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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2014

Dan N. Stone, Alexei N. Nikitkov and Timothy C. Miller

This paper aims to adapt Simons’ (1995b) theory of the role of information technology (IT) in shaping and facilitating the levers of control (i.e. the Levers of Control…

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1446

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to adapt Simons’ (1995b) theory of the role of information technology (IT) in shaping and facilitating the levers of control (i.e. the Levers of Control Applied to Information Technology – LOCaIT) as a framework for investigating how eBay’s business strategy was realized through its management control system (MCS) in the first 10 years of the online auction market.

Design and method

The qualitative method uses data from public record interviews, teaching cases, books, Securities and Exchange Commission filings and other archival sources to longitudinally trace the realization of eBay’s strategy through its MCS and IT.

Findings

Realizing its strategy through the eBay MCS necessitated a diagnostic control system unlike any previously seen. This system created a close-knit online community and enabled buyers and sellers to monitor one another’s performance and trustworthiness.

Research limitations and implications

The LOCaIT theory facilitated understanding the core aspects of the realization of eBay’s strategy through its MCS and IT. However, LOCaIT largely omits the strong linkages evident among elements of the MCS, the importance and necessity of building a core IT infrastructure to support eBay’s strategy and the central role of building consumer trust in the realization of this strategy.

Practical and social implications

eBay’s MCS is now, perhaps, the world’s most widely imitated model for creating online trust and user interactions (e.g. Yelp, TripAdvisor, Amazon). In addition, eBay’s MCS was “sold” as a consumer product that was instrumental in facilitating consumer trust in the online auction market.

Originality/value

Contributions include: tracing the creation, growth and evolution of, perhaps, the world’s largest and most widely imitated MCS, which redefined the boundaries of accounting systems monitoring; and testing the range, usefulness and limitations of Simons’ LOCaIT theory as a lens for understanding eBay’s use of IT in their MCS.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Book part
Publication date: 13 September 2018

Tim McGinley

The circular economy (CE) requires that ‘used’ materials continue to be in circulation after their initial use has finished. Materials are typically sourced in the…

Abstract

The circular economy (CE) requires that ‘used’ materials continue to be in circulation after their initial use has finished. Materials are typically sourced in the building industry as new materials in bulk that carry guarantees of safety, quality and delivery. The distributed and diverse origins of used materials mean that they do not normally carry these guarantees. Furthermore, existing potential procurement systems for reused materials such as eBay allow users to present their auctions in a loosely structured form that can make it difficult to manage and procure multiple items to satisfy the quantities, condition and type required by the contractor. Therefore, this chapter proposes an information system to support the agile procurement of used materials at a scale that is appropriate for construction projects to support the CE. It describes the development of a tool called ‘JunkUp’ that would allow multiple auctions of similar items from diverse sellers to be managed as a single item. Based on this system, in future work, it should be possible to use this tool to test strategies to address the risk to safety, quality and delivery of reused materials in construction. This should ultimately lead to the opportunity to increase material reuse (and reduce waste) in the building and construction sector and support an agile CE for the building industry.

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Unmaking Waste in Production and Consumption: Towards the Circular Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-620-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

To study the strategies of eBay as it moves on from its now “traditional” online market for the masses to extend its expertise into areas such as business to business. The

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6693

Abstract

Purpose

To study the strategies of eBay as it moves on from its now “traditional” online market for the masses to extend its expertise into areas such as business to business. The paper also considers online trading in general.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

Amanda Aldridge notes that, as well as being an online auction, eBay is increasingly acting as a shop‐front for new goods sold by professional retailers at fixed prices. She recommends that retailers start selling small batches of goods on eBay and to consider how to integrate this with their existing multi‐channel strategies. Glenn Baker warns that, with the fragmentation of traditional marketing media and the rise of the Internet, any company without an e‐marketing strategy may fall by the wayside. Dhruv Grewal et al. suggest that although online retailing started out as a separate retail format, it has now become part of a multi‐channel strategy. They list, and explain, various limiters and enablers to Internet retailing growth. Ralph A. Oliva says that some of the benefits and innovations being brought to individual customers by eBay are now available to small businesses, and that eBay is creating a new marketplace for the sort of things small businesses need. Growth to service bigger industries is a distinct possibility.

Originality/value

Offers advice to businesses which have not yet taken the “online plunge” that they might be wise to test the water, accepting it as just another channel for their goods.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

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Article
Publication date: 22 April 2002

Catherine L. Lawson

In order to ensure the continuing expansion and success of electronic commerce, the issue of how to assess product quality of items sold over the Internet must be…

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424

Abstract

In order to ensure the continuing expansion and success of electronic commerce, the issue of how to assess product quality of items sold over the Internet must be addressed. The formal literature of microeconomics presents a conceptual framework for this assessment that is applied in the case study presented in this paper. The type of transaction studied is online auction transactions conducted through the popular web site, eBay. Quality issues, as well as other sources of buyer dissatisfaction with electronic purchases, are addressed on eBay through a bulletin board style feedback system by which members of the eBay community may report on various aspects of their eBay transactions. eBay publishes the feedback ratings of each seller as a part of its listing of any item for sale and also disciplines sellers that accumulate too much negative feedback. This would seem to provide buyers with some degree of protection from sellers who are unscrupulous in their claims regarding product quality. The empirical work presented here examines the effectiveness of this system using logistic and ordinary least squares regression, and concludes that at least key aspects of the system offer adequate incentives to sellers to provide accurate representations to buyers regarding the quality of their merchandise.

