Interview with Gabe Piccoli

Gabe Piccoli Discusses "Information Systems for Managers"


 
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Transcript: Gabe Piccoli on 

Information Systems for Managers

 

My name is Gabe Piccoli, and I'm at Louisiana State University and the University of Pavia in Italy. 

Why is your book useful for students?

The whole book is designed around the notion of being able to create and appropriate economic value with information technology.  It is helpful for students because it gets them excited about the material. It’s written in a style that doesn’t bore them to death. And it focuses on what they really need to know, which is how to extract value from information technology.

Who is your book written for?

The book was written for students in the required MBA class, or the required upperclassmen undergraduate classes. Oftentimes in those classes you have students that are not in information systems per se. If you ask yourself, “What does a manager, someone who’s going to be a manager, what do they need to know? What are they trying to do with information technology, or digital?” They’re trying to create and appropriate value for their firm.

I would say our book is not for everybody. I think our book is for people that are really committed to turning people on to information systems. Demystifying the subject for those who are scared, showing the relevance to those who are willing to learn. And that’s hard work.

Tell me about an important feature of your book.

Mini-cases. I wrote a lot of cases in my career, and cases are great. I write cases for Communications of the AIS, and Harvard Business School Publishing. So every chapter of the book starts with a mini-case. It’s a one, maximum 2-pages, shrunken version of a case. The objective is not to provide any answers or have any lengthy discussion, but it’s designed to get the energy up in the class, get them interested. Oftentimes you quickly realize they can’t answer all the questions. So it kind of primes them for the lecture.

Tell me about writing the book.

So the first two editions I wrote by myself, and then the third and fourth editions Federico Pigni, who is at Grenoble Ecole de Management in France, came on board. He was a big user of the book and believed in the pedagogy, so he was a natural teammate. We put away material all year long, get feedback from adopters, we write cases all year long. Then we get together and do sprints, where we do the update to the book.

Do you have more resources beyond the slides and testbank?

We have a website, IS4Managers.com. It’s supposed to be a community where we put stuff, but also adopters. We share videos. So the book is a start to making your class your own class, that’s the way I think of the book.

 

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