel, S. L. (2000). Database Nation: The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century. Sebastopol, CA, O'Reilly and Associates, Inc.  How technology intrudes -- and what you can do about it (more of the former than the latter.)
    • Hafner, K. and M. Lyon (1996). Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet. New York, Simon & Schuster.  Good history of the Internet.
    In your spare time:

    Disruptive technology
    Sandvika, Auditorium 3
    0830 - 1115
    Friday, March 14

    Espen Andersen

    In this class we will look at the phenomenon of  disruptive technology - when new technology comes along and attacks incumbent market leaders.  We will look at the case of Skandiabanken, a Swedish Internet-based bank that has become a market leader in Norway - and discuss whether it really is a harbinger of a disruptive technology or not.

    Study questions:
    1. What characterizes a disruptive technology - that is, how can we recognise it before it becomes disruptive?
    2. How does a disruptive technology change an industry?
    3. What is Skandiabanken's value offering to their customers?
    4. How can the traditional banks counter the threat - if it is a threat - from Skandiabanken?
    Read and be prepared to discuss:
    • Chapter 7 "Invasion of a stable business by radical innovation" and 8  “The Creative Power of technology in process Innovation” in Utterback.  (the whole book, really, at this point)
    • Espen Andersen (2003):  The Internet as a Disruptive Technology: A Scenario for the Norwegian Retail Banking Market, draft paper available in Blackboard.
    • Bower, J. L., & Christensen, C. C. (1995). Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Waves. Harvard Business Review (January-February), 43-53 (available from Business Source Premier, in the library.
    Further reading for the especially interested
    In your spare time:
    • Stephenson, N. (1999). In the Beginning....Was the Command Line. New York, Avon Books.  Available for free here.  Excellent treatise on what technology really means. If you understand and like this article, then you really grok tech.
    Value Shops: Understanding the role of technology in competence creation and mobilization
    Sandvika, Auditorium 3
    0830 - 1115
    Friday, March 21

    Espen Andersen
    Tor Jakob Ramsøy, Partner, McKinsey
    Bjørn Ivar Danielsen, Former Managing Partner, Accenture Norway.

    In this lecture, we will look at the use of technology in Value Shops, i.e., problem-solving companies.  We will look at two of the world's most well-known consulting companies, McKinsey and Accenture, and compare their business models, organizational structure, value offering and use of technology.

    Study questions:
    1. What purposes does information technology serve in a Value Shop organization?
    2. What are the differences between McKinsey and Accenture (Andersen Consulting) in their use of information technology?  Why?
    3. How does using an information system in a chain company differ from using it in a shop company?
    4. What obstacles would you face in designing and implementing knowledge system in a stockbroking company?  A hospital?  A law firm?

    Read and be prepared to discuss:
    • Hansen, M., N. Nohria, et al. (1999). “What is your strategy for managing knowledge?” Harvard Business Review (March-April): 106-116.  (available through Business Source Premier at the library)
    • Case: Knowledge Management at Andersen Consulting (HBS 9-499-032)
    • Case: Knowledge Management at McKinsey (HBS 9-396-357)
    Further reading for the specially interested:
    • Nonaka, I. (1991). “The Knowledge-Creating Company.” Harvard Business Review (November-December): 96-104.  Available through Business Source Premier at the library.
    •  Nonaka, I. and H. Takeuchi (1995). The Knowledge-Creating Company. New York, Oxford University Press.  Classic on Knowledge Management.  One of the few business books were reading the HBS article is not enough.....
    • Eccles, R. G. and D. B. Crane (1988). Doing Deals: Investment Banks at Work. Boston, MA, Harvard Business School Press.  Great case study of investment banks -- and quite a lot about the marketing and pulling together of a problems solving capability.
    • Stewart, T. A. (1997). Intellectual Capital: The New Wealth of Organizations, Doubleday.  Good non-technical book about how organizations learn and remember.
    •  Davenport, T. H. and L. Prusak (1997). Working Knowledge: How Organizations Manage What They Know. Boston, MA, Harvard Business School Press.
    eBusiness and the Corporation: Managing change
    Sandvika, Aud. 3
    0830 - 1115
    Monday, March 24

    NOTE DATE!!!
    Individual assignment III, to be handed in before class (that means before 0830!!!!), 600 word/two page maximum: (more text, eventually,  in Blackboard).
    Read the case about Catatech, and write a memo to Marisa Rivera, answering the following questions:
    1. How much of a threat to Catatech are new companies such as e-Herramientas?
    2. What should Marisa do?
    (Use your best judgment and the literature done so far in the course for analysis of this case.  We will discuss it in class, so it has to be handed in before the class begins.  If you are ill or otherwise can't make it, email it).

    Read and be prepared to discuss:
    Further reading for the specially interested:
    • Christensen, C. M. and R. S. Tedlow (2000). "Patterns of Disruption in Retailing." Harvard Business Review (January-February): 42-45. (In Business Source Premier at the library)
    • The rest of Utterback (if you haven't read it by now)
    • Lou Gerstner (2002). Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? New York, HarperBusiness.  Lou Gerstner took over as CEO of IBM at a time when it was nearly going out of business - and turned the company dramatically around.  for anyone with experience of IBM and the IT business, this is nothing short of extraordinary.  Here is his surprisingly low-key story about how he did it.
    In your spare time:
    Technology and the Value Network: The case of telecommunictions
    Sandvika, Aud. 3
    0830 - 1115
    Friday, March 28

    Espen Andersen
    Berit Svendsen, CTO Telenor
    In this final session, we will look at technology in a Value Network, exemplified by the case of the Nordic Mobile Telecommunications industry.
    Read and be prepared to discuss:
    • Andersen, E. and Ø. Fjeldstad (2003): Understanding inter-firm relations in mediation industries with special reference to the Nordic Mobile Communication Industry, forthcoming in Industrial Marketing Management
    • The Concours Group (2001): Doing business in a mobile world, Re.Sults report (in Blackboard)
    • Chapter 7 (Networks and Positive Feedback) in Shapiro and Varian
    Further reading for the specially interested:

    NSM's home page

    Espen Andersen's home page
    Last updated: March 4, 2003.

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