Details

American Journal of Business, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1935-5181

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Gregory S. Black

Using data relating to eBay transactions, investigates the economic, demographic, and geographic factors affecting willingness to pay for purchases online.

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5544

Abstract

Purpose

Using data relating to eBay transactions, investigates the economic, demographic, and geographic factors affecting willingness to pay for purchases online.

Design/methodology/approach

Carries out regression analysis of 3,386 eBay transactions, over a two‐year period, reported by two American sellers operating on the United States eBay site. In all auctions examined, consumers had the option of making payment online or by various traditional payment methods.

Findings

Analysis identifies several variables as reasonable predictors of the chosen payment method, including the value of the transaction, the buyer's gender, rural versus urban residence, and several other characteristics of the community in which the buyer lives.

Research limitations/implications

The general demographic, geographic, and economic variables of consumers can be used by researchers and planners to predict consumers' willingness to make online payments. The effect of income demands further investigation. Factors not identified – such as consumer personality and ethnicity or product category – might also influence this form of online consumer behaviour. The study is restricted to online consumer auction transactions in one country only.

Originality/value

Uses a larger sample than most previous studies of eBay to identify general demographic, geographic, and economic characteristics of an American sample of eBay consumers, which act as predictors of willingness to make online payments for purchases. Can be a departure point for further research in other countries.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 23 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2001

Charlotte E. Bywell and Charles Oppenheim

Research was undertaken to assess the level of fraud and precautions against fraud in Internet auctions. A trial run was also carried out of placing items for auction with…

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2097

Abstract

Research was undertaken to assess the level of fraud and precautions against fraud in Internet auctions. A trial run was also carried out of placing items for auction with eBay and then bidding for them. It is concluded that Internet auctions are severely disadvantaged in comparison to traditional auctions because of their inability to check the quality or provenance of items on offer. The attempts of Internet auction houses to prevent potential fraud have loopholes and can therefore be manipulated of the unscrupulous.The current checks Internet auction houses impose are therefore not enough to eradicate this growing problem. Recommendations are made to a number of di ¡erent stakeholders,such as the government and the auction industry.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 53 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2004

The rise of the “new economy” has occurred in an incredibly short space of time. In just a decade we have seen the Internet grow from comparative obscurity into one of the…

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4983

Abstract

The rise of the “new economy” has occurred in an incredibly short space of time. In just a decade we have seen the Internet grow from comparative obscurity into one of the most powerful business tools on the planet. But we have also seen the sting in the tail: the shattered promises, the lost investments and the countless company failures.

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Strategic Direction, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2000

Shawn D. Cartwright

You're probably too busy getting the kinks out of your own supply chain to worry about your competitor's. But you should.

Abstract

You're probably too busy getting the kinks out of your own supply chain to worry about your competitor's. But you should.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Abstract

Details

Modern Organisational Governance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-695-2

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Article
Publication date: 22 August 2008

Omar Shehryar

This paper aims to study how buyers' gender and risk proclivity, and the time remaining in an internet auction, influence whether buyers buy at fixed prices or bid.

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1168

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to study how buyers' gender and risk proclivity, and the time remaining in an internet auction, influence whether buyers buy at fixed prices or bid.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on a simulated internet auction. Participants choose between bidding in an auction and buying at a fixed price. Data are analyzed using a logistic regression model. The results from the laboratory study are validated with data from eBay.com.

Findings

Female participants’ odds of choosing the buy‐it‐now (BIN) option are higher than their odds of bidding in an auction (BID) when less time is remaining in an auction. Contrarily, for males, when less time is remaining, BID is preferred over BIN. Unexpectedly, when substantial time is remaining, males have greater odds of choosing BIN over BID except when they are high risk‐seekers. Simulation results correspond closely with eBay data.

Practical implications

The paper shows that not only do gender differences manifest themselves in ways that are to be expected, such as females being more risk‐averse than males, but that competitiveness among males may lead to an uncharacteristic choice to buy at fixed prices if substantial time is remaining in an auction. Furthermore, the latent competitive nature of females is revealed by secondary research. Finally, the research validates laboratory results with field data to practice methodological triangulation.

Originality/value

A comparison of determinants of bidding versus buying at fixed prices is missing from the extant literature. The present study fills this gap.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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