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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Alignment, for most of us, is a topic limited to the wheels and steering mechanism of our cars. In management, however, it is one of the most important elements that ensures what we are doing actually relates to what we want done. Lack of alignment between managerial goals and Internet activities pushes up costs and results in failed projects. This issue of Internet Research deals with alignment on number of different levels.
Del Aguila-Obra and Padilla-Meléndez’s study of “Organizational factors affecting Internet technology adoption”, in over 280 companies, highlights the ongoing disconnect between management strategy and technology adoption. In addition, they put another nail in the coffin of the “level playing field” Internet myth, finding that while company size may not impact the availability of new technology, it does indeed affect management’s ability to introduce new technology – with small companies ending up behind their larger competitors.
Boudreau and Watson discuss “Internet advertising strategy alignment” and assess how common lack of alignment is amongst multinational organizations. Their study of 20 leading multinational web sites and corresponding Internet advertising strategies also identifies some key factors that may cause misalignment.
In “The changing digital content landscape: an evaluation of e-business model development in European online news and music”, Swatman, Krueger and van der Beek tackle one of the most hotly contested areas of ecommerce today – the distribution of online music. With the slow but steady demise of illegal file-sharing sites, viable business models for content distribution have become paramount. This three-year, in-depth study will give the music industry, file-sharing companies and consumers something to think about in an environment where an alignment of interests is long overdue.
Lin, Wu, Liao, and Liu bring us fascinating cross-cultural insights from Taiwan in their analysis “Why are some e-mails forwarded and others not?”. They explore the concept of guanxi – the development of networks of personal connections – that is prevalent in Taiwanese society with its roots in Chinese culture. Their insights into the use of e-mail to build and strengthen guanxi have practical implications in the East and may also prove useful to Western cultures. In guanxi the motivation and emotions of the stakeholders are considered crucial factors and e-mail is viewed as a personal expression to another member of one’s network.
At the other end of the spectrum we have the antithesis of personal e-mail communication – e-mail spam. Moustakas, Ranganathan and Duquenoy provide us with a conceptual overview, typology, and stakeholder analysis of spam, or rather UCE (unsolicited commercial e-mail), in their article “E-mail marketing at the crossroads: a stakeholder analysis of unsolicited commercial e-mail (spam)”.
Also in this issue of Internet Research, Waite gives us a fresh look at banking web sites, this time from the perspective of actual tasks being performed. “Task scenario effects on bank web site expectations” looks at the duality of information-seeking versus transaction tasks and shows how web site quality measures must consider this duality as part of any formal evaluation. In what could be a far-reaching implication, Waite’s study shows that SERVQUAL-based analysis of web sites that does not account for task differentials may produce unreliable results – something that clearly warrants further investigation.
David G. Schwartz