Editor’s Introduction 9(3)

Vladimir Zwass
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 9, Number 3, Spring 2005, pp. 5.

The networked economy within which e-commerce takes place is an economy of people and not of machines or networks. It offers unprecedented opportunities for self-fulfillment and for attaining new levels of efficiency in organizing firms and marketplaces. It also surfaces unprecedented nontechnological issues that need to be dealt with if these benefits are to be accessed in a sustainable manner. Rolf T. Wigand and Yao-Hua Tan, the guest editors of the Special Section, have selected four papers that present very effectively the problems that emerge in this new space, and offer analyses and solutions that aim to alleviate the problems.

Far tighter supply-chain management is one of the potential benefits of e-commerce. Tighter supply chains, however, are also far more sensitive to uncertainty. The measurement of this uncertainty is thus of great importance. In the first paper of the general section, Chin-Fu Ho, Yen-Ping Chi, and Yi-Ming Tai present a validated model of supply-chain uncertainty, with a parsimonious set of uncertainty indicators. The model will be of assistance to everyone involved in supply-chain monitoring and will serve future researchers on electronic supply-chain management. Going from electronic hierarchies to electronic marketplaces, Wujin Chu, Beomjoon Choi, and Mee Ryoung Song study empirically the roles of brands and infomediaries in affecting consumer purchase intentions. The roles of both indeed prove to be high. Moreover, more subtle interaction effects are pointed out and explained. The results prove once again that simplistic thinking about the frictionless transactional B2C space is being replaced by a deeper understanding of the long-term, relational nature of this market.