• Peeling the Onion: IT Governance and Management for Business Managers (Beachboard & Aytes)

Peeling the Onion: IT Governance and Management for Business Managers

Kregg Aytes John Beachboard

  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: Informing Science Press (August 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932886591
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932886597
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Price on Amazon $39.99

As suggested by its title, this book is based on the assumption that non-IT business managers need to know about IT management. We have read literally hundreds of books and articles relating to IT management and have found much that is useful. But we also have found much material that is not particularly relevant to the needs of mid-level business managers. We aspired to write a book that is readable and relevant for current and aspiring business managers. Not surprisingly, most IT management publications are written for IT managers. Those publications written for (non-IT) business readers are often written as if they were to be read primarily by C-level executives. Their content, while useful, is often painted with broad strokes. Too often, these trade publications lack the mundane but necessary details needed to help business managers implement their prescriptions. It is as if they don’t want to bother the executives with boring details; after all, C-level executives have staff to handle the details. Our book is different because it provides practical, actionable knowledge that business professionals can apply to help their enterprises better employ information and information technology. We take to heart the cautions offered by two distinguished scholars, Pfeffer and Sutton (2006), who advised their readers to “stop treating old ideas as if they were brand new” and to “be suspicious of ‘breakthrough’ ideas and studies” (p. 71). They are particularly critical of “peddlers of management ideas” who “ignore antecedents [of their work] and represent insights as being wholly original” (p. 71). Accordingly, we emphasize two points. Point one: Most of this book’s content represents a synthesis of the work of the many “thought leaders” cited. Our contribution has been to sift through thousands of pages of academic- and practitioner-oriented literature to cull the most useful information (for our chosen audience) and present it concisely. We do not claim that the cited authors would agree with all of our interpretations and recommendations, although we have worked diligently to acknowledge the intellectual contributions of these authors and to fairly and accurately present their work. Point two: We do not any offer “silver bullets” or managerial panaceas. Management is a tough job necessarily combining theory with great amounts of judgment and intuition. Managers continually deal with ambiguity and uncertainty. They often face conflicting goals and objectives as well as conflicting opinions regarding how to achieve the organization’s goals and objective. IT managers face the same type of ambiguity and uncertainty but must deal with technical complexity as well. This book should help business managers make sense of the IT management domain and help them understand the role they can and should play in designing, implementing and using IT services. It is not a cookbook for good IT management; we do not believe such a book can be written. We use this book as a supplemental text in a required IT course in our college’s MBA program. Consequently, we have made some content choices you would not commonly find in a trade book. We have stressed more concepts, definitions, explanations, and simple examples than one generally finds in trade publications. For example, we have included an appendix to Chapter One that provides definitions for many of the key terms included in the text. Along with each definition we discuss the context in which these terms are being used. We again define these terms as they occur in the text. Consequently, we acknowledge that some redundancy exists. We think the repetition (and ability easily to go back and reread the discussions) is useful for promoting understanding and retention. The book contains much that can benefit practitioners, and we encourage you to plunge on.

Peeling the Onion: IT Governance and Management for Business Managers (Beachboard & Aytes)

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