Chapter 1 Prologue

Organizational culture is a unique property of an academic department to create and boost scientific value for humanity. Our department is established recently (2011) and we are willing to embed scientific best practices, and to create an efficient academic climate and culture in the Department of Management Information Systems. With The Field Manual, we are trying to create a strategic framework to support main processes of the department.

In The Field Manual for the Members of the Department of Management Information Systems, reader can find various subjects which are related to departmental strategy and viewpoints, intrinsic workflows and approaches, implicit rules and regulations, current functions and actions. For many people this document may seemed to be an effort for nothing, a mental waste, or a weird point of view which try to create an artificial social architecture. However, such opinions will also be exist in the future regardless of efforts to create a knowledge-based society.

On the other hand, this document reflects a critical thinking exercise for the system which is based on verbalization. Document-based systems are more powerful and more sustainable as the reader can recognize their effects on various world-wide practices. So, we should create a well-documented architecture for an academic department to create more value for the society.

1.1 Values

Our core values are based on the concepts declared below to get works done! They are binded to all processes related to the department.

Open: Open relationships between agents and parties.
Free: Freedom of thought and speech in all processes.
Proactive: Getting works done proactively.
Creative: Making things as we dream.
Responsible and Accountable: Awareness of responsibilities of actions and obligations to report, explain, or justify processes.

1.2 Scientific Viewpoint

We are, as researchers, doing science to arrive at knowledge and seeking new ideas which can be answers for questions. In the department, our main research domain is management information systems (plural) which includes mutual scientific areas and academic disciplines. Accordingly, Department of Management Information Systems is a multidisciplinary1 academic unit at Business School of Yıldırım Beyazıt University. To do science is to follow a prescribed method to arrive at knowledge. As Rossiter (2013) notes that the scientific method is not a belief system or religious dogma, but rather a manner of thinking and working towards more complete knowledge of the world. It has been proven to be extremely successful in2:

explaining the world as we observe it;
predicting what can be further observed, e.g. new observations, new locations, repeat observations, the effect of interventions;
engineering, i.e. building things that work.

Science is not prescriptive – it can not say what ought to be done. It can, however, point out the probable consequences of certain actions, as objectively as possible. Therefore, we encourage and support our colleagues to let them for leveraging their personal limits and improving their scientific visions in all sense.

1.3 Administrative Viewpoint

Academic administration is a branch of university or college within employees responsible for the maintenance and supervision of the institution separate from the faculty or academics, although some personnel may have joint responsibilities. Some types of separate administrative structure exists at almost all academic institutions, as fewer and fewer schools are governed by employees who are also involved in academic or scholarly work.

On the other hand, as a new academic unit of the university, we have no additional personnel to assign specific administrative roles. So, we should do almost all administrative assignments by ourselves. For this purpose, as a short-term solution, couple of commissions are established for taking care of specific assignments. All members of the department are willing to help the chair’s office for creating a decentralized department administration according to viewpoints of the department.

1.4 Educational Viewpoint

Our main purpose about the education is to build a creative environment with a must-have scientific knowledge level. Department has three programs at this moment, an undergraduate program and two master’s programs (one with thesis, another without thesis). Their curricula are carefully designed to support self-actualization, professional viewpoint, and knowledge-based creativity in theoretical and practical levels. Addition to this, there are evaluation forms for courses and their instructors. By feedback, we are trying to raise course performances for everybody.