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Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce 13

Editors:Andrew B. Whinston
Publisher:Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Standard No:ISSN 1054-1721
Links:Table of Contents
  1. JOCEC 2003 Volume 13 Issue 1
  2. JOCEC 2003 Volume 13 Issue 2
  3. JOCEC 2003 Volume 13 Issue 3/4

JOCEC 2003 Volume 13 Issue 1

Expert-Finding Systems for Organizations: Problem and Domain Analysis and the DEMOIR Approach BIBA 1-24
  Dawit Yimam-Seid; Alfred Kobsa
Computer systems that augment the process of finding, in an organization or worldwide, the appropriate expert for a given problem are becoming more feasible than ever as a result of the prevalence of corporate intranets and the Internet. In this article, we investigate such systems in 2 parts. First, we explore the expert-finding problem in depth, review and analyze existing systems in this domain, and suggest a domain model that can serve as a framework for design and development decisions. Second, on the basis of our analyses of the problem and solution spaces, we bring to light the gaps that remain to be addressed. Finally, after this two-part investigation, we present our approach, called DEMOIR (dynamic expertise modeling from organizational information resources), which is a modular architecture for expert-finding systems that is based on a centralized expertise-modeling server but also incorporates decentralized components for expertise information gathering and exploitation.
Analysis of Electronic Commerce Adopter Categories in Retailing: The Case of Automobile Dealerships BIBA 25-55
  Juhani Iivari; Marius Janson
On the basis of a qualitative analysis of semistructured interviews of 7 automobile dealerships in Oulu, Finland, we uncovered 4 themes: strategic understanding of electronic commerce (eCommerce), technological understanding of eCommerce, maturity of the Web site supporting eCommerce, and eCommerce developmental strategy. These themes allowed us to make sense in a succinct way of the similarities and differences among these automobile dealerships. Ranking the 7 dealerships on these 4 themes (dimensions) yielded consistent patterns and led us to identify adopter categories of eCommerce. We suggest 3 major adopter categories: procrastinators, followers, and visionaries. Followers are further divided into opportunists, waverers, and striders. Analysis of the histories of Web sites also showed that the existence of a Web site as such and its operational use are not sufficient to trigger effective learning about eCommerce. We suggest that learning at the levels of strategic understanding and technological understanding of eCommerce is a joint outcome of eCommerce developmental strategy and the Web site maturity rather than either of them separately. The interviews also showed that the dealers with higher strategic and technological understanding had a more active eCommerce developmental strategy and more mature Web sites. This finding led us to conjecture that the developmental strategy and the Web site maturity are influenced by both strategic understanding and technological understanding.
Understanding the Electronic Commerce Cycles of Change BIBA 57-72
  Naveen Erasala; John "Skip" Benamati
Internet and electronic commerce (EC) technologies continue to create unprecedented capabilities. However, many organizations struggle with how to apply them appropriately. In this article, we describe a model of the effects of rapidly evolving EC capabilities on organizations.
   The model proposes that Internet and EC Technologies influence Competitive Environments and lead to new EC-based Business Strategies. The information demands of new Business and Organization Models designed to implement these strategies necessitate changes to Information Systems in firms.
   The model also proposes that two cycles of EC change exist. First is an internal cycle in which Business Strategies drive new Business and Organization Models, which in turn require new Information Systems capabilities. These capabilities enable the implementation of more new Business Strategies. Externally, new Information Systems requirements prompt new Internet and EC Technologies, which further influence the Competitive Environment; hence, second is the external cycle. Some researchers think that these cycles will not only continue, but also accelerate.
   This research provides a model and suggests avenues for further study of EC-invoked change. It also furnishes organizations with an understanding so that they can better position themselves to compete as EC capabilities are applied in their individual industries.

