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Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce 16

Editors:Andrew B. Whinston
Publisher:Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Standard No:ISSN 1054-1721
Links:Table of Contents
  1. JOCEC 2006 Volume 16 Issue 1
  2. JOCEC 2006 Volume 16 Issue 2
  3. JOCEC 2006 Volume 16 Issue 3/4

JOCEC 2006 Volume 16 Issue 1

On Automated e-Business Negotiations: Goal, Policy, Strategy, and Plans of Decision and Action BIBA 1-29
  Haifei Li; Stanley Y. W. Su; Herman Lam
In recent years, there has been increasing interest in automated e-business negotiations. The automation of negotiation requires a decision model to capture the negotiation knowledge of policymakers and negotiation experts so that the decision-making process can be carried out automatically. Current research on automated e-business negotiations has focused on defining low-level tactics (or negotiation rules) so that automated negotiation systems can carry out automated negotiation processes. These low-level tactics are usually defined from a technical perspective, not from a business perspective. There is a gap between high-level business negotiation goals and low level tactics. In this article, we distinguish the concepts of negotiation context, negotiation goals, negotiation strategy, and negotiation tactics and introduce a formal decision model to show the relations among these concepts.
   We show how high-level negotiation goals can be formally mapped to low-level tactics that can be used to affect the behavior of a negotiation system during the negotiation process. In business, a business organization faces different negotiation situations (or contexts) and determines different sets of goals for different negotiation contexts. In our decision model, a business policymaker sets negotiation goals from different perspectives, which are called goal dimensions. A negotiation policy is a functional mapping from a negotiation context to some quantitative measures (or goal values) for the goal dimensions to express how competitive the policymaker wants to reach that set of goals.
   A negotiation expert who has the experience and expertise to conduct negotiations would define the negotiation strategies needed for reaching the negotiation goals. Formally, a negotiation strategy is a functional mapping from a set of goal values to a set of decision-action rules that implement negotiation tactics. The selected decision-action rules can then be used to control the execution of an automated negotiation system, which conducts a negotiation on behalf of a business organization.
An Empirical Study About the Impacts of China's Accession to the WTO on the Telecommunications Industry in China BIBA 31-50
  Xiang Fang; David C. Yen
Post-China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), China's telecommunication industry now needs to face a much stronger competition in a relatively open market that has a number of diverse rivalries. There are specific benefits and risks associated with both domestic telecommunication (telecom) companies and foreign investors in the telecommunication or information technology area. To meet with these new challenges and take advantage of the competitive, strategic advantages to penetrate the market, both China's telecom industry and foreign investors must understand the impacts of China's accession to the WTO on its telecommunication industry and hence make the necessary adjustments and/or implementation improvements. In specific, we carefully examine the impacts such as prices, quality, and local protectionism in this article. We draw the findings based on the data collected from a survey and the resulting statistic analysis.
The Effect of Buyer Feedback Scores on Internet Auction Prices BIBA 51-64
  Zoonky Lee; Il Im; Sang Jun Lee
One of the major roles of Internet intermediaries is to help build trust between buyers and sellers for efficient and safe transactions. The buyer feedback system started in online auctions as one of the trust-building mechanisms on the Internet. As the buyer feedback system is becoming a standard trust-building mechanism in other ecommerce sites as well as in online auction, there is an increasing interest about the impact of the buyer feedback system.
   On the top of recent studies investigating the effects of buyer feedback scores on auction prices, we provide empirical validations using more sophisticated methods. In this study, we tested the relationship between buyer feedback scores and bidding prices using an empirical data set from a leading consumer-to-consumer (C2C) Internet auction site. Data analysis results show a strong empirical validation of previous studies. Negative feedback is a significant price discount factor in the final auction price on the C2C Internet auction market. The results also show that potential buyers are more sensitive to negative feedback when they are considering buying inherently risky products such as used or refurbished products.
An Experimental Study of Online Complaint Management in the Online Feedback Forum BIBA 65-85
  Sang Jun Lee; Zoonky Lee
In this study, we begin with the conjecture that the online feedback forum is important with regard to managing reputation and in attracting potential customers in the initial stage of unknown online stores. Using reference influences in marketing and existing information systems (IS) literature on the role of feedback in the electronic market, we developed hypotheses exploring the relations among previous customers' feedback in the online forum, successful complaint management against the negative feedback, and potential costumers' initial trust toward online retailers. In an experimental study, we tested the hypotheses using 68 college students that visit a forged online retailer selling used notebook computers. Our results show that stores can recover from potentially damaged reputations through effective complaint management. The results also implicate that negative feedback adversely affects initial trust.

