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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Guest editorial From: Management Research News, Volume 31, Issue 5.
Over the past decade, the internet has opened unprecedented opportunities for exchanging business information. Today, the internet contributes to the coordination of global workface, facilitates communication between managers and subordinates, creates networks of physical and virtual business partners, and opens new sales channels to customers around the globe. To that end, the internet has become a driving force behind organizational change. As the business landscape changes in response to the presence of the internet, organizations have to reorganize their business practices, redesign their internal business processes, and develop strategies to guide organizational change to coop with the diffusion of the internet worldwide. The purpose of this special issue on internet and organizational change is to develop a broad understanding of the issues pertaining to the internet and its impact on organizations worldwide. After a vigorous review process, we have selected six papers. The selected articles provide an in-depth understanding of critical issues involved in the use of this innovation, and I hope will generate the kind of dialogue necessary to furthering our understanding of the internet and its impact on organizations.
The special issue begins with a paper that focuses on e-business and the notion of evaluating an e-business idea. In her paper, "E-distinctivity parameter to evaluate an e-business idea", Capece presents a new metric that aims to quantitatively support the selection phase of a new e-business idea by performing an evaluation of its "distinctivity" in e-business environment. The paper develops a parameter that permits the comparison of different alternative e-business ideas during the feasibility phase.
Two papers discuss trust issues on the internet. In "Fundaments of trust management in the development of virtual communities", Casaló, Flavián, and Guinalíu analyze factors that determine the consumer commitment to a virtual community. Based on a web survey using Spanish-speaking members of free software virtual communities, the study finds that trust placed in a virtual community has a positive and significant effect on consumer's commitment to that virtual community. The paper also stresses that a greater familiarity with the community and a stronger norm of reciprocity in communication in the community may have a significant positive effect on the level of trust placed in a virtual community. Connolly and Bannister in their paper "Factors influencing Irish consumers' trust in internet shopping", used a previously validated measurement instrument to investigate the existence and importance of specific factors that are thought to predict the generation of consumer trust in internet shopping in Ireland. In surveying 858 individuals, the study results provide evidence that Irish consumers' trust in internet shopping is the result of specific factors related to vendor's perceived integrity and to vendor's perceived competence. The former encompasses social antecedents of trust, while the latter encompasses the technical antecedents of trust.
Adoption of e-business environment can impact organizations from internal operation to strategic planning. Two papers discuss adoption issues of e-business. First, in their paper "Internet and supply chain management: adoption modalities for Italian firms", Michelino, Bianco, and Caputo describe the usage of internet-based tools in inter-firm supply chain relationships in Italy. The paper also analyzes the different adoption behaviors of such tools held by Italian firms and explains the main characteristics these firms that are using the internet for supply chain management in terms of structures, players, processes and governance. Second, Mosbeh and Soliman in their paper "An exploratory analysis of factors affecting users' adoption of corporate intranet: a Tunisian study", test previously developed models to identify factors that are perceived to affect users' decision to adopt corporate intranet in Tunisia. The results from 436 users in four Tunisian companies reveals that there are Several factors identified as significantly affecting users' adoption of corporate intranet in Tunisian companies. The findings of this study can benefit practitioners as it provide organizations and top managers with a short list of factors that can significantly affect the adoption and usage of corporate intranet in a developing country.
Finally, Ellonen and Kuivalainen explore in a case study of a Finnish magazine the motives and success factors of the magazine's web site. The analysis in their paper "exploring a successful magazine web site", that is based on semi-structured interviews, observation, statistics, and documents provided by the magazine publisher shows that the magazine web site supports editorial, circulation and advertising functions that are vital to a magazine's success. Moreover, virtual community activities seem to have enhanced customer loyalty. The paper stresses that media managers should see internet presence from a more multifaceted perspective rather than merely focusing on the revenue streams. Further, the value of the case study lies in the notion that the web site may complement rather than replace the print magazine.
Khalid S. Soliman