JOCEC 2003 Volume 13 Issue 2

Impact of Mobile Computing Terminals in Police Work BIBA 73-89
  Manish Agrawal; H. R. Rao; G. L. Sanders
A major metropolitan police department in the Northeast recently began using mobile-computing terminals (MCTs). This research explores how MCTs have improved critical factors that affect the work environment of the officers in the department, particularly related to deterrence and job satisfaction. Amodel for investigation is developed and tested using a survey instrument administered to officers using the MCTs. We find that MCTs have enabled better communication among officers and have increased the availability of information, both of which are found to have a significant positive impact on the officers' job satisfaction. Savings in time from plate checks are found to have a significant impact on deterrence. However, though the availability of information from MCTs has a positive impact on deterrence, the relationship is not very significant.
A Meta-Analysis of Research on Information Technology Implementation in Small Business BIBA 91-121
  G. Premkumar
The small business sector is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. The firms in this sector are becoming increasingly dependent on information systems (IS) for their operations. Traditional research in IS has primarily focused on large corporations. The problems, opportunities, and management issues encountered by small business in the IS area are unique, and research is too limited to provide useful guidelines. This study compares the research literature on IS implementation and research on IS in small business, examines the commonality and differences, and identifies research gaps. An overall research framework is developed to review the research in the two areas and determine areas of opportunity. As a follow-up of this analysis, a research model is developed to explore the factors influencing the adoption of computer-mediated communication technologies in small business. The model incorporates some of the innovation factors that are identified as potential gaps in the earlier analysis. The research model evaluates the impact of 6 factors-perceived usefulness, cost, compatibility, top management support, competitive advantage, and size-on the adoption of computer-mediated communications technologies. A telephone interview was used to collect data from 207 firms. The results of data analysis reveal that competitive advantage, top management support, and size are important determinants of adoption of computer-mediated communication technologies.
An Empirical Investigation of the Determinants of User Acceptance of Internet Banking BIBA 123-145
  Patrick Y. K. Chau; Vincent S. K. Lai
The growth in the use of the Internet as a distribution channel of products and services offered by various businesses has been phenomenal. One such application is Internet banking services. As more and more financial institutions are finding ways to utilize Internet technologies to launch Internet banking services, an important issue is to understand what factors will impact the decisions of customers in adopting the service. Based on Davis's technology acceptance model with 4 additional variables that are theoretically justified as having influence on perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use, a research model for the investigated technology acceptance was developed and empirically examined, using responses from more than 160 intended users of the technology. Results of the data analysis generally support the model as well as 7 of 8 of the proposed hypotheses. In particular, personalization, alliance services, task familiarity, and accessibility were found to have significant influence on perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use, which, in turn, were found to be important factors in fostering a positive attitude toward accepting the services. Several implications for both research and practice have emerged and are discussed.
e-Health Models Leading to Business-to-Employee Commerce in the Human Resources Function BIBA 147-161
  Fay Cobb Payton
Evidence of new forms of information tools via the World Wide Web increasingly indicate that business-to-consumers e-commerce models require real-time data that enable users to make informative decisions. Although the Web has provided a variety of e-health sites, these sites have offered little in the way of enabling the human resources (HR) function. This article examines health care consumers' views of an existing health maintenance selection process. Data are gathered from employees of a southeastern university that offers a myriad of health maintenance organization (HMO) services. The findings suggest that HR-enabled health care Web portals must include consumer-defined features such as rank-ordered preferences by employees, privacy/security functions, and electronic enrollment during the HMO selection process. Despite these results, participants in the survey did not advocate the elimination of human interaction in this effort, instead supporting the concept of business-to-employee commerce.

