Introduction to Internet technologies and society special edition

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society

ISSN: 1477-996X

Article publication date: 5 August 2014



Piet, P., Isaías, T. and Issa, K. (2014), "Introduction to Internet technologies and society special edition", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 12 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Introduction to Internet technologies and society special edition

Article Type: Guest Editorial From: Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Volume 12, Issue 3

In the twenty-first century, technology plays an important role to users, businesses and higher education to raise performance, productivity and endorse gratification. Technology usage increased collaboration, cooperation and communication among users as easily as to recapture information, entertainment, marketing, political, health information and online shopping. Integrating Internet and social networking in businesses and higher education will improve business performance, productivity, students’ personal and professional skills, as well as to incorporate sustainability and to corporate social responsibility, triple bottom line and stewardship. This special issue of Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society entitled "Internet Technologies and Society" comprises five papers that present developments in the area of Information Systems (IS) and its applications and contribution within society. More and more technologies have been playing an increased role in society. These papers that reflect the contribution from IS to society, helping to shape the term "Information Society", are extended versions of the original conference papers organized by the International Association for Development of the Information Society, chosen by the guest editors of this issue, from the following conferences held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, co-located together, and co-organized by the Universiti Putra Malaysia, and co-sponsored by Curtin Business School-Curtin University, Australia: International Conference on Internet Technologies and Society 2013 (; International Conference on Educational Technologies 2013 (; International Conference on Sustainability, Technology and Education 2013 (

The first contribution with the title "Sustainable development, e-learning and Web 3.0: a descriptive literature review", authored by Sofiadin, presents a descriptive literature review, a classification scheme for studies on sustainable development, e-learning and Web 3.0 that contribute toward sustainable e-learning. The purpose is to determine and highlight some ideas on developing a sustainable learning in higher education in Malaysia. From the current literature review, 170 papers were examined, organized and analyzed based on topics, year of publication, and publication outlets. Consequently, the first draft of a sustainable e-learning framework was developed, and the research gaps were identified based on this literature review. The literature review of this research focused on studies that sustain sustainable development in e-learning. The author concludes that little research has been performed on sustainable e-learning which further limits the literature available for this research. However, most of the papers offer some insight into sustainable e-learning that has assisted this research to identify the elements and characteristics of sustainable e-learning. The proposed sustainable e-learning framework consists of guidelines and recommendations of ways in which technology, applications, teaching and learning principles can be utilized, integrated and combined. Focus groups were used for data gathering purposes. In addition, the proposed sustainable e-learning framework will aid educators to meet the students’ necessities concerning the ease of information, solutions and collaboration.

The second contribution, "The engagement of social media technologies by undergraduate informatics students for academic purpose in Malaysia", authored by Lim, Agostinho, Harper and Chicharo, studies the perceptions, acceptance, usage and access to social media by undergraduate informatics students in higher education institutions in Malaysia. This paper focuses on the quantitative data collected from the study participants on their actions and use of social media technologies (SMTs) in Malaysian Higher Education Institutions. Initial results from 331 replies gathered from an online questionnaire performed to students, academics and administrators from informatics and non-informatics programs show that even as students reported SMTs use mainly for personal social activities, the data from online questionnaires show that many students and instructors have started to explore and accept the use of SMTs as a tool for connecting with their institutions and their peers as well as for teaching and learning purposes. Also, this study presents a conceptual model based on Connectivism and Communities of Practice that has been developed to enlighten the study in terms of the role SMTs can take part in developing virtual learning communities. So far, from the data collection and initial analysis, there does not appear to be an important difference in the possession and use of SMTs by students from informatics and non-informatics background, despite the important contact to technologies by the informatics students. The major purpose of this research is the development of a design framework for implementing SMTs as supporting tools for student engagement and to inform future practice.

