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World Class Management Information Systems Textbook
on August 28, 2009
This is a great textbook. Reading it cover-to-cover is certain to make you wiser and give you a tremendous edge in understanding the Electronic Commerce (business over the Internet and other computer networks).
Electronic commerce/e-commerce is a long-term growth area that is commonly known to require a much greater than average intellectual capacity. Once you achieve a certain level of experience, you should expect to do well even in a recession. Part of the price to pay is that this is a fairly dry subject. It is not as dry as accounting, but it requires updating one's skills more frequently than what is required of accountants.
I've keep up with every new edition in this McGraw-Hill Irwin series. This 9th edition of Management Information Systems (MIS) is the best one so far. The benefit of keeping up with this MIS series is its fresh batch of real world case studies. Major corporations have invested enormous amounts in e-commerce with both great success and great failure. Employers want to know that their MIS leaders grasp lessons learned from what others have done at great expense. That adds relevance to the case studies in each edition.
Because the book is lengthy, 696 pages, few students actually read the whole book closely. It is a great sacrifice to allocate one's time to do so, and it requires great mental discipline. But I don't see anything wrong with the book. It is organized well with introductory chapters and then chapters that cover the subject of e-commerce. I think one will accept that this text is very well-written when the complexity and dryness of the subject are appreciated. For example, a sentence may discuss how groupware improves collaboration capabilities of discussion forums by doing x, y and z. You can't take a sentence like that and convert it to a typical high school sophomore reading level. The subject doesn't allow it. Therefore, one does not turn the pages quickly with an MIS textbook. I certainly don't.
This book is heavy. It's not practical to carry around much. But it is a quality physical text. It is good hardcover with a strong binding and very high-quality page stock. The authors had the decency to make the book readable by using the correct font size, plenty of white space and excellent labeling. It's not like carrying around a phone book. And there's no reason to skimp on the quality of the physical text with a money-subject such as MIS. But I'm not saying it's perfect. The case study pages use insufficient white space, probably the result of a publisher constraint on the number of pages permitted.
I was glad to see George Marakas back to team with James O'Brien on this 9th edition. As some people will recall, Marakas was brought in to help O'Brien on the 7th edition and added a lot of value to the product. Then O'Brien was alone on the 8th edition. With Marakas back again with O'Brien for this 9th edition, McGraw-Hill Irwin regained the lead in my opinion. I find this is the best MIS book on the market currently and well worth the investment.