JOCEC 2003 Volume 13 Issue 3/4

Advances in B2B e-Commerce and E-Supply Chain Management Guest Editors' Introduction BIB 163-165
  Norman M. Sadeh; Jae Kyu Lee
The Impact of Electronic Commerce on Procurement BIBA 167-189
  Benjamin P.-C. Yen; Elsie O. S. Ng
Internet technology has been increasingly used to enhance the global competitiveness of various business applications through the widespread electronic commerce (EC) functions. Many Internet-based systems have been designed and developed for supply chain management (SCM) in various areas such as computer, garment, and publishing industries, which mainly center on communication infrastructure, coordination between production and distribution, and procurement functions with security mechanisms. However, EC is not a panacea. On many occasions, participants (including buyers, sellers, and enablers) face various risks and overhead during the deployment of a new technology. In this article, we present the impact of EC on procurement processes in supply chains, highlighting the issues of buyers, sellers, and the transaction processes involved. The procurement processes are classified into preprocurement (sourcing), procurement (quotation, negotiation, order placement, and transaction), and postprocurement (delivery). Moreover, a four-phase migration model of procurement onto the Internet is introduced to illustrate the technical, security, and financial requirements in the deployment process of EC. The migration model not only gives a development guideline of procurement functions, but also provides an evaluation framework of e-procurement. An industrial example is used to illustrate the corresponding evolution as a result of EC deployment. The paper concludes with a summary of EC impact and future research directions.
Intelligent Cyber Logistics Using Reverse Auction in Electronic Commerce BIBA 191-209
  Woo Seok Jeong; Sun Gwan Han; Geun Sik Jo
In electronic markets, customers can purchase products online. In addition, the seller or an Internet shopping mall has to deliver the products to the buyers. Transportation agencies can be chosen to deliver the products from an Internet shopping mall. Much research about efficient and automatic delivery scheduling has been carried out on delivery-ordering. By and large, transportation agencies need to maintain not only a cooperative relationship but also a competitive relationship among themselves to meet with customers' preferences for their purchases. This article suggests an intelligent, cyber-logistic framework as a multiagent system and presents designs for an intelligent software-agent structure to maintain this cooperative and competitive relationship. This intelligent cyber-logistic system consists of shopping mall agents, a broker agent, and delivery and scheduling agents. These components, based on the concept of reverse auction, lead to improvement in the overall system efficiency as well as increased profits for each transportation company. Traditionally, in researching vehicle routing problems (VRP), the cooperative and competitive relationships among the transportation companies have not been addressed. However, in this article, we have addressed these issues. We also suggest the reverse method of auction, which solves VRP for their own trucks to provide the transportation of goods for the shopping malls. After finding their own solution, the transportation company can bid with its own cost of delivery. We have used the constraint satisfaction problems solving method to conduct truck scheduling for each transportation agency. To perform the delivery-ordering process between agents, we have defined the logisticsKQML to represent the message protocol of upper level. Finally, we have evaluated the cyber-logistic system using reverse auction by a simulation experiment and have discussed further research and drawn conclusions.
E-Business Adoption by SMEs -- Prerequisites and Attitudes of SMEs in a Swedish Network BIBA 211-223
  Carina Ihlstrom; Malin Nilsson
The context for this research is the transformation process of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from traditional (t-) businesses toward e-businesses and the accompanying development of the knowledge and competence among employees. SMEs constitute a great part of the Swedish industry and economy. This and the fact that they have special prerequisites concerning human and technology resources makes SMEs an interesting research focus when looking at the transformation process toward e-business. The aim of this research is to investigate SMEs with the purpose of designing, implementing, and evaluating information technology-supported activities that will allow SMEs to approach e-business. This article presents results from parts of an ongoing study, that involves seven SMEs. This study will be conducted in two main phases: first, informative and preparatory activities and second, business transformation and competence development activities. This article focuses on the first phase of the study, but an insight in its current status and further research is given. The underlying prerequisites for SMEs as well as the research approach are described. A working model is presented that illustrates stages of maturity for taking an enterprise toward e-business. The last sections present the research design, that is, planning, actions, observations, and reflections of the study up until now. New actions to take are discussed at the end of this article.
Agent-Based E-Supply Chain Decision Support BIBA 225-241
  Norman M. Sadeh; David W. Hildum; Dag Kjenstad
