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Bentley Provost Seminar Series Spotlights The Importance of IT

January 10, 2005

WALTHAM, Mass. - As part of its emphasis on promoting practical research that addresses current and future issues in the world of business and society more generally, the Provost Seminar Series at Bentley presented a lecture by John Leslie King entitled "Does IT Matter?" An authority on information technology, King is among several internationally recognized professionals and researchers invited to Bentley this year to discuss topics for scholars and practitioners dedicated to a transdisciplinary treatment of key issues in the modern world. The seminar was held on February 11 in the LaCava Campus Center at Bentley.

"The topic of information technology is a complicated jumble of surprises. Hyperbolic prediction followed by disappointing letdowns has been accompanied by completely unforeseen but world-changing accomplishments," says King. The "" boom of the late 1990s was followed by the "dot.bust" right after Y2K. The pundits were hailing the birth of the information economy in 1999; by 2003 the pundits were saying IT doesn't matter. This talk addresses the questions of both whether and how IT matters, as well as the causal mechanisms by which emerging information technologies change the fundamental nature of human enterprise at all levels. Examples will be drawn from a variety of subjects, including commerce, politics, entertainment, and terrorism.

John Leslie King is dean and professor of the School of Information at the University of Michigan. His research is in the problems of developing high-level requirements for information systems design and implementation in strongly institutionalized production sectors. Recent and current projects focus on the role of technical and institutional forces in the co-evolutionary development of intermodal transport and logistics, case management in felony criminal courts, global wireline and wireless telephony, and the transition of the automobile industry from product to service sector. He was formerly a professor University of California-Irvine, as well as a Marvin Bower Fellow at Harvard Business School. In recent years, he has been a senior scientific advisor to the National Science Foundation and an outside advisor to many IT-related programs in universities in the U.S. and internationally.

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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