Editor’s Introduction 15(1)

Vladimir Zwass
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 15 Number 1, Fall 2010, pp. 5.

With the ubiquity of the Internet-Web compound and the growth of digital production, the means of production, effort coordination, and product aggregation and distribution have almost moved into the commons or have, at any rate, become widely accessible. This has brought to the fore the phenomenon of co-creation, the creation of value by consumers. Some of the co-creation is done autonomously by the consumers and virtual communities, and the other vast segment is sponsored by organizations. In the opening paper of the issue, I attempt to offer an integrated perspective on co-creation as an area of practice and research. The intellectual space undergirding co-creation research is briefly analyzed, an inclusive taxonomy of co-creation is proposed, and the principal research directions are outlined, with the view toward further intensive pursuit of knowledge in this domain that should find its intellectual home in the transdisciplinary field of e-commerce.

The next paper of the issue investigates empirically the antecedents of loyalty to a virtual community (VC), considered to be the consequence of intense interaction within the community. Consequently, the authors, Yung-Cheng Shen, Chun-Yao Huang, Chia-Hsien Chu, and Hui-Chun Liao, analyze the prerequisites of the interpersonal interaction among community members. The authors propose and validate a model of VC loyalty that considers the factors leading to the social interaction and mutual influence among the members, leading on to VC loyalty. Members’ loyalty, properly understood as a deep commitment, is a key factor in a community’s success, and thus the work is of importance not only to researchers, but to the VC sponsors as well.

The Special Section on the Economics of Electronic Commerce, guest-edited by Eric K. Clemons, Robert J. Kauffman, and Thomas A. Weber, offers three papers on its subject. The works analyze the strategic issues of e-commerce using the tools of economics. They address, respectively, managing information access in the intraorganizational systems to balance the access needs of diverse employee categories with the security needs of the enterprise; value creation by the networks of firms organized on the information-technology platforms; and the adoption and diffusion of innovative business practices within and across enterprises. The Guest Editors will introduce the papers to you more closely.