The third contribution, entitled "How do Polish and Indonesian disclose in Facebook? Differences on on-line disclosure, need for popularity, need to belong and self-esteem", by Ardi and Maison, explores cross-cultural differences among Facebook users in two distinct countries – Poland and Indonesia. The authors present the Indonesians as a population that lives in a highly collectivist culture, and the Polish as a hierarchical individualist culture. In spite of the differences regarding both countries’ cultures, Facebook plays an important role as a social medium in both of them. The study presented in this contribution explicitly focuses on the differences related to several dimensions of online SD (self-disclosure) in relation with psychological factors, for instance, NtB (the need to belong), NfP (need for popularity) and SE (self-esteem). The main purpose of this research was to examine the chosen psychological factors and differences in online behaviors between these two countries, to disclose an explicit pattern of usage motives, as well as online SD patterns, hardly ever taken into consideration in social psychology research. Besides this main purpose, this research aims to include the general understanding of online behaviors in social networking sites (SNS) among both hierarchical-individualist and hierarchical-collectivist cultures. The authors state that online behaviors between the Polish and Indonesians had never been similar, mainly due to differences in social values and background. Taking in consideration the reality of different patterns in online SD and the levels of availability of profile pages across cultures, this research could help social network designers in developing features for SNS which are appropriate to the psychological needs of users belonging to specific cultures.

The fourth contribution, "Implementing successful G2B initiatives in the HKSAR: an empirical evaluation of G2B Websites", by Kwok, explores the view that the Internet-based government-to-business (G2B) practices have been playing a significant role in building a comprehensive and responsive e-government background in a "one-stop, non-stop and customer-centric" way, thus facilitating the promotion of business-to-business initiatives to assist business firms improving their competence, effectiveness and consistency, thereby becoming more sustainable and globally competitive. Therefore, this research aims to examine the quality and transformational characteristics rather than the quantity aspects of electronic services and investments consumed by the G2B initiatives driven by the Hong Kong Government for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). In that way, the authors, with this study, want to improve and contribute to the knowledge in the fields of information technology management and public administration. This study uses quantitative research method (online survey instrument) to examine SMEs’ attitudes, behaviors and preferences toward using G2B electronic services. The implementation of common G2B initiatives in Hong Kong has been largely connected to pursuing conservative paradigms in public service provision. As a result, this study presents the new e-Government strategic agenda for enhancing the largely transparency of new public management, which draws on the significant and immediate imperative that is to be undertaken for advancing the democratic empowerment of all the stakeholders specifically engaged in both established and future G2B initiatives, at the same time also ensuring to take advantage of the multifold effects of the affiliated value creations from using genuine "one-stop, non-stop and business-centric" G2B electronic services.

The last contribution, "A study of Internet service provider industry stakeholder collaboration in Australia: an institutional perspective", by Nagarajan, focuses on the notion that in an era of technological improvement, where Internet customers rely on their Internet service providers (ISPs) to distribute good quality service solutions, assuming customer service practices that congregate customer expectations is becoming an unconditional necessity for all ISPs. In the case of Australia, customer service (CS) and complaint handling (CH) performance of ISPs engage adopting and implementing the terms and conditions stated in a co-regulatory code known as the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code. Taking in consideration the purpose of this study (a study of Internet service provider industry stakeholder collaboration in Australia), a qualitative research methodology was used; thus, semi-structured interviews were performed. The results showed that the CS/CH practices of the very large Internet service providers (vLISP) industry are institutionally resulting practices based on collaboration among various vLISP industry stakeholders. This research found that institutional pressures influenced vLISP organizational actions in that way providing productive insights into the institutional factors that compel vLISP organizational actions. Also, it was found that there is an interaction between institutional pressures that influenced the top four vLISP organizational actions. The author concludes that:

[…] the CS/CH practices of the vLISP industry in Australia are institutionally derived practices developed through the collaborative efforts of regulatory managers of the four vLISPs, the regulator, the industry ombudsman, the consumer association, the ISP industry association and the government department for broadband.

Pedro Isaías
Department of Social Sciences and Management, Universidade Aberta, Lisbon, Portugal

Piet Kommers
Department of Media, Communication and Organization, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands, and

Tomayess Issa
School of Information Systems, Curtin University, Perth, Australia