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Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce 14

Editors:Andrew B. Whinston
Dates:2004
Volume:14
Publisher:Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Standard No:ISSN 1054-1721
Papers:14
Links:Table of Contents
  1. JOCEC 2004 Volume 14 Issue 1
  2. JOCEC 2004 Volume 14 Issue 2
  3. JOCEC 2004 Volume 14 Issue 3
  4. JOCEC 2004 Volume 14 Issue 4

JOCEC 2004 Volume 14 Issue 1

An Automated Tool for Managing Interactions in Virtual Communities-Using Social Network Analysis Approach BIBAFull-Text 1-26
  Jyun-Cheng Wang; Chi-Lu Chen
The Internet is a platform embedded with new interaction opportunities that represents a new facet of our society. Social scientists have recognized the richness concealed in the interactions of virtual communities and made endeavors to understand its relation with the physical world. More efforts are devoted to extracting the business value of virtual communities and finding viable business models. However, due to the lack of suitable software, analysis of virtual communities cannot be easily completed.
A Time-Bound Framework for Negotiation and Decision Making of Virtual Manufacturing Enterprise BIBAFull-Text 27-41
  Kyoung Jun Lee; Yong Sik Chang; Hyung Rim Choi; Hyun Soo Kim; Young Jae Park; Byung Joo Park
Virtual manufacturing has 2 characteristics as an agent-based electronic commerce environment: dynamic nature of resource status and variety of agents' decision-making (i.e., scheduling) model. To reflect the characteristics, a relevant negotiation protocol should be designed and an appropriate decision-making model should be developed. In this article, from the perspective of a sales agent that is a middle man between customers and manufacturers in a virtual manufacturing environment, we provide a case study that suggests a time-bound framework for external negotiation between sales agents and customer agents, and internal cooperation between sales agents and manufacturing agents. We assume a job shop as the production model of a virtual manufacturing enterprise and formulate the optimal order selection problem with mixed integer programming, but its computation time is not acceptable for real-world problems. For this time-constrained decision making, we develop a genetic algorithm as an anytime problem-solving method for the scheduling of the production model, which shows a reasonable computation time for real-world cases and good incremental problem-solving capability.
Integration of Self-Organizing Feature Maps and Genetic-Algorithm-Based Clustering Method for Market Segmentation BIBAFull-Text 43-60
  R. J. Kuo; K. Chang; S. Y. Chien
Clustering analysis has been widely applied in the area of market segmentation. Conventional research usually uses the multivariate analysis method. Recently, due to promising results of computational intelligence techniques in engineering, they are also considered for market segmentation. Among them, genetic algorithms (GAs) are theoretically and empirically found to provide globally near-optimal solutions for various complex optimization problems. Because GA is good at searching, it can cluster the data according to their similarities. In addition, artificial neural networks also have high performance in both engineering and management. Hence, this research proposes a novel 2-stage method, which first uses self-organizing feature maps (SOMs) to determine the number of clusters and then employs a GA-based clustering method to find the final solution (it is defined as S + G in this research). The results of simulated data via a Monte Carlo study show that the proposed method outperforms the other 2 methods: K means, which uses SOM to determine the number of clusters, and SOM followed by K means, based on both within-cluster variations (SSW) and the number of misclassifications. To further verify the proposed approach, a real-world problem, wireless telecommunications industry market segmentation, is employed. The results also show that the proposed method has the lowest SSW among the 3 methods.
Vendor Screening in Information Technology Contracting With a Pilot Project BIBAFull-Text 61-88
  Eli M. Snir; Lorin M. Hitt
The growth in the information technology (IT) services market and the increasing tendency of firms to outsource some or all of their IT functions necessitate better mechanisms for selecting IT vendors. For most projects, there are a multitude of potential vendors that differ in quality and other aspects that are difficult to assess at the time of contracting. In addition, many projects have outcomes that are difficult to measure or verify by outside parties. As a result, mechanisms that require verifiability of outcome, such as incentive contracting, only provide limited benefits in vendor selection and in some cases are ineffective or counterproductive. This article presents an alternative mechanism for selecting high-quality vendors using a 2-stage contract. In the first stage, the client engages a vendor for a pilot project and observes the outcome. Using this observation, the client decides whether to continue the project to the second stage on prespecified terms or to terminate the project. By setting compensation for the pilot sufficiently low and establishing a threshold performance level for continuation, the client can offer a contract that is only attractive to high-quality vendors. Using game theoretic analysis we find that this contract performs better for the client than selection among seemingly equally qualified vendors. This mechanism is useful in settings where vendor quality is uncertain, and especially in situations in which a pilot project is undertaken for other reasons (e.g., demonstrating technical feasibility), where the benefits of this contracting mechanism can be realized at little incremental cost.

