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Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited
No model is an island
No model is an island
This issue of Internet Research focuses on some of the core questions of electronic commerce.
In a comprehensive comparative analysis of over 20 case studies, Eid, Trueman and Ahmed present "A cross-industry review of B2B critical success factors". Determining CSFs for a given industry, particularly an industry as young as B2B e-commerce, is not a simple task. The results of Eid et al.'s work provide a solid foundation of CSFs that can now become a benchmark for future case studies in this area.
Thelwall returns to the pages of Internet Research with "Methodologies for crawler based Web surveys". In it he effectively questions the scientific validity of crawler-based research data due to inconsistencies in crawler design. Thelwall identifies the weakness and potential biases in current Web-crawling techniques, and provides insights towards the development of more reliable methods.
In "Supporting the e-business readiness of small and medium sized enterprises: approaches and metrics", Jutla, Bodorik and Dhaliwal look at the international state of SME readiness for e-commerce. Covering governmental and private sector initiatives, the article develops metrics and measures for monitoring the advance of SMEs in developing online presence and activities.
At the heart of this issue of Internet Research are three papers that deal with online purchasing behavior from different perspectives. George, in "Influences on the intent to make Internet purchases", suggests revisiting the theory of planned behavior (TPB) as the theoretical basis for analyzing a broad survey of Internet usage data. If one thing is certain in the uncertain world of e-commerce development, it is the dire need for sound theoretical models through which we can understand the new commercial realities. By slightly adapting the theory for Internet usage analysis, George provides us with a viable analytical tool for future research efforts.
Jiang, on the other hand, proposes a new model for evaluating price-related behavior in e-commerce purchasing activity. Price-sensitivity has long been considered a key factor in the growth of e-commerce, and while it is intuitively clear that price influences online purchasing behavior, there exists no formal model that describes the interaction of various price-related factors. In "A model of price search behavior in the electronic marketplace", Jiang takes a big step forward in that direction.
The third paper to address shopping behavior is Korgaonkar and Wolin's "Web usage, advertising, and shopping: relationship patterns". Here we are presented with an extensive study that maps the relationships between online advertising, shopping, and Web activity.
From the editor's seat, it is interesting to note that Korgaonkar and Wolin's shopping analysis does not consider price search or trust elements; Jiang's pricing analysis does not consider the influence of advertising; and George's analysis of privacy and trust as factors that influence purchasing, while looking at advertising from the data collection (privacy) perspective, does not consider the dual effects of price search and advertising messages. The conclusion? No model is an island.
David G. Schwartz