Case Study Questions - 1,2,3,4

Unit 1: Understanding MIS Chapter

Chapter 1: What’s the buzz on smart grids?

1. How do smart grids differ from the current electricity infrastructure in the United States?

a. The current electricity infrastructure in the United States consists of energy companies providing power to consumers without providing any information about how the consumers are using that energy. Operating this way makes it hard to develop more efficient methods of distribution. Another issue with the current infrastructure is the fact that there are only a few ways to handle the power that comes from alternative energy sources.

This causes a hindrance when electric companies try and go “green”. Smart grids digitally deliver the electricity from the provider to the consumer which allows for a better circle of communication between the provider and the consumer as appose to communication strictly between the supplier and consumer. Another benefit of the smart grid is the fact that they are sized to meet the maximum amount of electricity needed so a drop on the peak demand would allow utilities to operate with fewer expensive power plants. This lowers costs as well as pollution. (Laudon, 2010)

2. What management, organization, and technology issues should be considered when developing a smart grid?

b. With as advanced as a smart grid is, it is easy to understand that there are several issues that need to be considered when developing a smart grid. From a management perspective it is important to keep in mind the vendor requirements, having and an effective understanding of buyers, having a higher level of customer awareness, complete grid compliance, cost and reliability, workforce skill requirements, contingency planning for any unfavorable conditions, any engagements with developers of the system, and education on the benefits and downfalls of the smart grid. From an organizational perspective one of the most important issues to keep in mind is the level of customer awareness.

Several other organizational issues include customer satisfaction metrics, systems integration, new operating metrics, cyber security, and legal compliances. Technological issues that need to be considered are theswitches and networks required, the communication systems that are needed to transfer information back and forth between the supplier and consumer, and the monitoring and sensor devices that are responsible for tracking and tracing the energy use. (Laudon, 2010)

3. What challenge to the development of smart grids do you think is most likely to hamper their development?

c. The challenges that I feel would most likely hamper the development of smart grids is the initial implementation of the smart grid. This will cause a hindrance for a couple of different reasons. The most obvious issue is how expensive it will be to implement the new monitors and smart grid technological systems.

The next challenge would be the animosity that will come about from challenging the existing power companies. Implementing smart grids would cause a financial loss for existing power companies so it is easy to understand why animosity would be come about. (Laudon, 2010)

4. What other areas of our infrastructure could benefit from “smart” technologies? Describe one example not listed in the case.

d. There are several areas of our infrastructure that could benefit from “smart” technologies. Areas that could benefit the most are waste management and recycling, transportation, environmental conservation, and agricultural management. Those areas could most benefit because they have the largest impact on society as a whole. If there was a way to find a “smart” fuel for transportation, better than what we have now, society would be drastically impacted. (Laudon, 2010)

5. Would you like your home and your community to be part of a smart grid? Why or Why not?

Explain. e. I think it would be beneficial for my home and my community to be part of a smart grid. Although the initial startup costs would be rather high, it would be more beneficial in the short run and the long run. Having a smart grid allows for an external monitoring of energy usage which leads to less expensive bills.

These appliances will be able to switch into a power save mode when they aren’t being used which will significantly cut down on energy usage. Whether we realize it or not, we are using energy even when we are not using all of the appliances in our house and using a smart grid would cut out on that little bit of extra energy usage. That little bit of energy usage adds up and causes an unnecessary amount added on to our bills every month.

Chapter 2: Collaboration and Innovation at Proctor & Gamble

1. What is Proctor & Gamble’s business strategy? What is therelationship of collaboration and innovation to that business strategy?

a. Proctor & Gamble’s business strategy is to maintain the popularity of their existing brands, extend its brands to related products under those brands, and innovate and create new brands entirely from scratch. Collaboration and innovation play a very large role in P & G’s business strategy because of the fact that the majority of their business is focused around brand creation and management.

P & G has to be able to facilitate a high, efficient level of collaboration between the researchers, marketers, and managers in order to stay successful in the market. In order to stay dominant in the market, P & G constantly has to stay innovative in their brands. This is evident in the fact that P & G spends 3.4 percent of their revenue on innovation which is more than twice of the industry average. (Laudon, 2010)

2. How is P & G using collaboration systems to execute its business model and business strategy?

List and describe the collaboration systems and technologies it is using and the benefits of each. b. P & G recently overhauled their collaborative systems with a whole new set that included information blogs, unified communications, Microsoft Live Communications Server Functionality, Microsoft Outlook, Web conferencing with live meeting, and content management with SharePoint.

These systems and technologies make it possible for marketers, researchers, and developers to effectively and openly communicate data and research findings throughout the company. Information blogs make it possible for employees to share a large amount of information that is available to all other employees that need to see it. This helps get information to everybody that needs it unlike email that runs the risk of not being sent to everyone necessary.

Researchers are able to use these new tools to to share the data they have collected on various brands. These tools make it possible for marketers to access data in a more effective manner to aid in the creation of targeted ad campaigns. Some of the newest collaborative technologies implemented are Connectbeam, InnovationNet, and Cisco TelePresence conference rooms. Connectbeam makes it possible for employees to share bookmarks and tag specific content with descriptive words that will show up in future searches.