JOCEC 2004 Volume 14 Issue 2

A Behavioral Model of Digital Music Piracy BIBAFull-Text 89-105
  Ram D. Gopal; G. Lawrence Sanders; Sudip Bhattacharjee; Manish Agrawal; Suzanne C. Wagner
The increasing pervasiveness of the Internet, broadband connections, and the emergence of digital compression technologies have dramatically changed the face of digital music. Digitally compressed music files are essentially a perfect public economic good, and illegal copying of these files has increasingly become rampant. In this article, we present a study on the behavioral dynamics that impact the piracy of digital audio files and provide a contrast with software piracy. Our results indicate that the general ethical model of software piracy is broadly applicable to audio piracy. However, significant enough differences with software underscore the unique dynamics of audio piracy. We highlight practical implications that can help the recording industry to effectively combat piracy and provide future research directions.
Rapid Implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning Systems BIBAFull-Text 107-126
  Elgar Fleisch; Hubert Oesterle; Stephen Powell
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are integrated software systems for administration of all aspects of a business. A major hindrance to firms that wish to convert from existing legacy systems to ERP systems (such as SAP R/3) is that the process can take 12 to 18 months. This is an especially daunting length of time for small to midsize companies. Many ERP software vendors and consulting firms have developed methods for rapid systems integration, which, it is claimed, can cut implementation time to as little as 5 or 6 months. In this article, we explore the experience of 4 small to midsize companies who implemented SAP R/3 using Accelerated SAP (ASAP), SAP's rapid implementation process.
   ASAP is a reference-process-based approach to implementing R/3. As such, it does not allow for extensive customization of business processes during implementation. Nevertheless, our study showed that R/3 can be implemented quickly and effectively in small- to medium-size firms. ASAP appears to provide the ingredients for a well-structured implementation project. By reducing project scope and complexity, it reduces consulting costs and project risks. By splitting the project into small units with clear short-term goals, it increases the motivation for the project team. Finally, it can form the basis for a continuous improvement effort in which business processes are tuned to the new ERP system.
Beyond Face-to-Face: A Field Study of Electronic Meetings in Different Time and Place Modes BIBAFull-Text 127-152
  Rob Anson; Bjorn Erik Munkvold
In this article, we present a field study of using an electronic meeting system to support actual meetings in 4 different time and place modes within a large company. The meeting descriptions provide concrete case illustrations of how different meeting modes can work, what types of effects can occur, and factors that contribute to success. Analysis of these meetings focuses on 3 main areas. First, commonalities and differences between these cases are examined to provide insights into how electronic meetings may be affected by the time-place mode in which they occur. Positive findings from previous field studies of EMS use in face-to-face meetings are found to extend to distributed meeting environments. This includes increased productivity, more active participation, and increased buy in and ownership of the meeting results. The distributed meeting modes are also found to impose new challenges related to facilitation and maintaining participation and engagement in the meetings. Among these cases are examples of meetings that use multiple time-place modes to accommodate different components of the overall meeting process. These multimode meetings represent a major trend in group work and provide new options for meeting design.

JOCEC 2004 Volume 14 Issue 3

CASE Tools Usage and Impact on System Development Performance BIBAFull-Text 153-174
  Moez Limayem; Mohamed Khalifa; Wynne W. Chin
Research results concerning the use of computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tools and their impact on system development performance have been largely contradictory. Our objective in this study was to gain a better understanding of factors influencing CASE tools use and to explore the relation between the degree of their use and the resulting system development performance. We constructed a model explaining the contribution of different factors to CASE tools use and its subsequent effect on system development performance based on sound theories of human behavior. We then tested the model empirically with a survey. Data collected from 290 organizations showed that facilitating conditions (e.g., management support, internal expertise, established norms and standards), habits (i.e., where CASE tools use is routine and not consciously considered), and beliefs concerning improvements in the maintainability of systems developed with CASE tools have significant effects on CASE tools use. The data also showed that CASE tools have a significant effect on all performance aspects considered in our study, that is, systems development process (control and efficiency) as well as the product (quality and maintainability).
Network Flow Models for Electronic Barter Exchanges BIBAFull-Text 175-194
  Can Ozturan
Electronic barter exchange sites are starting to appear on the Internet. In this article, I present three models for direct bartering of items without the use of barter units. The first model allows bartering of items with single instances. The second model barters items with multiple instances. Finally, the third model allows bartering collection of single instance items for other collection of items. In these models, my main objective is to maximize the number of items that are bartered. I also discuss other objectives. I develop a minimum cost network flow based algorithm for the problems described by the first and the second models. I make use of directed hypergraphs and integer programming to solve NP-hard Model 3 problems. I believe that the first model can be suitable for Internet domain name bartering. The second model, on the other hand, can be useful for music or book bartering. Efficient software is readily available for the minimum cost network flow problem and hence can be used for the solution of Model 1 and 2 problems.
Experimental Analysis of e-Employment Market Designs BIBAFull-Text 195-222
  Mark E. Nissen; William R. Gates
The majority of electronic (e) commerce research addresses markets and processes associated with the sale of products and services. However, in comparison with research addressing product and service markets, an important area of e-commerce has been relatively neglected: employment markets. In this article, we integrate the key economic and technological elements required to design robust electronic employment markets, and we present empirical results from a pilot experiment comparing performance for a human-based job assignment process to alternative market designs and technologies. In particular, we examined the performance of people equipped with varying levels of technological support ranging from no support through use of a decision support system to total automation of the tasks. The results provide insight into the relative capabilities of people and machines in this domain, and they provide guidance for electronic-employment market design.

