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Overstock.com's CIO: good organizational politics?

Was it good organizational politics for Overstock.com's CIO to act as he did? Why? Do you have any better political advice to extend to him?

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Paul Strassman, a former vice president of Xerox Corp., has written a number of books and articles regarding organizational politics and governance and may be considered one of the senior gurus of the field. As the case for this module, you'll be looking at some of his insights on the problem, comparing them to some ideas held by others, and making application to some real-world situations.

Start by taking a look at the overview of Strassmann's book:

Paul A. Strassmann (1994) The Politics of Information Management: Policy Guidelines. Summary at http://www.infoeconomics.com/info-politics.php.

You'll also want to look at Strassmann's analytical approach to political power and related issues:

Paul A. Strassmann Check: How to Verify if You are Important. CIOInsight July 8, 2005 http://www.cioinsight.com/article2/0,1540,1849919,00.asp

Then read through this very excellent analysis provided by a practitioner of the fine art of information politics:

Russ Finney The Politics of Information and Projects. ITMWEB White Paper. Available at http://www.itmweb.com/essay008.htm

Now for the the real world portion of the case. Please read:

The CIO Who Admitted Too Much

Opinion: Ziff Davis Internet's Evan Schuman writes that the CIO of Overstock.com thought he was doing the right thing by revealing his company's technology shortcomings and taking the blame. Can today's CIO afford such candor?

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This is an original work and has not been previously published or shared with any other source. This work is to be treated as a guideline to assist you with this assignment. At no time is it intended to be a final submission work and I discourage you from using it as such. Points made and topics discussed in this work should be fleshed out, researched further and validated by the student prior to utilizing it in their own work which will be complied for final submission to their schools.
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Was it good organizational politics for Overstock.com's CIO to act as he did? Why? Do you have any better political advice to extend to him?

In Corporate America, or "Corporate World" for that matter, every executive position shares space with the political responsibilities associated with the position. The role of the CIO of Overstock.com has no less political responsibility and therefore must be cognizant of this in every business communication generated. In his article, 'The CIO Who Admitted Too Much (2005)', Evan Schuman explains that Overstock's chief computer executive, Shawn Schwegman, believed he was doing the right thing by revealing some of the firm's issues with the database and Ecommerce applications employed in support of their on-line business and for the most part, taking full responsibility for the failures. This being the case, the question is raised, was it good organizational politics for Overstock.com's CIO to act as he did? ...

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Was it good organizational politics for Overstock.com's CIO to act as he did? Why? Do you have any better political advice to extend to him?

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