The global Internet economy is expected, over time, to give rise to increasingly agile practices where new supply chain arrangements are dynamically set up in response to changing business conditions and demands for highly customized products and services. To implement these "e-supply chain" practices, enterprises need the ability to rapidly evaluate new business opportunities and dynamically identify the best potential supply chain partners to respond to them. They also need the ability to effectively coordinate production and delivery of goods or services across the resulting value chains. In this article, we introduce MASCOT, an agent-based decision support environment for dynamic supply chain management. MASCOT agents help users distributed across multiple organizations and across different levels within a given enterprise to collaborate on the development and revision of supply chain solutions, as they evaluate different business opportunities (e.g., requests for bids from potential customers) and different sourcing options. This article also discusses new coordination protocols, developed within the context of MASCOT and aimed at better exploiting the power of finite capacity scheduling functionality across the supply chain. Empirical results are presented quantifying the benefits afforded by these new protocols under different loads and supply chain configurations.
An Integrated System Supporting Virtual Consortia in the Construction Sector BIBA 243-265
  Christos Halaris; Simon Kerridge; Georgia Bafoutsou; Gregory Mentzas; Susan Kerridge
Work in today's economic organizations is either performed through the execution of continuous operations or through the implementation of one-off projects; hence one can distinguish between "operation-centric" and "project-centric" business environments. New information and communication technologies facilitate the introduction of innovative organizational structures in both environments. Based on the term "virtual organization," which is used for describing the new organizational structures in operation-centric environments, we introduce the term "virtual consortium" for project-centric environments and provide an analysis of the business processes of a virtual consortium. We concentrate on the construction sector, as one of the most suitable application domains to test the new concept and related systems. Focusing on one of the most critical processes of a virtual consortium, the bidding/tendering process, we review the existing information systems available on the Internet, which support this process for construction projects. Our results show that although there are a substantial number of systems that support searching for call for tenders, few of them provide support for other vital elements of the bidding/tendering process, such as robust collaboration facilities for the virtual consortium formation and for the management of the bid. We then present the SupplyPoint system, which has been developed in order to electronically support and automate the whole tendering/bidding process of virtual consortia. SupplyPoint provides-in addition to what existing systems already do-a collaboration platform that facilitates, in a virtual manner, the formation of consortia.
A Multiagent Model for Coordinated Distribution Chain Planning BIBA 267-287
  Sergio Cavalieri; Vittorio Cesarotti; Vito Introna
The aim of this article is to show the advantages that the use of a multiagent model can provide in implementing vertical and lateral coordination among the components of a noncentralized distribution chain. This model has been implemented in Java language in order to allow for the development of a Web-based decision support system that can perform the coordination strategies, simulated in this article in a real logistics chain.
   This article, after introducing the main concepts related to the adoption of coordination mechanisms within a supply chain, the main issues of agent-oriented technology, and a brief review of the related literature, presents the structure of the proposed model and the static and dynamic behaviors of the decision-making agents. The design issues of specific coordination models, the negotiation mechanisms introduced, and their proper tuning are then discussed. The models have been applied to a real two-level distribution system of an electromechanical company, made up of a supplier and a geographically distributed network of retailers. Experimental results showed the benefits derived from the adoption of coordination-based models, above all in supply contexts, characterized by relevant information sharing among the main tiers of the chain.
Buyer-Carts for B2B EC: The b-Cart Approach BIBA 289-308
  Gyoo Gun Lim; Jae Kyu Lee
To support the purchasing process in the B2B EC platform, we analyzed various architectures of buyer-carts. The desired features in buyer-carts are collection, recording, trashing, tracking, identification, ordering, payment, purchasing decision support, and transmission of records to e-procurement systems. A buyer-cart can be categorized as s-cart, i-cart, and b-cart depending upon its residing sites: seller, intermediary, and buyer. To design the architectures of B2B e-marketplaces considering the role of buyer-carts, we analyzed the feasible combinations of marketplace operators, pricing mechanisms, and types of buyer-carts. Seventeen elementary types of B2B EC architectures turned out meaningful in this regard, thus their pros and cons are evaluated. Based on this framework, we designed a composite architecture MyCart, which allows the buyer to use b-cart along with s-cart and i-cart. By using the b-cart, a buyer can visit multiple sites collecting information in his or her own cart. This will allow the tight integration of b-cart with the e-procurement system. We demonstrate that the b-cart approach can be an effective framework of integrating the e-marketplaces with e-procurement systems and ERP systems. The b-cart can be very effectively applied to the desktop purchasing environment which uses external e-marketplaces.