ICS 132: Organizational Information Systems

Winter 2002


Instructor: Paul Dourish (jpd@ics.uci.edu)
TAs: Sameer Patil (patil@ics.uci.edu; Office hours Wed 1-2, CST 124); Dhawal Shah (shahd@uci.edu)
Lectures: M W 11:00--12:20, SH 128
Discussions: As scheduled


When you graduate, almost all of you will work in, with, for, or amonst organizations. Organizations are the primary developers and consumers of computer systems. More importantly, modern organizations depend critically on computer systems to function. Information systems and organizations are thoroughly intertwined. Most of the information system design you're ever likely to be involved in will depend on organizational insights to be effective.

This class explores the relationships between organizations and information systems, and gives you tools for understanding and analyzing these relationships. We'll spend some time dealing primarily with the structure and analysis of organizations, some time talking specifically about technologies that are especially relevant to organizational life, and some time introducing specific techniques for uncovering and thinking about technology in organizational settings.

This last topic will be explored through a short project in analyzing organizational technology. This is preparatory to the more in-depth analyses you'll do in ICS 135.


Mon Dec 24: Web page set up.

Wed Jan 09: First assignment given out. This is due on Monday 1/14.

Wed Jan 29: I didn't get through all the material on Monday, so today's slides repeat a lot that are in the file for Monday. I'll resolve this later.

Wed Jan 29: Second assignment given out. This is due on Monday 4/2.

Wed Jan 29: Here is a copy of last year's midterm, and here are the solutions.

Tue Feb 12: Here are Sameer's slides from the discussion section last week, going through the solutions for the midterm. And here's a copy in PDF.

Wed Feb 13: Project description posted. The project is due Monday, March 4.

Sat Mar 2: Posted the list of chapters for the final.

Tue Mar 5: Here's a copy of last year's final.

Sun Mar 10: Here's a copy of the answers to last year's final.

Sun Mar 10: Here's the third assignment that was distributed at Wednesday's class.


There are two texts for this class. The first is "Information Systems: A Management Perspective," by Steven Alter. This is more normally used in a one-semester information systems course in management schools; it gives you a good overview of organizational concerns and of technical issues from the other guy's point of view.

The second text is "Analysing Social Settings," by John and Lyn Lofland. This is an introduction to the use of ethnographic field techniques for investigating the use of technology (and other social systems). This is also a required text for ICS 135.


Jan 7

Introduction/Course Overview

Jan 9

Metaphors of Organizations

Jan 14

Basic concepts

Jan 16

Processes and Workflow Technologies

Jan 21


Jan 23

No lecture (Instructor out of town)

Jan 28

Information Management I

Jan 30

Information Management II

SQL reference

Feb 4

Performance and Competition

Feb 6

Midterm Exam

Feb 11

Analysing Social Settings I

Feb 13

Analysing Social Settings II

Project description

Feb 18


Feb 20

Organizational Communication

Feb 25

Planning and Maintenance

Feb 27


Mar 4

Electronic commerce

Mar 6

Case studies

Mar 11


Mar 13

Final exam