Electronic Commerce Research and Applications Co-Editors’ Introduction for Volume 7, Issue 1

Publication Type

Journal Article

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We are fortunate to have a number of interesting contributions from both up-and-coming and very well-known scholars based in Europe, Asia and North America in this issue ofElectronic Commerce Research and Applications.

This issue begins with an article by Eric Clemons of the University of Pennsylvania and Gordon Guodong Gao of the University of Maryland. It is entitled ‘Consumer Informedness and Diverse Consumer Purchasing Behaviors: Traditional Mass-Market, Trading Down, and Trading Out into the Long Tail’. There are several noteworthy ideas behind this research. First, the Internet makes it possible today for consumers to become remarkably informed about what is available to suit their specific purchase needs and desires. Second, depending on the kind of purchases that they want to make, consumers still may experience uncertainty about the exact details of a product or service, and as a result, their willingness to pay may be negatively affected. Third, yet in the new digital marketplace, we find that many new competitors are entering the market to offer consumers ‘hyperdifferentiated’ products and services, which permit consumers to move ever closer to their ‘ideal’ purchases. Associated with these observations, the authors suggest the emergence of a ‘new science of consumer delight’ and the ensuing transformation of the market that has been made possible by information technology. Prof. Clemons was one of several keynote speakers at the 2007 International Conference on Electronic Commerce, held at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We heartily thank him and his coauthor for their ‘Distinguished Scholars Contribution’ to the published research at this journal.

The core set of research articles in this issue were developed by Karl Reiner Lang of City University of New York, and Zhangxi Lin of Texas Tech University. They have contributed a special issue called ‘Market Transformation in a Networked Global Economy’, the second of two issues with ties to the 2005 International Conference on Electronic Commerce held in Xi’an, China. Several of the articles in the issue were initially presented at that conference, while some others were invited and developed separately. All of the work on the issues was done with the guidance of ECRA Co-Editors, Rob Kauffman and Norman Sadeh. In lieu of providing any additional details on the contents of the special issue – the guest editors will do that in their introduction to the special issue – we should simply note that the range of topics that are represented suggests the high relevance of current research in e-commerce, and its capacity to span issues in electronic banking, consumer use of the Internet in China, e-supply chain management issues, investor responses to the changing e-commerce market, the multicasting of digital products, P2P business models and open source software strategies. The senior editorial team extends its gratitude for Karl and Zhangxi’s outstanding service to this journal. We are fortunate to have them as members of our editorial board, and we welcome this kind of contribution from other members of our editorial board, as well as proposals for special issues from industry and academic participants in the e-commerce research community.

This issue closes with a regular article by Isabelle Amelinckx of the University of Antwerp, Steve Muylle of Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, and Annouk Lievens also of the University of Antwerp – all in Belgium. Their piece is entitled ‘Extending Electronic Sourcing Theory: An Exploratory Study of Electronic Reverse Auction Outcomes’. The authors study the nature of buyer-supplier relationships in the context of reverse auctions for e-procurement. This work should be read as a theory development contribution. In particular, the authors extend the available theoretical knowledge we have about how four factors – auction design and format, buyer characteristics, produce and service characteristics, and service characteristics – influence a set of performance outcomes. The latter cover financial, operational and relationship-related aspects of supply chain management. The authors employed exploratory case study methods to achieve their research results. They selected five organizations to report on high and low attractiveness levels relative to the firms’ procurement needs, and high and low direct price savings from the firms’ use of reverse auctions. The authors find that it is possible for managers at reverse auction buyer firms to manipulate a number of important organizational and project-related success factors. These include senior management’s commitment, organizational support, cross-functional team readiness, Internet-based sourcing expertise, and the fairness of the reverse auction process. They further note that supplier market competition, supplier e-readiness, and supplier e-sourcing capabilities also play a role in moderating the outcomes that firms should expect to achieve from getting involved in e-procurement through reverse auctions on the Internet.

As ever, we would like to recognize the many reviewers who contributed their time, effort and good suggestions to the authors for how to make their research articles more effective. We owe them thanks, and encourage them to submit their own research to the journal. The co-editors will do our best to offer helpful and timely reviews, as well as quick decisions on submissions that don’t seem appropriate for a full peer review.

We want to share an important piece of news too. The Co-Editors invited Dr. Terry R. Payne of the School of Electronics and Computer Science, at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, to become a co-editor of this journal. He kindly accepted our invitation in late February 2008. Terry will be ECRA’s main representative to the global computer science and technology community. He is in the midst of assuming his duties now, and will be fully engaged in his new role prior to the release of Volume 7, Issue 2 of ECRA in the late spring this year. Terry has already been contributing to ECRA as an Associate Editor, and we value his efforts highly. We know the good quality of his work already, and expect him to be pivotal in our efforts to serve the CS community’s interests in e-commerce. Terry is also sharing Program Co-Chair responsibilities this year at the 2008 International Conference on Electronic Commerce in Innsbruck, Austria, so if you go there, please join us in welcoming him in person.

We also would like to congratulate Professor Norman Sadeh of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science. His efforts to move ECRA forward have been outstanding, and he’s been a great colleague to work with all along. Norman served as Coordinating Co-Editor in 2006 and 2007. During his tenure, the quality of the research articles accepted by the journal improved steadily. He also successfully solicited the involvement of computer science and business school faculty colleagues to serve on the editorial board, develop special issues, and provide other kinds of service to ECRA. One result is that it’s now more competitive than before to have your paper accepted by the journal; somewhat less than 20%, in fact, based on our last estimate. He was also successful in the past few years with finalizing arrangements so that this journal receives an ‘impact factor’. Thank you for all your service to ECRA, Norman. We appreciate your willingness to complete one more special issue on supply chain management games, and to continue to work to wrap up your portfolio of papers that are under review.

Regarding the impact factor for ECRA, please note that we recently updated the journal’s homepage to read as follows: ‘ECRA Receives ISI Accreditation. We are pleased to announce that ECRA has been accredited by ISI. The journal will be included in the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE), the Current Contents, Engineering, Computing & Technology (CC/ETC) index and the Current Contents Social & Behavioral Sciences (CC/SBS) index. Impact factors will be computed starting with Volume 4, representing articles from 2005. Because index factors are computed over a rolling two-year period, the first indices only will become available in 2008’. The news already seems to be drawing more submissions to the journal.

Starting with this issue, Professor Rob Kauffman of Arizona State University is now working as the new Coordinating Editor-in-Chief. Rob brings significant experience to his work with ECRA. He has previously been involved with the development of two special issues of the journal, one published in Spring 2005 on economics and electronic commerce, and another that is due out shortly on new research in the mobile payments arena. He has been serving on the editorial board as a co-editor for several years already, and will continue to encourage the associate editors and reviewers that he works with to do ‘developmental reviewing’, and find ways to assist authors to bring out the best in their research writing and scientific innovations. We wish him well and success in the leadership that he’s agreed to provide for ECRA.

If you have any ideas about how we can improve the contents, the quality and the operations of this journal, don’t hesitate to be in touch with any of us. We welcome qualified academic and industry research professors to contact us if they would like to serve as reviewers or editorial board members at ECRA. We can always use more helping hands from a range of disciplines and from all over the world.


Computer Sciences

Research Areas

Information Systems and Management


Electronic Commerce Research and Applications





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Elsevier B.V.

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