JOCEC 2006 Volume 16 Issue 2

Internet Security: A Novel Role/Object-Based Access Control for Digital Libraries BIBA 87-103
  Su-Shing Chen; Chee-Yoong Choo; Randy Y. Chow
Internet-based, real-world applications require appropriate security mechanisms because potentially millions of users and their agents (or participants) will access billions of objects of information content in complex workflow processes (e.g., commerce, learning, healthcare). Security is one of the strategic technologies that will increase the value and utility of the Internet and Internet-based applications. Traditional security issues deal with the authentication and authorization of users in network domains. Today there are numerous novel security issues concerning users, information content, and application systems in information domains. Among these, we will consider a novel role/object-based access control mechanism for both participants and objects in workflow processes of information domains. In particular, we will present our implementation of this mechanism for digital libraries.
Information Privacy in the Service Sector: An Exploratory Study of Health Care and Banking Professionals BIBA 105-122
  Julia Brande Earp; Fay Cobb Payton
Service industries, such as health care and banking, process large amounts of sensitive customer data in their daily transactions. The information obtained from this data frequently supports the competitive strategies of organizations while concurrently causing uncertainty and concern from the customer. Furthermore and given the service orientation of these data, poor data quality can result in extensive social and economic impacts. As a result, data practices and the employees who process the data must be managed in a cautious and thorough manner to thwart any privacy violations. This article explores employees' privacy orientation in their respective sector, health care or banking, through a parsimonious 15-item instrument. Our results indicate that health care professionals are largely concerned about errors in patient information whereas banking professionals are concerned about improper access of customer information -- thereby suggesting differences in perceived privacy practices among these 2 service sectors. Several explanations are offered for the concerns that surfaced from the 2 groups. Therefore, our results build on a data quality hierarchical framework consisting of accuracy, appropriate amount of data, accessibility, and access security. Our results hold public policy, legal, and security implications to the managerial staff at both health care and banking organizations. To date, there has been little research that gives substantial insight into the privacy practices of service industry workers, such as banking and health care employees. In this article, we discuss the implications of these findings and suggest directions for future research.
User Assessment of Internet-Based Negotiation Support Systems: An Exploratory Study BIBA 123-148
  Rudolf Vetschera; Gregory Kersten; Sabine Koeszegi
The Web-based negotiation support system (NSS) Inspire has been used in experimental negotiations by over 2,000 students and professionals worldwide. Feedback from a survey conducted among the users shows that more than 80% would use a NSS similar to Inspire to prepare and practice negotiations and 61% would use such a system to conduct actual negotiations. In this article we present an assessment model for Internet-based systems (AMIS) to analyze factors that led to this attitude. The empirical results indicate that the intention to use a system in the future is strongly influenced by the users' assessment of the system. Furthermore, users differentiate between various components of a NSS, and analytical features are evaluated differently from communication features. In addition, actual outcomes of negotiations and the users' experience as well as national culture strongly influence system assessment. We conclude that (a) there is generally a relatively positive attitude towards new technologies such as Web-based NSS, (b) that user characteristics need to be considered to develop effective negotiation support, and (c) that acceptance of different features of a system can vary to a considerable extent for users having a different background.
The More We Study, the Less We Learn: A Primer on the Analysis of TML Effectiveness BIBA 149-176
  Ruey-lin Hsiao; Feng-yang Kuo; Tsai-hsin Chu
How do we know whether certain arrangements for TML (technology mediated learning) bring about effective learning results? Previous TML studies have examined this issue mainly by analyzing technological features, instructional methods, and learners' characteristics. Less attention has been paid to the learning context within which learners' practices are based. For this reason, our research was to analyze the learning outcome of TML through the mutual influence of technology and the instructional method on the psychological learning process in a given context. The analysis is anchored in a synchronous online learning system called TrainNet in a corporate training environment. The findings indicate that TML's effectiveness depends not only on technological features and the instructional method but also on whether the learning context and its underlying psychological foundation are reflected in the instructional design. This study reports an adaptation of TML that moves away from direct lecturing to the situated learning model within which technicians negotiate meaning and construct understanding in their community-of-practice. The TML implementer could benefit from this learning-context perspective by offering an instructional design that would consider collectively the congruence of technology, instruction, and context to promote an enhanced impact on learners.

