ITM 301 Principles of Information Systems in Business Organizations

Module 1 – Case

Data, Information, and Organizational Knowledge

Assignment Overview

Every company has, to a greater or lesser extent, an information subsystem — that is, a means by which it gathers data, interprets it, and makes it available to employees through a distribution system. Whether we are talking about marketing information, cost projections, accounting results, or internal quality reports, every company depends on knowledge to support its planning, decision making, and control.

So how does knowledge fit into the picture? The emergence of the field called knowledge management in the last 10 years or so has highlighted some key propositions:

  • All organizations are storehouses of knowledge that operate in information-rich environments made up of people and things both inside and outside the organization itself
  • Organizations organize, interpret, and evaluate this information to solve organizational problems
  • Knowledge is the primary mechanism for processing and utilizing information
  • People’s brains are the key knowledge resource of any organization
  • Codified knowledge stored in books, audio and video tapes, and computer systems can be an important knowledge resource as well
  • There are organizational processes and strategies generally and IT management processes and strategies in particular that can significantly enhance the ability of organizations to use their knowledge resources to solve organizational problems effectively

Several of these themes will come up again in later modules in this course. But by way of introduction to the subject, let’s take a look at some views of how knowledge works (these are the REQUIRED readings):

Leonard, D., & Swap, W. (2005). The Knowledge Coach. HBS Working Knowledge. Retrieved from:

Levinson, M. (2007). Knowledge Management Definition and Solutions. Retrieved from

Wiig, K.M. (N.D.) On The Management of Knowledge. The Wiig Group. Retrieved from

Case Assignment

For this case assignment (1) read through the three articles then (2) select any one IS theory listed at:

and read about that theory in-depth, then (3) write a 3-4 page essay that discusses how data, information and knowledge are applicable in the context of that theory, or vise-versa. Be sure your discussion demonstrates that you understand the meanings and differences between data, information and knowledge. In your discussion give a real-world example of data, knowledge and information in the context of your theory and provide some commentary on that scenario as to what was done right, what could be better to achieve a better outcome.

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