Special Issue: A Global Perspective on Electronic Commerce

Doug Vogel and Joze Gricar, Guest Editors
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 2, Number 3, Spring 1998, pp. 3.

Abstract: The working title for this special issue was “small countries with big footprints.” This title seemed appropriate given that electronic commerce is relatively independent of the geographic and demographic constraints that have historically affected technology use and diffusion. The five countries represented in this special issue cumulatively have less than 1 percent of the world’s population and four of the countries (Ireland, the Netherlands, Singapore, and Slovenia) occupy less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the world’s land mass. Australia is an anomaly with a large land area but small population. These small countries are generally recognized as world leaders in electronic commerce.

In this special issue, we examine what is occurring in these countries and reflect on the impact they are having on the world and its progression into the twenty-first century-the age of electronic commerce. In “Factors Influencing the Adoption of the Internet,” Margaret Tan and Thompson Teo examine the factors influencing the adoption (and non-adoption) of the Internet among organizations in Singapore. The results demonstrate that key benefits are derived from the global nature of the Internet, which enables access to worldwide information and creation of worldwide electronic presence.

In “Using Electronic Commerce to Focus a Country: The Case of Slovenia,” Doug Vogel and Joze Gricar illustrate how technology in general and electronic commerce in particular is being used to give Slovenia a self-supporting infrastructure and an international presence. Special attention is given to demonstrating how cooperation between academics, government, and industry is achieved in practice to promote electronic commerce.

In “A Combined-Method Study of Small Business Internet Commerce,” Simpson Poon and Paula Swatman demonstrate that, by combining survey techniques with case study research, quantitative and qualitative data can be obtained for a better understanding of small business Internet commerce. They conclude that such a multidimensional understanding is necessary as a foundation for future longitudinal studies and hypothesis generation.

In “Modeling Participant Perspectives in an IOS Environment: Exploring the Potential of Soft Systems Tools,” Pat Finnegan and Colin O’Brien investigate the importance of incorporating participant perspectives within an interorganizational system. The research findings illustrate various factors that proved relevant in the incorporation and consideration of participant perspectives in interorganizational environments in Ireland. In “Designing Trustworthy Interorganizational Trade Procedures for Open Electronic Commerce,” Roger Bons, Ronald Lee, and RenĂ© Wagenaar from the Netherlands present the first steps toward establishing a theory on the auditing of interorganizational (trade) procedures. They show how this theory could be supported by an automated tool and how this analysis process is conducted. These five “small countries with big footprints” have approached electronic commerce from different perspectives and national strengths, but their contributions cut across national boundaries and have an effect beyond their collective populations and geographic size.

The logo of the annual conference on electronic commerce held in Bled, Slovenia, shown below reflects the interaction of industry, government, university, and technology in electronic commerce. The papers in this special issue are from the Bled conference, which offers a forum for discussion and symposiums that bring together academic, business, and government leaders with a common focus on electronic commerce.

DOUG VOGEL is associate professor of management information systems (MIS) at the University of Arizona and professor of MIS at the City University of Hong Kong. He received his M.S. in computer science from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1972 and his Ph.D. in MIS in 1986 from the University of Minnesota, where he was also research coordinator for the MIS Research Center. Professor Vogel’s current interests bridge the business and academic communities in addressing questions of the impact of management information systems on aspects of group problem-solving, education, electronic commerce, and organizational productivity.

JOZE GRICAR is professor of information systems and chair of the Information Systems Department in the Faculty of Organizational Sciences at the University of Maribor, Slovenia. He has a master’s degree in management and a Ph.D. in information systems from the University of Ljubljana. His current research includes electronic commerce and electronic data interchange, process reengineering, and executive support. He also serves as director of the Center for the Study of Electronic Commerce at the University of Maribor and is conference committee chair of the annual Bled Electronic Commerce Conference in Slovenia.