JOCEC 2006 Volume 16 Issue 3/4

Introduction to the Special Issue on Virtual Communities and Personalization in E-Commerce BIB 177-178
  Petra Schubert; Nicholas C., Jr. Romano; Jerry L. Fjermestad
What Is Personalization? Perspectives on the Design and Implementation of Personalization in Information Systems BIBA 179-202
  Haiyan Fan; Marshall Scott Poole
In e-commerce and mobile commerce, personalization has been recognized as an important approach element in customer relationships and Web strategies. However, there are wide differences in how this concept is defined, characterized, and implemented in the literature. In this article we present a high-level framework for classifying approaches to personalization that delineates fundamental assumptions about personalization in the literature and relates them to strategies for developing personalization systems. The framework consists of 2 parts: (a) a set of perspectives on personalization that guide the design of personalization systems at a general level and (b) a scheme for classifying how personalization can be implemented. The personalization perspectives represent 4 distinct schools of thought on the nature of personalization distilled from the literature of several fields. These perspectives are ideal types and we discuss them in terms of the motivation they supply for personalization, the goals and means of personalization, and the ways in which they conceptualize and model users. The implementation classification scheme is constructed on 3 dimensions of implementation choices. These 3 dimensions pertain to what to personalize (content, interface, functionality, channel), to whom to personalize (individuals or categories of individuals) as well as who does the personalization (implicit or explicit personalization). The personalization perspectives represent particular concepts of personalization that guide general design choices; these choices are implemented via the options described in the implementation classification scheme. The framework contributes to the development of a common theoretical basis for the study of personalization. We discuss implications of the framework for design of personalization systems and future research directions.
Legal Requirements for the Personalization of Commercial Internet Applications in Europe BIBA 203-221
  Petra Schubert; Mathias Kummer; Uwe Leimstoll
Most electronic-commerce (e-commerce) applications require the collection and storing of information about customers. As a consequence, the performed transactions involve legal issues. For 3 years, we have been involved in a project that has studied the potentials of personalization of e-commerce systems from the particular angle of small- and medium-sized enterprises. In this article, we pick up a couple of scenarios that many e-commerce vendors face when implementing personalization on their Web sites. The specific focus of the discussion is the legal use of costumer profiles for e-commerce applications. Because most legal issues are difficult to understand for nonlawyers, in this article, we make use of a case study, which shows explicitly what e-commerce vendors need to keep in mind when implementing personalization on their Web sites.
Inductive Regression Tree and Genetic Programming Techniques for Learning User Web Search Preferences BIBA 223-245
  Parag C. Pendharkar
Most Web search engines determine the relevancy of Web pages based on query terms, and a few content filtering applications allow consumers to block objectionable material. However, not many Web search engines and content filtering applications learn the user preferences over time. In this study, we proposed two machine-learning approaches that can be used to learn consumer preferences to identify documents that are most relevant to the consumer. We test the proposed machine learning approaches on a few simulated data sets. The results of our study illustrate that data mining approaches can be used to design intelligent adaptive agents that can select the relevant Web pages, given query terms, for the user.
Exploring Communication Activities in Online Communities: A Longitudinal Analysis in the Financial Services Industry BIBA 247-265
  Thomas Schoberth; Armin Heinzl; Jenny Preece
Online communities (OCs) are seen as important stimulus to electronic business. However, surprisingly little is known about how the communication activity of their participants develops and changes over time. A longitudinal study bears the potential to better elaborate the enabling and inhibiting factors of the participant's communication activity in OCs. To explore these phenomena, we aimed to develop a conceptual framework that serves as a foundation to guide an explorative data analysis of real OCs. We use the notions of common ground, information overload, interactivity, and social loafing to explain the communication activity of the participants in OCs. The empirically explored framework will help organizations to support the development of OCs and utilize them in an economically successful way.
   Based on a literature review, we developed a first conceptual framework. Then, we apply it to describe the development of the communication activity and its determinants in an OC hosted by a German financial service provider. In this study, we examined over 33,000 participants and 1.03 million messages over a period of 3 years. We found a strong effect of external factors on the size of this OC. The size of the OC showed no direct influence on the communication activity of the participants. However, in reaction to the increasing information load, communication strategies changed and herewith influenced the communication activity. The heterogeneity of the participant's activity was growing over time, and a small minority of participants wrote more and more of the postings.
Communicative Practices in Online Communication: A Case of Agreeing to Disagree BIBA 267-277
  Geoffrey Greenfield; John Campbell
