Computers and Management Information Systems (CMIS) 431

Information Technology Leadership (Revision 3)


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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies
(Business and Administrative Studies)

Prerequisite: CMIS 351

Centre: Faculty of Business

CMIS 431 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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This course explores the role of IT leadership—especially that provided by the CIO. What are the issues, activities, and responsibilities facing IT leaders in delivering value to organizations through information technology? Course topics include

  • the CIO role
  • understanding and measuring IT value
  • setting IT budgets
  • developing IT roadmaps and managing innovation
  • managing perceptions of IT
  • implementing IT controls
  • managing vendors
  • managing employees in the IT organization.

This course is particularly important for students interested in careers in information technology. However, IT is a service on which all business units depend so understanding its management is helpful for all students who intend to work in organizations.


Students of CMIS 431 study the following units:

  • Lesson 1: The CIO and IT Leadership
  • Lesson 2: Managing the Costs of IT
  • Lesson 3: The Value of IT
  • Lesson 4: Planning the Future State of IT
  • Lesson 5: IT Governance
  • Lesson 6: Managing IT Risk
  • Lesson 7: Building Strong IT-Business Relationships
  • Lesson 8: Leading Technology-Enabled Innovation
  • Lesson 9: Vendor Partnering
  • Lesson 10: Managing Talent


To receive credit for CMIS 431, you must achieve a minimum grade of 50 percent on the Final Examination, and an overall grade of D (50 percent) for the entire course. The weighting of each assessment activity is indicated in the chart below.

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1: Leadership Journal 20%
Assignment 2: Case Analysis 15%
Assignment 3: Innovation Presentation 15%
Participation in Graded Forums 10%
Final Exam 40%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Austin, R. D., Nolan, R. L., & O’Donnell, S. (2016). The adventures of an IT leader (updated ed.). Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing. ISBN 978-1-63369-166-7


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

McKeen, J. D., & Smith, H. A. (2015). IT strategy: Issues and practices (3rd. ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education. ISBN 978-0-13-354424-4.

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.

Other Materials

Students will access all other course materials online.

Other Information

Students will complete Assignment 1 in the form of a blog. The blog tool is available on the course website.

Students will present Assignment 3 to their Academic Expert using PowerPoint (or similar software) in a synchronous teleconference with their Academic Expert.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the CMIS 431 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the examination.

Online Exam

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, November 4, 2016.

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