Editor’s Introduction 12(1)

Vladimir Zwass
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 12, Number 1, Fall 2007, pp. 5.

Mobile commerce (m-commerce) is a major new frontier in e-commerce (EC), even if it is more new in the United States than in several other regions and countries of the world. A new frontier offers new opportunities. New markets and new strategies are being created. New organizational forms may emerge. There are already new ways of being in the world: It does not escape us that individuals are now able to apportion their presence (and indeed escape us, in a sense). The opportunities for multitasking multiply. Thus, attractive and important areas of study emerge on the individual level of analysis. Here, Pruthikrai Mahatanankoon carefully investigates how certain personality traits relate to text-messaging activities and to the intention of their holders to engage in m-commerce as consumers. The author uses the individual’s optimum stimulation level to develop and test a model relating innovativeness and playfulness to the above behaviors. The model may be expanded to account for further relevant personality traits. It can already be helpful to the marketers in m-commerce.

Mirabile dictu, EC research is past puberty. This calls for attention. Sang M. Lee, Taewon Hwang, and Jaekyung Kim analyze several aspects of diversity in EC research, as represented by the works published by the major EC journals, as well as in the leading scholarly periodicals in the fields of information systems and marketing. The authors see far greater diversity of various kinds in the leading specialized EC journals but perceive convergence to a common research ground in the leading journals of the two broader disciplines. The complementary roles of these two types of scholarly publications thus emerge, both of them serving further development of the EC field.

Event studies continue to be attractive means to assess the perceived impacts of major events affecting firms on the firms’ financial performance. A controversy surrounds the effects of major security breaches. Karthik Kannan, Jackie Ress, and Sanjay Sridhar show that the publicly available information about security breaches has no short- or longer-term effect on the breached firms’ market returns. This should not be seen as an incentive to be careless about security. Rather, organizations should become more willing to disclose breaches, so that common countermeasures can be developed.

In a society where the tempo of life and the virtual interactions in cyberspace intersect to form virtual temporary systems (say, a globally distributed task force working on a wiki-based system, or a pick-up political action rave), interest in swift trust is sure to come. Indeed, the means of establishing such trust are researched and implemented. Guangquan Xu, Zhiyong Feng, Huabei Wu, and Dexin Zhao analyze the phenomenon and present an analytical model to assess the value of swift trust and evaluate it experimentally. Owing to its salience and methodological strength, this work will certainly see expansion in the future.

Customer loyalty is assiduously sought in B2C marketplaces. Sumeet Gupta and Hee-Wong Kim argue that in order to prevent balking by one-time customers, Web vendors need to assess the implicit calculus customers engage in when making (or not making) a purchase decision on-line. Their interesting model and empirics differentiate between novice and repeat customers and show retailers how the factors in the consumers’ decision-making change with greater transaction experience. Marketers would do well to follow this change by addressing the changing beliefs of their customers to keep their loyalty.