Online communities have evolved beyond the realm of social phenomenon to become important knowledge-sharing media with real economic consequences. However, the sharing of knowledge and the communication of meaning through Internet technology presents many difficulties. This is particularly so for online finance forums where market-sensitive information and disinformation about exchange traded stocks is regularly disseminated. The development of trust and the effect of misinformation in this environment are important in the growth of this communication medium. Forum administrators need to better understand and handle the development of trust. In this article, we analyze and discuss the communicative practices of a group of investors and members of an online community of interest. We found that conflict as a driver of knowledge sharing is an important consideration for forum administrators and designers.
Exploring Success Factors of Virtual Communities: The Perspectives of Members and Operators BIBA 279-300
  Jan Marco Leimeister; Pascal Sidiras; Helmut Krcmar
Virtual communities have been the focus of research for some time. However, although many studies have provided recommendations on how to build, extend, and manage virtual communities, few have verified the success factors they have considered essential for virtual communities. Conclusions made regarding basic preferences and distinct priorities of different stakeholders in virtual communities have not been empirically substantiated. Building on previous work on success factors of virtual communities, in this article, we present a ranking of success factors discussed in the literature based on an online survey among operators and members of virtual communities in the German speaking Internet. Consequently, we identified and analyzed incongruencies between members and operators. This research gains first empirically validated insights into success factors for establishing and managing virtual communities. We derived recommendations for operators of virtual communities on the basis of the findings, and we present an agenda for future research in the field.
Designing Mobile Brand Communities: Concept and Empirical Illustration BIBA 301-323
  Catja Prykop; Mark Heitmann
Brand communities are a commonly used marketing instrument to enhance customer attraction and retention. Well-known success stories of brand communities include brands such as Jeep, Apple Macintosh, or Harley Davidson. Despite the great importance for companies to effectively manage the social facet of their products, research in this field has been rare. In literature, indications for success factors and constituting elements of communities have been found. However, seldom have viable business cases for the community operator been provided.
   We propose the mobile channel to be a particularly promising media for establishing brand communities. Due to the significant and still increasing worldwide penetration of mobile devices and current always-on location sensitive mobile services, innovative community concepts bear the potential for substantial value creation, which tends to result in positive effects on customer loyalty and brand equity for the community operator.
   In this article, we review selected literature to develop propositions on how concepts for mobile brand communities can be developed. Building on the 4 constituting elements of a community, which are member entities, shared interest, common space of interaction, and relation, combined with the specific characteristics of the mobile channel, which are location awareness, ubiquity, identification, and immediacy, we developed a procedure on how to design mobile brand communities according to perceived consumer value. We use the case of a mobile content provider to illustrate the suggested process. Starting from the theoretical mobile community model, we apply means-end chains to do justice to the specific brand values. In concluding, we propose a 4-step model of key mobile brand community design tasks.
Volunteerism and Virtual Community Business Success: The Case of the Internet Chess Club BIBA 325-343
  Mark Ginsburg; Suzanne Weisband
Prior work has identified, in piecemeal fashion, desirable characteristics of virtual community businesses (VCBs) such as inimitable information assets, persistent handles fomenting trust, and an economic infrastructure. To date, researchers have lacked convenient settings to collect participant data to gain insight into VCB governance and success factors. In this work, we addressed this gap and studied the Internet Chess Club (ICC), a successful business that offers a rich and accessible data source for the researcher.
   We started with an idealized VCB success framework that stressed the key role of the volunteers. We then used an integrated data collection architecture and performed statistical analysis on the ICC members' attitudes and activities. We identified specific attitude and use segments that represent regular member and volunteer subgroups and we show that these segments and their interplay support the framework we advanced at the outset. In our conclusion, we point out the general lessons that can be taken from this case and applied to other VCBs.
Virtual Community Use for Packaged Software Maintenance BIBA 345-365
  Helena Holmström; Brian Fitzgerald
In this study, we investigated the use of virtual communities for involving distributed customers in the maintenance of packaged software. On the basis of an empirical study, we suggest that virtual communities can be usefully leveraged for corrective, adaptive, and perfective software maintenance. Specifically, the virtual community allowed for quick discovery of bugs and a rich interaction between developers and customers in the categories of corrective and adaptive software maintenance. However, although contributing also to the perfective category of software maintenance, this was the category in which several customer suggestions for modification were actually ignored by the developers. This implies that community use is indeed beneficial for maintenance related to coding and design errors as well as for maintenance of an adaptive character. However, it has limitations when associated with major changes such as software functionality addition or modification as those experienced in the category of perfective maintenance.