"With the world moving toward more of an information orientation, as consumers, we're now making decisions that are much more informed," says Kathryn Brohman, Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems (MIS). Her research focuses on empowering the customer and studying how customer-facing systems need to change in order to provide new strategies or ways to get service.
Professor Brohman currently has a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant in the area of net-based customer service systems, an appealing research area for those who wish to work in marketing and information systems and bridge the gap between MIS and computer science. "We take a look at customer services and how Internet changes those business models or helps to enable different customer services on the web," she says.
While the department of Information Technology (IT) deals with the hardware, the software and the data, Management Information Systems deals with procedures and people-the issues around the technology. "We look at things like different personalities that would make good data miners, for example, as opposed to data-mining techniques, or what kind of training or incentives need to be in place for people to find really good insights and data," she says.
Professor Brohman's research interests also lie in the areas of data warehouse usage and data strategy and project management. She currently teaches the undergraduate, Master's, PhD and Executive programs at Queen's. Her concentrations are information systems fundamentals, and project management. She also teaches information systems development in the PhD program.
Professor Brohman completed her PhD at the University of Western Ontario in Business Philosophy, and she joined Queen's after teaching Project Management and Information Resource Management at the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. Her work has been published in the Harvard Business Review, Decisions Sciences and communications of the ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery) and presented at leading conferences in her field.
Professor Brohman also helps bridge the gap between MIS and computer science by designing information systems to enable different customer-service strategies. She says the emphasis on research is valued at Queen's. "Our entire system is set up with a very high value on research. . . People who are coming into the Master's of Science program can get a higher level view of these areas in order to go into higher management-type jobs," she says, adding that in the program students learn the strategic role of information systems and organizations. "A Master's of Science provides you with a richer conceptual understanding of the role of information systems and organizations."