E‐business Applications: Technologies for Tomorrow's Solutions

Irvine Clarke III (Associate Professor of Marketing, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 1 August 2004




Clarke III, I. (2004), "E‐business Applications: Technologies for Tomorrow's Solutions", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 362-363. https://doi.org/10.1108/07363760410549203



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

The accelerated pace of change in e‐business, and affiliated technology, serves to transform ceaselessly the business environment in which marketers operate. This transformation is further enhanced by the continuing global acceptance of Internet‐related technologies. As such, much of the literature on e‐business becomes quickly dated since it tends to focus on the successes of the moment or on current business models. Consequently, gaps quickly emerge between the e‐business‐related literature and contemporary practice.

This book attempts to bridge such gaps in the extant e‐business literature by addressing the main technological challenges of pre‐competitive applied research. The editors propose that technology development, technology management, and innovation management are all intertwined. They have selected 17 articles that illustrate the dimensions where e‐business will transfigure the old economy. The readings are selected to demonstrate the integration of these ideas into one consistent e‐business model that allows for fruitful technological development as well as sustained business growth. Each contribution presents a commercially relevant, innovative approach to integrating the technological challenges with existing e‐business systems.

Four major themes are represented in this book: state of the art and trends; advanced e‐commerce applications; supply chain management applications; and extended and virtual enterprise applications. Three to six articles dealing with related subtopics support each topic. For example, the virtual enterprise applications' section discusses dynamic networked organizations, Web‐based collaborative environments and e‐hubs. Each article offers rich insight into how technological developments can be used to modify or even create altogether new e‐business models. The two‐page editor's introduction to each section provides a summary of the major contributions of each article. In addition, relationships between the articles in that section are proposed and applications to e‐business are provided. The insights of these European contributors are insightful and take a more technocentric approach to e‐business than may be seen in other US reading books. A mix of authors is maintained between e‐business academics and practitioners.

The primary strength of the book lies in the frameworks, figures, and models presented by a wide range of authors, across an array of e‐business paradigms like knowledge‐intensive product search, inter‐company supply chain management, and Internet brokers. These frameworks are illustrated in businesses in the animal feed, automotive, made‐to‐measure garments, semiconductor, and tile industries. While the book offers an opportunity to view a collection of basic developments in Internet technologies and the management thereof, the principal weakness of the book is in determining the interconnectedness and primary theme development. Since the writings represent 54 authors, with disparate approaches to e‐business, a coherent theme, of how these technologies can be used in business and industrial applications is unclear. Instead, readers are left with a series of individual monographs that fail to build on each other. In the end, this compilation of articles is targeted at, and likely to be most useful for, those with meaningful technological knowledge as well as mangers of e‐business technologies interested in increasing their breadth of e‐business knowledge. Since the book concentrates on technology utilization and management, marketing applications may not always be evident beyond e‐business supply chain management.

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