The case that you will use for this is a case that is coincidentally also Canadian in origin but in a very different business environment—the aluminum business (spelled here "aluminum" in the British fashion—you may use whichever spelling you choose.) It describes the analysis of the company's IT systems and management performed by a new vice president of corporate information technologies, in all its complexity and magnificent variety. Throughout this case, issues of hardware, software, and management are intertwined, just as they are in real corporate life. One of your tasks will be to disentangle some of these issues for separate consideration in light of what you know and need to know. As we noted in our course overview, it's taken for granted that hardware, software, and management (sometimes referred to as "wetware") are all involved in a complex sociotechnical dance in which changes in any one element inevitably call forth changes in the others—preferably planned, but often unplanned, and not infrequently unanticipated. Thus, while your focus in this module will be primarily on hardware and networking, you will inevitably find yourself thinking about other dimensions of the problems as well. That is all to the good, but try to keep a focus on the primary issues in each of these three modules. There is plenty of time to concentrate on issues of integration as the course wraps up.
Please read the Alcan case; it is in two parts:
Dube, L., Bernier, C., and Roy, V. (2009) Taking on the Challenge of IT Management in a Global Business Context: The Alcan Case – Part A. International Journal of Case Studies in Management. 7(2): May. HEC020.
Dube, L., Bernier, C., and Roy, V. (2009) Taking on the Challenge of IT Management in a Global Business Context: The Alcan Case – Part B. International Journal of Case Studies in Management. 7(2): May. HEC021.
Use information from the course background readings as well as any good quality resource you can find. Please cite all sources and provide a reference list (use APA format) at the end of your paper.
Your answer to the following will be assessed:
Length: Minimum 3–5 pages excluding cover page and references (since a page is about 300 words, this is approximately 900 –1,500 words).
Assignment-driven criteria (25 points): Demonstrates a clear understanding of the subject and addresses all key elements of the assignment.
Critical thinking (10 points): Demonstrates mastery conceptualizing the problem. Shows analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of required material.
Scholarly writing (5 points): Demonstrates writing proficiency at the academic level of the course; addresses the Learning Outcomes of the assignment.
Quality of references (4 points) and assignment organization (3 points): Uses relevant and credible sources to support assertions. The assignment is well organized and follows the structure of a well-written paper.
Citing sources (3 points): Uses in-text citations and properly formats references in APA style.
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