JOCEC 2004 Volume 14 Issue 4

Quality Dimensions in E-Commerce Software Tools: An Empirical Analysis of North American and Japanese Markets BIBAFull-Text 223-241
  M. S. Krishnan; Ramanath Subramanyam
Are customers in different countries alike in their preferences for similar software products? In this article, we examine the relative importance of 5 dimensions of product quality across customers from North America and Japan. Based on data collected from over 400 customers of a representative sample of electronic- (e-) commerce software products, we tested the relative importance of these quality dimensions for differences across samples from North America and Japan. We use Bayesian analysis for analyzing the average influence of each attribute on the overall customer satisfaction as well as the variability of each attribute across the two samples. Our findings indicate that the importance of quality attributes is significantly different in North American and Japanese samples. We find that although usability dominates other attributes in North American data, Japanese customers place emphasis on functionality and capability of software products. Our results provide managerial implications for the designers of global software applications, especially in the domain of e-commerce.
Commitment, Trust, and Social Involvement: An Exploratory Study of Antecedents to Web Shopper Loyalty BIBAFull-Text 243-268
  Jason Bennett Thatcher; Joey F. George
Winning customer loyalty is viewed as a priority by many electronic (e) businesses. Grounded in the theory of reasoned action, our proposed model suggests that commitment is a key attitudinal antecedent to Web shopper loyalty. In the model, we introduce trust in the Internet and social involvement in a Web consumption community as moderators of the commitment-loyalty relation. The model was tested using data from a survey of Web users. Preliminary results provide general support for commitment as a determinant of loyalty and social involvement magnifying the strength of that relation. Trust in the Internet did not attenuate the commitment-loyalty relation. We offer implications and directions for future research.
Perceived Threats and Opportunities: A Preliminary Model of the Book Retailer Internet Presence Decision BIBAFull-Text 269-283
  Michelle L. Kaarst-Brown; J. Roberto Evaristo
During the tremendous evolution of Internet technologies and the emergence of firms such as Amazon.com, large and small book retailers have struggled with the decision of when and how to adopt an Internet presence-some would still argue if they should adopt. The book retailing industry's dilemmas epitomize much of the retailing business in that it is composed of large and small players of varying experience and resources. This article draws on the literature, media articles, and preliminary interview examples from book retailing to present a conceptual model of Internet adoption based on perceived threats and opportunities in 5 categories. These 5 areas of potential threat or opportunity include perceptions about firm characteristics, Web retailing experience, the competitive environment, internal resources, and external resources. We propose that the combination of these perceptions influence very specifically the choice to adopt an Internet presence and the strategy of the site. In particular, we propose that experience and resources will moderate the nature of Internet adoption. The balance of our article explores the rationale for this argument.
Design and Development of an M-Commerce Environment: The E-CWE Project BIBAFull-Text 285-303
  Zakaria Maamar; Hamdi Yahyaoui; Wathiq Mansoor
We discuss the use of software agents in the design and development of an m-commerce environment. Software agents are considered because of their features, such as autonomy, sociability, and mobility. Users are currently struggling to complete their e-commerce transactions. For instance, they have to adapt their behaviors when they browse e-commerce sites. Conducting similar transactions from wireless devices (e.g., mobile phones) requires new approaches. Multiple issues, which vary from low bandwidth and high latency to screen sizes, are raised. The E-Commerce Through Wireless Devices project aims at investigating techniques and offering solutions to support users in undertaking m-commerce transactions.