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MIS782 – Value of Information Assignment

Assessment Task 1 - IT Portfolio and RBV Theory - Individual

DUE DATE AND TIME: Monday, 10 April Sunday, by 8.00 pm (AEST)
WORD COUNT: 1,500 words


This is an individual assignment, which requires you to develop an understanding of how information and IT can generate business value and improve a business’s overall competitiveness using both IT  Portfolio theory and RBV, and then produce a 1,500-word report on your findings. This term we are looking at American Express. Note the assigned case organisation will also be used for assignment 2.

MIS782 – Value of Information Assignment

Specific Requirements  

This report should be 1,500 words (excluding the references and appendices). To complete this report,  you should conduct research on American Express and its competitiveness. Your task is to understand  American Express’s investments in information and IT for business value returns. You also need to assess its key resources and capabilities to assess its competitiveness in a highly competitive market.  More specifically, you should find answers to the following two questions: 

  1. To what extent does this organisation have an IT portfolio which provides a balanced view of value, risk and return? Answer the question using examples of key IT assets the organisation seems to have invested in the last decade for gaining real business value for competitive advantage. Indicate if the business returns are tangible or intangible. 
  2. In general, firms cannot expect to obtain sustained competitive advantage when strategic resources are evenly distributed across all competing firms and highly mobile. Hence,  competitive advantage does not occur unless heterogeneity and immobility are present. Based on the arguments around imperfectly imitable and the concept of resources and capabilities, discuss each of the four factors of the VRIO framework with respect to the key resources and capabilities to explain the organisation’s current position in the competitive landscape. 

Below you can find a detailed description of the required sections for this report: 

  • Executive Summary (~150 words): In this section, you need to briefly summarise key IT assets,  resources and capabilities of American Express that you have selected for this report. You should also briefly mention whether these capabilities helped American Express to gain competitive advantage. 
  • Introduction and Organisational background (~250 words): In this section, you need to briefly explain the information-based competitive environment of American Express and its business model in terms of its market, strategy, operations and overall industry. You should use the business model canvas(see useful resources) to structure the arguments in this section. 
  • IT Portfolio theory view (~350 words): In this section, you should write your response to Question 1  above. Your arguments should be supported by references from the literature (both practitioner/academic). 
  • RBV theory and VRIO analysis (~650 words): In this section, you should write your response to Question 2 above. Your arguments should be supported by references from the literature (both practitioner/academic). 
  • Conclusion (~100 words): In this section, you should conclude by stating your key conclusions about the competitiveness of American Express. You should also include a brief discussion on factors or threats that may affect sustainability of its competitive advantage in future. 
  • References: References and citations showing the source of all the information in the report need to be provided (Harvard referencing style). The references used must demonstrate thorough research using quality references such as journal articles, book sections, conference papers, and industry reports to support your arguments in the sections above.
  • Appendices: In this section, you should place figures or tables that illustrate or summarize your key points from the discussion section. 

Useful Resources: 

  • MIS782 reading list
  • Key article that introduces you to the theoretical model used in this assessment: 
  • IT Portfolio framework - Weill, P., and Aral, S. (2006). Generating premium returns on your IT investments, MIT Sloan Management Review, 47:2,pp39-48. 
  • Barney, J. (2012). Evaluating the firm’s internal capabilities, Strategic Management and Competitive Advantage: Concepts, 4th Ed, Pearson (Boston).
  • MIS782 unit help guide by library for researching American Express related content.
  • Tips and resources on report writing. 
  • Research and synthesis: Synthesizing research sources involves reading all the sources to find similarities and differences between what you read in the sources. You then write, in your own words, the similarities and differences you found. The ability to synthesize research sources is critical in university studies, and working in industry, because it enables you to demonstrate your ability to think critically and reach your own conclusions and interpretations. 
  • Business Model Canvas:

Business Model Canvas

Learning Outcomes

This task allows you to demonstrate achievement towards the unit learning outcomes. The ULOs are aligned with specific graduate learning outcomes – that is, the skills and knowledge graduates are expected to have upon completion of their studies – and this assessment task is an important tool in determining achievement of those outcomes.  

If you do not demonstrate achievement of the unit learning outcomes, you will not be successful in this unit.  

It is good practice to familiarise yourself with the ULOs and GLOs as they provide guidance on the knowledge, understanding and skills you are expected to demonstrate upon completion of the unit. In this way, they can be used to guide your study. 

Unit Learning Outcome (ULO) 

Graduate Learning Outcome (GLO)

ULO 1: Critically analyse how information and  IT can generate business value and improve the firm’s overall competitiveness

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and  


GLO4: Critical thinking

ULO3: Appraise, critically analyse, and  

communicate the business value potential of  emerging information technologies in  


GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and  


GLO4: Critical thinking


The report must be one (1) single file, named T1_2022_MIS782_surname_assign1  (e.g. T1_2022_MIS782_Alam_ assign1). 

