University of Toronto
Rotman School of Management

MGT 1272 Management in the Information Age

Instructor: Chun Wei Choo

2001/2 Session -- Spring Term: Course Outline


The course covers theoretical and practical aspects of managing information processes in order to enable organizations to learn and adapt in an increasingly volatile information environment. In terms of theory, it introduces conceptual frameworks for the management of organizational information processes at a strategic level. On the practical side, the course introduces methods and tools that organizations may consider to enhance their management and use of information.

Course Objectives

The primary objective of the course is to introduce major models from organization science and information science that address two main issues:

  • How do organizations use information in processes that construct meaning, create new knowledge, and make decisions?

  • How may organizations manage their information processes in order to enhance organizational performance and effectiveness?

The secondary objective is to introduce a number of tools and approaches that represent innovative practices in information management.


The recommended text for the course is:

Choo, Chun Wei. 1998. The Knowing Organization: How Organizations Use Information to Construct Meaning, Create Knowledge, and Make Decisions. New York: Oxford University Press.

A set of recommended readings is provided. Students are encouraged to explore topics that are of special interest to them.


The final examination is to be held on Friday April 19, 2002, at a time that will be announced. The examination tests the student's exit knowledge of the core concepts of information management presented in the course. The exam will be open-book. [80%]

Students are encouraged to prepare for each class by completing the suggested readings beforehand. As case analysis is an important component of the course, students should take part actively in the discussion of case studies. [20%]

Instructor Availability

Students should feel free to discuss course-related matters with the instructor at any time. Prof. Choo's office is in the Faculty of Information Studies at 140 St. George St., just across the road from Rotman. His office is Room 636; telephone number 416 978 5266; e-mail Office hours will be announced in class.

The two Teaching Assistants for the course are Anu MacIntosh-Murray and Herman van den Berg.

Course Website

Course descriptions, schedules, reading and resource lists, lecture slides, and related materials are on the course website which may be accessed from


All 5 classes are held on Tuesdays, in the Rotman School.

March 5. Course Introduction and Overview
How Organizations Use Information (1): Sense Making

Course outline: objectives, approach, topics.

Theoretical overview of organizational sense making.

In-class activity on sense making.

Discussion of tools, techniques, and implications for practice.

Read: Choo (1998): Chap. 1, 3

Lecture Slides: Overview [PDF]

Lecture Slides: Sense Making [PDF]

March 12. How Organizations Use Information (2): Knowledge Creating

Theoretical overview of organizational knowledge creation.

Analysis of a case of organizational knowledge creation in a large management consulting company.

Discussion of tools, techniques, and implications for practice.

Read: Choo (1998): Chap. 4

Lecture Slides: Knowledge Creation [PDF]

March 19. Knowledge Management
A framework for planning knowledge management

Analysis of cases and examples of managing organizational knowledge: Buckman Labs K'Netix; Xerox Eureka.

Discussion of tools, techniques, and implications for practice.

Read: Choo (1998): Chap. 4; additional readings to be announced in class.

Lecture Slides: Knowledge Management [PDF]

March 27. How Organizations Use Information (3): Decision Making

Theoretical overview of organizational decision making.

Analysis of a case of organizational decision making: the decision to launch the space shuttle Challenger.

Discussion of tools, techniques, and implications for practice.

Read: Choo (1998): Chap. 5

Lecture Slides: Decision Making [PDF]

April 2. The Knowing Organization: Synthesis

Synthesis of sensemaking, knowledge creation, and decision making.

Analysis of examples of error and failure in organizational knowing: managing and learning from adverse events in the health care environment.

Discussion of implications for practice.

Read: Choo (1998): Chap. 6; additional readings to be announced in class.

Lecture Slides: Knowing Organization [PDF]

April 16. Tutorial (TBC)

April 19. Final Exam

9 am - 12 pm. Room 134, 142, 147, 151, 157, CIBC, BIC.

Example Exam
The example exam may also be downloaded from the Rotman Portal.