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Preface to the special issue “Bled eConference 2011 and 2012”

This special issue comprises selected papers from the 24th and the 25th Bled eConference. The Bled eConference is an annual conference addressing especially eCommerce and eBusiness related topics. Furthermore, the conference targets all aspects of “e” and beyond. The 24th Bled eConference was titled “eFuture: Creating Solutions for the Individual, Organisations and Society”, and the 25th anniversary conference carried the overall title “eDependability: Reliable and Trustworthy eStructures, eProcesses, eOperations and eServices for the Future”.

From both conferences selected papers have been invited to Electronic Markets by the respective research track and conference chairs. Subsequent submissions had to be clearly advanced and substantially revised compared to the original conference papers. All submissions underwent rigorous review procedures, as all submissions to Electronic Markets do.

At this point, we would like to thank the authors for further developing their respective conference contributions. We are happy to present six research papers from the 24th and 25th Bled eConference.

This special Issue includes three papers from the 24th Bled eConference addressing new data collection methods in IS research, procurement maturity and IT-alignment, and virtual worlds. Thus, all three papers are contributing to the overall theme of the 24th Bled eConference: eFuture.

In their paper “Novice-based data collection methods for the study of IOIS: practice probes and learning communities”, the authors Kai Reimers, Robert B. Johnston, Xunhua Guo, Stefan Klein, Bin Xie, and Mingzhi Li address methodological issues in information systems research. As practice theory is rapidly gaining academic currency in the information systems literature, new methodological approaches have to be developed as well, the authors argue. The paper presents a systematic analysis of new methods of data collection versus other established and newly proposed methods specifically through the lens of practice theory. The research derives two essential requirements regarding data collection methods specific to practice theory and classifies existing data collection methods in view of these requirements. Afterwards, the authors present two new data collection methods and discuss their novelty.

In the second paper titled “Procurement maturity and IT-alignment models: overview and a case study” the authors bring together procurement maturity and IT-alignment models. The authors Johan Versendaal, Marjan van den Akker, Xiaochun Xing, and Bastiaan deBevere first present business/IT-alignment principles focussing on the procurement domain. In a second step, maturity levels for the procurement domain are developed. Finally, the business/IT-alignment principles for procurement are being applied to the construction industry through a detailed case study. The study includes a validation of the findings.

In their paper “Virtual worlds in competitive contexts: Analyzing eSports consumer needs”, Thomas Weiss and Sabrina Schiele address new 3D graphical environments on the Internet - virtual worlds. The authors elaborate the question of what to offer in order to fulfill customers’ needs in those virtual worlds using the example of eSports environments. They apply Uses and Gratifications theory reporting on ten in-depth expert interviews as well as survey data collected from 360 eSports players. Afterwards, the results are reflected against the literature.

The 25th Bled eConference in 2013 was entitled “eDependability: Reliable and Trustworthy eStructures, eProcesses, eOperations and eServices for the Future”. The first 25 years of the Bled eConference saw innovations and changes, and the “silver” issue asked whether the stormy years are over and whether we will mastered the arts and crafts of building new systems that we can depend on them. There are three papers from the 25th Bled eConference in this special issue addressing the conference’s topic: eDependability covering the topics smart living, Enterprise 2.0, and critical infrastructure organizations.

Innovation in the smart living domain is the topic of the paper “Dynamic stakeholder interaction analysis: Innovative smart living design cases” authored by Sam Solaimani, Nick Guldemond, and Harry Bouwman. In this domain, inter-organizational collaboration is often characterized by conflicting strategic interests and incoherent operational business processes and procedures. The paper argues that a ‘true’ understanding of stakeholders is achieved by looking at their interactions and interdependencies. This study extends the STOF-VIP framework, a conceptual framework from the service innovation and business model domain, and validates the framework in design cases. This paper is freely accessible via the Electronic Markets’ SpringerLink website (Solaimani et al. 2013).

Tim Kuettner, Roland Diehl, and Petra Schubert explore the roles of social software and Enterprise 2.0 in the current trend to organizations rapidly deploying collaboration technologies. The paper “Change factors in Enterprise 2.0 initiatives: Can we learn from ERP?” investigates change factors specific to Enterprise 2.0 initiatives and contributes to the understanding of their characteristics and idiosyncrasies. Drawing upon grounded theory, the authors analyze sixteen case studies and integrate the results in the context of socio-technical change.

The last paper presented in this special issue: “Information security governance practices in critical infrastructure organizations: A socio-technical and institutional logic perspective”, authored by Susan Williams, Catherine A. Hardy, and Janine Holgate, addresses dependability with an analysis of information security governance practices. This analysis focuses on critical infrastructure organizations. Achieving a sustainable information protection capability within complex business, legal and technical environments is an integral part of supporting an organization’s strategic and compliance objectives. This study adopts an interpretive case approach and uses an analytical lens, drawing from socio-technical systems and institutional logics, to examine how Information Security Governance arrangements are framed and shaped in practice in fourteen Australian Critical Infrastructure Organizations. The findings illustrate the heterogeneity and malleability of information security governance across different organizations involving intra- and inter-organizational relationships and trust mechanisms.

We hope you enjoy the articles from our Bled special issue and read them with interest.


  1. Solaimani, S., Guldemond, N., & Bouwman, H. (2013). Dynamic stakeholder interaction analysis: innovative smart living design cases. Electronic Markets, 23(4). doi:10.1007/s12525-013-0143-5.

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Correspondence to Hans-Dieter Zimmermann.

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Zimmermann, HD., Lechner, U. Preface to the special issue “Bled eConference 2011 and 2012”. Electron Markets 23, 269–270 (2013).

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