You must keep a backup copy of every assignment you submit, until the marked assignment has been returned to you. In the unlikely event that one of your assignments is misplaced, you will need to submit your backup copy.

Any work you submit may be checked by electronic or other means for the purposes of detecting collusion and/or plagiarism. Universities has a strict standard on plagiarism as a part of Academic Integrity. To avoid any issues with plagiarism, students are strongly encouraged to run the similarity check with the Turnitin system. 

You are required to submit the assignment through your unit site. You will receive an email to your email address confirming that it has been submitted. You should check that you can see your assignment in the Submissions view of the Assignment folder after upload, and check for, and keep, the email receipt for the submission. 

Submit the report in the submission folder called T1 2022 MIS782 Assignment 1. 

Building evidence of your experiences, skills and knowledge (Portfolio) - Building a portfolio that evidences your skills, knowledge and experience will provide you with a valuable tool to help you prepare for interviews and to showcase to potential employers. There are a number of tools that you can use to build a portfolio. You are provided with cloud space through OneDrive, or through the Portfolio tool in the Cloud Unit Site, but you can use any storage repository system that you like. Remember that a Portfolio is YOUR tool. You should be able to store your assessment work, reflections, achievements and artefacts in YOUR Portfolio. Once you have completed this assessment piece, add it to your personal Portfolio to use and showcase your learning later,  when applying for jobs, or further studies. Curate your work by adding meaningful tags to your artefacts that describe what the artefact represents. 


Where can we find a summary for the assessment? 

  • All details are provided in this document. In Module 1, the assessment is released formally with all details and links. Lecture week 2 will also introduce the assignment 1. 

Is the word count of 1,500 a hard limit or just a recommendation? 

  • The word limit is 1,500 words with a variance of +/- 10%. 

Do we have to use the theory to answer the questions? 

  • The questions clearly state which theory to use for the answers. It is expected that student responses will be informed through these theory analyses. 

If I have any questions about the assessment task, where should I ask/post my question? 

  1. You are encouraged in the first instance to ask questions to your lecturer/tutor during the class/seminar. 2. You can also post questions on the site in the assignment 1 discussion thread. The teaching team will respond to this forum. 

Marking and feedback 

The marking rubric for this task is below and also available in the MIS782 unit site - in the  Assessment folder (under Assessment Resources). 

It is always a useful exercise to familiarise yourself with the criteria before completing any assessment task. Criteria act as a boundary around the task and help identify what assessors are looking for specifically in your submission. The criteria are drawn from the unit’s learning outcomes ensuring they align with appropriate graduate attribute/s. 

Identifying the standard you aim to achieve is also a useful strategy for success and to that end, familiarising yourself with the descriptor for that standard is highly recommended. 

Students who submit their work by the due date will receive their marks and feedback 15 working days after the submission date. 


Extensions will only be granted for exceptional and/or unavoidable circumstances outside the student’s control.  

Students seeking an extension for an assignment prior to the due date should apply directly to the Unit Chair by completing the Assignment and Online Test Extension Application Form. Requests for extensions will not be considered after 12 noon, 13 Dec 2021. Applications for special consideration after the due date must be submitted via StudentConnect. 

MIS782 – Value of Information Assignment

Late submission 

The following marking penalties will apply if you submit an assessment task after the due date without an approved extension: 5% will be deducted from available marks for each day up to five days, and work that is submitted more than five days after the due date will not be marked and will receive 0% for the task.  

'Day' means working day for paper submissions and calendar day for electronic submissions. The Unit Chair may refuse to accept a late submission where it is unreasonable or impracticable to assess the task after the due date.  

Calculation of the late penalty is as follows: this is based on the assignment being due on a Thursday at 8:00 pm 

  • 1 day late: submitted after Thursday 11:59pm and before Friday 11:59pm– 5% penalty.  
  • 2 days late: submitted after Friday 11:59pm and before Saturday 11:59pm – 10% penalty.  
  • 3 days late: submitted after Saturday 11:59pm and before Sunday 11:59pm – 15% penalty.  
  • 4 days late: submitted after Sunday 11:59pm and before Monday 11:59pm – 20% penalty.  
  • 5 days late: submitted after Monday 11:59pm and before Tuesday 11:59pm – 25% penalty.  

Dropbox closes the Tuesday after 11:59pm AEST time. 


The Division of Student Life (see link below) provides all students with editing assistance. Students who wish to take advantage of this service must be organized and plan ahead and contact the Division of Student Life in order to schedule a booking, well in advance of the due date of this assignment. 


Any material used in this assignment that is not your original work must be acknowledged as such and appropriately referenced. 

IT Portfolio and RBV Theory (Individual report) Assessment Task 1 Rubric

MIS782 Rubric

MIS782 Rubric

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About Author

Nick is a multi-faceted individual with diverse interests. I love teaching young students through coaching or writing who always gathered praise for a sharp calculative mind. I own a positive outlook towards life and also give motivational speeches for young kids and college students.

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