Electronic Commerce: Integration of Web Technologies with Business Models.

Guest Editor: Mike Shaw, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, IL

1. Shane Greenstein, "The Commercialization of Information Infrastructure as Technological Mediation: The Internet Access Market."
The study interprets the geographic diffusion of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and the expansion of ISPs' product lines in terms of the market for technological mediation. A firm involved in technology mediation takes advantage of gaps between general technological opportunities and particular user needs in specific places at particular times. If the economic opportunities are fleeting, then so too is the business. If the economic opportunities are renewed frequently, then the business can grow and adapt to take advantage of them. The concept of technological mediation helps us understand business behavior accompanying the commercialization of internet access technology.

2. Melissa Cole, Robert M. O’Keefe, and Haytham Siala, " From the User Interface to the Consumer Interface."

Business success requires that advances in technology be designed and applied within a human context.  Too often technological advance has occurred without reference to human behaviour.  While research appreciates that electronic consumers are computer users, and vice-versa, few understand exactly how this is transforming consumer behaviour.  In other words, technological imagination has surpassed our knowledge of media-based consumer behaviour.  This paper seeks to re-dress the balance of understanding.  By (i) integrating themes in human-computer interaction (HCI) with consumer behaviour models and (ii) placing the results within a framework of relevant research issues, we present the conceptual foundations for a consumer interface.

3.  Chandrasekar Subramaniam, Michael J. Shaw, and David M. Gardner, "Product Marketing and Channel Management in Electronic Commerce."

Marketing managers developing strategies to market products on the Internet are faced with important issues. We suggest that the use of Web advertising, virtual store-fronts and virtual communities provides innovative opportunities for marketers to communicate with consumers, understand their preferences and personalize the marketing offers at far lesser costs and far more effectively than through traditional means. The Web can also extend to fulfill the transaction and distribution needs of the consumers through new consumer processes, and thus becomes a new marketing channel. Considering the unique characteristics of the Web and traditional channels, we suggest the use of product and market characteristics in identifying the right channel for the right product. Further, we present a new framework of channel management strategies to help organizations effectively integrate the Web channel into their marketing strategy.

4. Daniel E. O’Leary, "Reengineering Assembly, Warehouse and Billing Processes, for Electronic Commerce Using “Merge-in-Transit."

This paper investigates merge-in-transit as an approach to reengineering assembly, warehouse and billing processes for electronic commerce.  Merge-in-transit is defined and some examples are given to illustrate its use.  Processes necessary to accomplish merge-in-transit are developed, while advantages and disadvantages of merge-in-transit are studied.
Additional issues arising from merge-in-transit also are studied: Merge-in-transit software is discussed;  New measures necessary for merge-in-transit are examined;  The effects of merge-in-transit on others in the current supply chain are also examined.

5. Jaana Porra, "Electronic Commerce Internet Strategies and Business Models -- A Survey."

Today, any doubts about possibilities of significant profits over the Internet are a distant memory. Such has been the proliferation of Internet-based business on the public network. But electronic commerce has turned out to be more difficult to master than previously assumed. For many, ventures have been less lucrative than expected. The problem is that integrating business models with technology is a multifaceted and largely open question (Shaw, et.al., 1997). How do businesses of various sizes and industries actually start their Internet activity and how do their business models change over time? More specifically, how do their different Internet strategies play out? This article is the result of a survey of the Internet strategies and business models of 280 companies that sell products and services on the public network. The results show that electronic commerce has penetrated companies of all sizes. Based on this survey it is apparent that while many companies have participated in electronic commerce for years, their business models are still in their infancy stages.

6. Martin Bichler, "Trading financial derivatives on the Web - An approach towards automating negotiations on OTC markets."

Derivative instruments have become increasingly important to financial institutions, institutional investors, traders and private individuals throughout the world, both as risk-management tools and as a source of revenue. The volume of over-the-counter (OTC) traded derivatives has increased enormously over the past decade, because institutional investors have often had a need for special derivative products which are not traded on organized exchanges. An important feature of OTC trading is the bargaining on multiple attributes of a contract such as price, strike price and contract maturity. Negotiation on multiple attributes of a deal is currently not supported by electronic trading floors. In this paper we describe an approach of how to automate the multi-attribute multilateral negotiations using a Web-based trading system. First, we will give an overview of various approaches to supporting or automating negotiations on multiple attributes. Then we will introduce multi-attribute auctions, an extension of single-sided auction theory and analyze preliminary game-theoretic results. Finally, we will show a Web-based electronic trading system for OTC derivatives, based on multi-attribute auctions.

7. P. K. Kannan, Ai-Mei Chang, and Andrew B. Whinston, "Electronic Communities in E-Business: Their Role and Issues."

Electronic communities are social aggregations of critical masses of people on the Internet who engage in public discussions, interactions, and information exchanges with sufficient human feeling on matters of common interest to form webs of personal relationships. Many such e-communities are rapidly evolving on the Internet, some initiated, organized, and controlled by community members themselves, some organized and controlled by marketers, and some by third parties acting as intermediaries between members and other interest groups such as marketers and advertisers. In this paper, we explore the role of e-communities as intermediaries in exchange relationships among community members and between community members and other interest groups such as marketers and advertisers from an economic perspective. In particular, we focus on the types of interactions that take place among community members and between community members and other interest groups and examine the economic and social issues involved in maintaining a healthy community. Deriving parallels from extant research in financial intermediation and social exchange theory, we explore conditions and incentive mechanisms under which such communities could develop and add value on the Internet. We also draw upon limited empirical examples from the World-Wide-Web to provide support to our propositions.

8. Tung Bui, Sungwon Cho, Siva Sankaran, Michael Sovereign and "A Framework for Designing a Global Information Network for Multinational Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief."

Large-scale Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief (HA/DR) operations, particularly in developing countries, require the intervention and aid of various agencies from all over the world in a concerted and timely manner. As a result, HA/DR operations involve dynamic information exchange, planning, coordination and above all negotiation. Although a number of studies have reported the benefits of using information and communication technologies to support negotiation activities, it remains unclear how such technologies could be adapted to large-scale HA/DR operations. This paper examines negotiational issues involved in a multinational HA/DR environment and presents a framework that would help in developing a Global Information Network (GIN). The proposed framework can be used to assess and characterize individual disaster situations so that the GIN functional and design requirements can be accurately identified early. Future implications to GIN architecture are also discussed.