(Paper) IGNOU Executive MBA Paper - C1: Management Information System (December 2005)

Paper : IGNOU Executive MBA Paper - C1: Management Information System (December 2005)

Term-End Examination

December, 2005


Time: 3 hours (Weightage 70%)
Maximum Marks: 100
Note : Attempt any three questions from Section A Section B is compulsory. Questions in Section A are of 20 marks each ond Section B carries 40 marks.


1. Explain in detail the strategic applications of information technology (IT) and information systems (IS).

2. In the context of E-Markets identify the major forces which are changing the business environment, with suitable examples.

3. Explain in detail the issues involved in implementing E-business and Inter-organisational operating system (IOS) strategies.

4. "The Internet has created new opportunities for the development of global business but there are significant discontinuities which must be handled". Elaborate.

5. Identify and explain the various parameters, both internal and external to the organisation, that determine Internet strategy effectiveness for E-commerce.


6. Carefully analyse the case given below and answer the questions given at the end of the case :

Two Faces of J.C. penney

In 2000, Dallas retailer Jcpenney (JCpenney.con) enhanced its e-retail position in time for the holiday rush by adding homegrown site features that let customers more quickly locate and pay for merchandise. With JcPenney.com, the company unveiled express checkout services that let customers zip through a purchase in as few as two clicks. It also inaugurated electronic gift certificates that can be redeemed online, plus improved order tracking to give customers more accurate delivery estimates. These features followed the earty November 2000 launch of Mercado Search, a search engine that lets shoppers prowl JcPenney's site by product category and receive results ranked according to relevance. In 2001, the company rolled out specialized sites dedicated to name-brand merchandise, making it easier for customers to find ceriain products. All these steps were designed to boost the company's online strategy.

The success of JCPenney,com, in large measure, is a result of a customer service and logistics infrastructure built to support a multibillion-dollar catalog business that has been extended online. JcPenney.com broadened its appeal by launching specialiy sites to promote high margin brands, including Sony, Levi Strauss, Nike, and Kitchen Aid (appliances) The idea is to drive purchases of name-brand merchandise by providing more detailed information on those products, as well as direct links to the manufacturers. JcPenney is also conducting auctlons on its Web site.

The company boasts strong integration between its Web site and its offline infrastructure that helps the site reach its aggressive sales targets. Anything purchased online can be picked up or returned at any JcPenney or Eckerd store. JCPenney has 14 customer-service centers nationwide that handle catalog and phone inquiries, and employees have been cross-trained in e-mail United Parcel Service (UPS) delivers most merchandise ordered online within 24 to 72 hours.

JCPenney serves customers via three sales channels - stores, catalogs, and the Web site. Integrating these three channels will eventually play off, according to Forrester Research analyst Seema Williams "As the number of on-line shoppers grows, the impact from multiple channels will be felt much more on JcPenney's bottom line," Williams said.

Despite the strong Web performance, e-commerce alone most likely cannot turn around a company of JCPenney's size. "The Web is such a small part of their business; there's no way it's going to turn around the company," said an expert. "The Web is icing on the cake, but the biggest pad of the company, by far, is struggling

Questions :

(a) How does a search engine help JCPenney to do a better job in customer service ?

(b) Does its existing legacy system help JCPenney.com accomplish its goal in promoting its online business? Can any of the emerging technologies be used to further improve the situation ?

(c) What kind of information technologies can be used to help Jcpenney to promote its business and to accomplish its businesss trategies?