Monday, July 2, 2007

On Friday the 29th of June I attended a thesis meeting with Dr. Poon and two of his other thesis students, Gary and Leslie. Dr. Poon had informed me that R was going to be used instead of E-views as the statistical software to be used for this project and the other two projects. After the conclusion of the meeting I downloaded and installed the latest version of R. Since I have no experience with this statistical software package, my additional goal for this week is to become familiar and competent with this tool. I have already found numerous tutorials on R and plan to complete a few of them to gain familiarity with R.

Project Plan

The meeting was extremely useful as we collectively came up with a broad project plan where we defined the particular thesis deliverables and goals we need to complete by the given date. The project plan can be seen below. Over the coming weeks I will post up a more detailed project plan which will list the weekly milestones and deliverables I wish to achieve.

Additionally the meeting provided each of with greater clarity regarding the description and requirements of our project. In the sections below I have briefly outline the background to the problem and the specific sections which my project will be focusing on.

Problem Overview: Information Technology and Productivity

An extensive amount of literature has been written on the impact that information technology has on productivity. A measure of this impact can be represented by the following general mathematical representation:

y is the output measured
IT are the input variables used to measure IT by
f is a specific productivity function applied to our input variables

Using this representation all the literature on information technology and its impact on productivity examines the following:

  1. Is the relationship between IT and its impact on productivity significant
  2. What are the specific factors that enhance this relationship

However a lot of the research into this area in particular during the 1980’s and early 90’s lead rise to a phenomenon called the productivity paradox. What the productivity paradox is that as information technology is introduces the productivity of a worker may actually decline as opposed to increasing.

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