Journal of Information Systems Education


This case focuses on learning by applying the four integrating mechanisms of Nonaka's knowledge creation theory: socialization, externalization, combination and internalization. In general, such knowledge creation and internalization (i.e., learning) is critical to database students since they will be expected to apply their specialized database knowledge to a wide variety of business problems, incorporating the various concepts of multiple business disciplines. The case, presented below, depicts a four-phase consulting assignment for each two-student team. In Phase 1, the teams design and implement a reservations database for a small corporate airline, basing their design on a written list of requirements. In Phase 2, each team uses the resulting database to address questions (queries) posed by key managers in the client firm. In Phase 3, each team develops operational and profit improvement recommendations for consideration by the firm's top management. And finally, Phase 4 requires each team to present their recommendations to the client firm's Board of Directors (the rest of the database class), answering any questions and concerns raised by this august board. Taken together, the four phases constitute knowledge creation through user-guided data mining. Since the queries require a variety of functions, subqueries, and cascading views, this case is most suitable as an integrative term project in either an upper-division undergraduate or a graduate level database course.



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