Editorial 19/1

Dear readers of Electronic Markets,

Welcome to the first issue of Electronic Markets’ 19th volume as well as the first issue of Electronic Markets with our new publisher Springer.

It includes a compelling research section which consists of two extended conference articles from the Bled Conference 2008 and three general research articles.

Last year’s Bled Conference covered the topic “e-Collaboration: Overcoming Boundaries through Multi-Channel Interaction”. Selected best papers of the conference have been invited and underwent the same rigorous review process like all submissions to Electronic Markets do. Both accepted papers deal with the topic of e-Collaboration.

The first paper, Mobile business models: organizational and financial design issues that matter, was authored by Mark de Reuver, Harry Bouwman and Timber Haaker. In their research they focus on how to design balanced business models for organizations that collaborate to provide mobile Internet services. They propose a framework for relating critical design issues to success factors and test the relationship between these organizational and financial aspects of mobile business models. An international survey was conducted among 120 practitioners and experts in the mobile Internet services domain, most of them from EU countries. The findings show that organizational design issues deal with an acceptable division of roles among actors, while financial design issues focus on different risk levels that are perceived to be acceptable. The level of profitability that is perceived to be acceptable is influenced indirectly by these design issues, because the relationships are mediated through the risk level that the participants perceive to be acceptable and through the way the roles are divided among the actors.

Jasminko Novak and Gerhard Schwabe investigate collaboration in the tourism industry. In their article titled Designing for Reintermediation in the Brick-and-Mortar World: Towards the Travel Agency of the Future, the authors present a reintermediation approach for traditional travel agencies based on a novel way of IT-enabled travel advisory. It integrates the advantages of interactive technologies and Internet channels with the advantages of direct customer interaction in the physical agency setting. Their proposed framework is based on the integration of theories from information seeking behavior, interactive value creation, relationship marketing and the design of hedonic information systems. The findings show that physically collocated travel advisory services can create a significant added value, if they succeed in uncovering customers’ hidden needs, heightening trust and relationship building in the advisory process and creating a better user experience.

Involving users early on in the design process: closing the gap between mobile information services and their users, an article authored by Elisabeth van de Kar and Marielle den Hengst, was the first general research article we have for Volume 19. It stresses the important role users play or should play in designing mobile information services. The group-based approach includes the user in an efficient way and has been applied in three cases: mobile services for campus visitors, wireless applications for the process industry and services for crisis management. In all cases it has led to an improved design process.

In his article Types of Structural Assurance and Their Relationships with Trusting Intentions in Business-To-Consumer E-Commerce the author Wei Sha examines the impact of structural assurance mechanisms on trusting intention in B2B e-commerce. The study was motivated by inconsistent results from prior research on structural assurance. The author proposes that different types of structural assurance mechanisms may have unique effects on trusting intentions. The results indicate that customer perceptions about seals of approval and vendor-specific guarantees can significantly influence trusting intentions while perceptions about protections from credit card companies, legal systems and technology infrastructures do not.

The final article of this issue is authored by Cecilia Rossignoli, Andrea Carugati and Lapo Mola. In their paper titled The Strategic Mediator: A Paradoxical Role for a Collaborative E-Marketplace, the authors investigate the shift in the role and evolution of services proposed by e-marketplaces in response to the demands of the market participants. They carried out a longitudinal qualitative field study of an e-marketplace providing the outsourcing of the procurement process. It is shown that, as marketplaces support increasingly complex business processes, the market participants begin to privilege the well connected small number to the convenience of the openness to the entire market. The participants see the marketplace as an exclusive hub, the belonging to which provides a strategic advantage. The marketplace’s technology shapes the strategic demands of the participants which in turn request the marketplace to redesign its own strategy. Profiting from this unintended demand, the e-marketplace assumes the paradoxical role of a strategic mediator: an agent who upholds and heightens the fences of the transactions instead of leveling them. The results have implication in shaping how we see the role of technology as strategic or commoditized.

Furthermore, we would like to take this editorial as opportunity to assure you that we will continue Electronic Markets’ tradition with our new publisher Springer. This refers to structuring each issue into general research and one focus theme. In particular, we recognize the growing importance of networked business models, processes and information systems well beyond the E-Business hype which has occurred almost 10 years ago. In view of this development we have slightly modified the subtitle of our journal. The full title now reads: Electronic Markets—The International Journal on Networked Business.

With the change of publisher some innovations came to Electronic Markets which will be familiar from other journals as well: an online submission system and online first publishing. An innovative approach in regard to visibility of published articles is Springer’s Open Choice which is offered to our authors upon acceptance of articles. Authors can make their journal articles available with full open access (OA) for a fixed fee. Authors retain copyright of their article and the article itself is freely accessible online. This is the so called “gold OA”. Additionally, authors have the right to self-archive their final peer-reviewed article draft provided they acknowledge the source of the final publication. This is called “green OA” and helps authors to disseminate their work.

Some of our authors already agreed to this offer. The articles of van de Kar and den Hengst and de Reuver et al. can be accessed freely at the journal’s SpringerLink website (http://www.springerlink.com/content/121283/). If you know that colleagues might be interested in some of these articles please pinpoint them to this site. This website lists all finally accepted articles which are published online but are not yet assigned to a print issue (Springer OnlineFirst). OnlineFirst cuts down the time-to-market for your work to about 1 month from final acceptance to publication compared to up to 4 months for traditional publishing.

We hope that you will find the described modifications as beneficial and enjoy reading the five articles include in 19(1). In case you have any comments to these topics or the journal in general we will be more than happy to receive your message.

Best regards

Your Electronic Markets editorial team

Hubert Österle

Volker Schmelich

editors@electronicmarkets.org

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Österle, H., Schmelich, V. Editorial 19/1. Electron Markets 19, 1–2 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12525-009-0006-2

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