It also facilitates social networks of coworkers to help find and share information in a more effective manner. InnovationNet keeps research related documents in a digital format that is accessible through a browser-based portal. The adoption of Cisco TelePresence conference rooms made it possible to foster collaboration from sectors across multiple continents instead of only being able to have conferences among different states and countries. (Laudon, 2010)

3. Why were some collaborative technologies slow to catch on at P & G?

c. The reason why some collaborative technologies were so to catch on at P & G goes back to the old saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. When you have a set of individuals that work in a business that are used to using one method of technology, it is hard to train them to use something different. Collaborative technologies usually require new training which takes a while to get used to. Some employees like things the way they are and feel like there isn’t any need to change the systems if the ones currently in place are already working. Employees at P & G felt like the newer collaborative tools required more work on top of the emails they were already sending. (Laudon, 2010)

4. Compare P & G’s old and new processes for writing up and distributing the results of a research experiment.

d. In the past, employees of P & G would type of their findings up in a Microsoft program, print them out, and glue them into a book to be distributed. Now a researcher will put all of their findings into a Microsoft SharePoint page where all of the information is stored in one page that can be seen by different employees in other parts of the company. (Laudon, 2010)

5. Why is telepresence such a useful collaborative tool for a company like P & G?

e. TelePresence is a very useful collaborative tool because of how large of a company P & G is. P & G has business all over the world and one can image how expensive it would be to try and hold conferences across different countries. In the past, P & G wasn’t able to hold conferences without having some type of malfunction with their equipment or conference room. This collaborative tool makes it possible for P & G to have high-definition meetings over long distances. (Laudon, 2010)

6. Can you think of other ways P & G could use collaboration to foster innovation?

f. P & G can use collaboration to foster innovation by having their researchers from different regions around the world gather information on different target markets in order to expand their selection of new brands. P & G can use the TelePresence conference rooms in order to gather data from different geometrical regions in order to come up with brands that will cater to the newer generation. (Laudon, 2010)

Chapter 3: How Much Do Credit Card Companies Know About You?

1. What competitive strategy are the credit card companies pursuing? How do information systems support that strategy?

a. In order to stay competitive, credit card companies use data mining to predict specific high risk credit card holders. Information systems make it possible for the credit card holders to get specific information on where their customers are making purchases, how often they are making the purchases, and how expensive the purchases are. Credit card holders also use information systems to gain information on how well these customers are making payments on their credit cards. (Laudon, 2010)

2. What are the business benefits of analyzing customer purchase data and constructing behavioral profiles?

b. By analyzing customer purchase data and constructing behavioral profiles businesses are able to protect their company against credit fraud because they can report on activity that is “out of the normal”. Analyzing purchase data also makes it possible for credit card companies to build certain discounts and specials based on each target market and their recorded purchase behavior. Constructing behavioral profiles makes it possible for credit card companies to determine the hidden customer patterns such as buying habits and customer repayment abilities. Having all of the customer information possible makes it easier for credit card manufactures to make intelligent, well informed business decisions. (Laudon, 2010)

3. Are these practices by credit card companies ethical? Are they an invasion of privacy? Why or Why not?

c. The practices by the credit card companies are not ethical and they are an invasion of privacy. It is not ethical for a manufacturer of a credit card to watch one of their customers’ spending habits and judge whether or not they will make their payment on time. This behavior takes away peoples’ freedom to spend freely without being constantly monitored as well as causing risk to free will in decision making and privacy of personal information. Although it is understandable why credit card companies would want to monitor the activity so closely, there has to be a limit that they cannot cross and as of right now, they can go as far as they feel necessary.

Chapter 4: The Perils of Texting

1. Which of the five moral dimensions of information systems identified in this text is involved in this case?

a. I would say that the moral dimension of information system that applies to this case would be responsibility and control. This moral dimension pertains to who is responsible and who controls the use and abuse of information from the people. These new information technologies challenge the existing laws in regards to social practices which force individuals and institutions to become responsible for their own actions. (Laudon, 2010)

2. What are the ethical, social, and political issues raised by this case?

b. The most ethical issue with this case lies with the individual that is texting and driving. That individual makes the choice to text and drive knowing the consequences that could arise. There are commercials all over TV and infomercials on the radios that describe the consequences of texting and driving yet individuals still feel the need to do it. Texting and driving causes a large issue for society because of the danger factor.

There are hundreds of thousands of drivers on the road around the world and people fail to realize that when you are in a vehicle and you make the decision to text and drive you risk not only your life but the life of one of those other drivers. Politically this issue has required laws to be put in place to make sure that individuals that take part in texting and driving are prosecuted. Lawmakers are taking the steps that they feel are necessary in order to combat the issue of texting and driving because even though it is not safe, individuals still take part in it. (Laudon, 2010)

3. Which of the ethical principles described in this text are useful for decision making about texting while driving?

c. The ethical principle that is most useful for the decision making about texting and driving is the risk aversion principle. This states that the action that will cause the least harm will be the one that is taken. It has been proven that texting and driving makes drivers 23 times more likely to have an accident to the option that would lower this statistic the most should be the one that is decided upon. (Laudon, 2010)


  • Laudon, L. (2010) Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm. Retrieved on February 17, 2013 from