Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 23 Number 1 2006 pp. 5-12

Editorial Introduction

Zwass, Vladimir


The penetration of advanced information technologies (IT), particularly the ever deeper and more diverse deployment of the multiple aspects of the Internet–Web compound, has empowered networks of firms benefiting from their long-term supply relationships. This new nature of cooperation and competition has far-reaching effects that require extensive investigation. In particular, effective cooperation among the firms in supply-based relationships requires encompassing information sharing. Coordination of actions is rooted in information. However, such sharing does not come naturally, as it may lead to opportunistic and exploitative behavior. Long-term, mutually beneficial relationships are the foundation of sharing. Here, Ravi Patnayakuni, Arun Rai, and Nainika Seth present a study of a vital aspect of the interorganizational information sharing in supply networks. The authors define the constructs that characterize the relational orientation of network firms and trace those to the outcome of information sharing. Fostering the specific relational factors of sharing identified by the authors thus comes into the managerial agenda.

IT-enabled business process change (BPC) is fraught with dangers, and failure has many faces. With its ability to provide rich characterizations of phenomena, disciplined interpretive research is well positioned to set a lens and a mirror before these faces of failure. Here, Suprateek Sarker, Saonee Sarker, and Anna Sidorova analyze an extensive case of BPC failure. Applying the Latourian actor-network theory, the authors are able to distill a highly realistic set of diagnostic findings that contain nuggets of political wisdom for the sociopolitical processes of information system (IS) implementation. The need to heed technology appropriation as a continuing process of management is an important takeaway.

Five contributions to this JMIS issue address various aspects of e-commerce. Fatemeh “Mariam” Zahedi, William V. Van Pelt, and Mark Srite study one of the cultural dimensions of Web sites: their masculine or feminine signification. In another exemplar of interpretive research, to follow the preceding paper, the present authors combine a hermeneutic approach with Barthes-inflected semiotics in order to tease out and categorize gender-oriented signifiers in Web site documents. Considering that these researchers have been able to find much gender-encoded communication on the Web sites, their work should be studied by all aiming at effective communication and usability of Web sites for commerce and beyond it.

In a contrasting methodologically work, the authors of the next paper study the online music marketplace. The digital music is on the front line of the restructuring of the markets for digital goods, with the established intermediaries challenged by the opportunities for direct relationships between the producers and consumers, and—even more threateningly—among the consumers weakly motivated to reward the producers. Sudip Bhattacharjee, Ram D. Gopal, Kaveepan Lertwachara, and James R. Marsden deploy economic analysis to study this reforming marketplace. The authors find a complex interplay between the intermediary profits, policies of music publishers, and consumer search (and piracy) behavior. Notably, the authors identify the conditions under which a music retailer is better off in an environment with piracy, which functions as a sampling technique. The work is of definite interest to all invested in the digital good marketplaces, a vast area of drastic change.

A great variety of auction mechanisms have been explored and, in part, implemented in e-commerce, as the auction form of market organization is highly compatible with the ubiquitous access and the ability to enforce the desired rules automatically and impartially. In particular, combinatorial auctions, in which bidders vie for collections of goods, and which may be highly complex in the winner selection, have become feasible. Joni L. Jones, Robert F. Easley, and Gary J. Koehler show here that it is possible to use their rule-based combinatorial auction to serve a multisegment marketplace with such a single mechanism. This work is of importance in fostering unified seller-owned marketplaces to serve a variety of customers.

Trust deficit is the epiphenomenon of online marketplaces. Reputation is primary among the multiple sources from which trust can derive—hence, for example, the importance of brands in the online world (against the nonsensical predictions of some early commentators on the field). Enhanced online reputation of a firm may derive from an association with a more reputable firm. Web site links are a form of association. Katherine J. Stewart presents an empirical analysis of the effects of linking on the firms of unequal reputation on both sides of the hypertext link. The results will help organizations in partner selection and link presentations.

Online buyers can pursue several ways of searching for a projected acquisition, with the choice of the search methods affecting the final purchase. In an empirical study, Ravi Sen, Ruth C. King, and Michael J. Shaw find that the loyalty to a vendor, the buyer’s perception of price dispersion, and other factors mitigate the determined search for the lowest price. The results of this are apparent in the well-known fact of wide price dispersion on the Web. The authors indicate how their results will be helpful to vendors in price setting and selling in the market space.

The options approach to the IT investment valuations is now well established. With the use of real options analysis, adapted from the world of securities, the long-term effects of major investments can be estimated at their fuller contribution, avoiding the myopic view of the net present value. Indeed, the approach—introduced in this journal 15 years ago—is now entering textbooks and the IS practice. Considering the complexity of the method, temptations to use approximations arise. In their contribution, Michel Benaroch, Sandeep Shah, and Mark Jeffery show how these heuristics in search of tractability can lead to very significant overvaluations of IT investments. Further, the authors refine the option model.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are well known both for their potential in enterprise management and for the difficulty of their implementation. With the progressing business globalization, an important barrier to implementation success emerges in the distinctions between the country of implementation and the country of origin of the ERP package. Here, Eric T.G. Wang, Gary Klein, and James J. Jiang parse these distinctions and analyze their role in the implementation process. They approach the systems as products of and participants in different social arrangements in different cultural contexts. Based on their analysis, the authors are able to offer guidelines for alleviating the deleterious effects of the differences.

The concluding paper in this issue takes a fundamental approach to the role of IS in organizations by turning to Galbraith’s information processing theory. The work is important in that, surprisingly, this theoretical lens had not been used in our field. The relatively recent expression of misunderstanding of the role of IS (as opposed to just IT) in organizations could have been informed—if not prevented—by a deeper analysis of embedding of technologies in organizations. Here, James F. Fairbank, Giuseppe “Joe” Labianca, H. Kevin Steensma, and Richard Metters deploy the information processing theory to study empirically the effects of the embedded IS on the performance of single-industry organizations. The beneficial strategic deployment of IS, when used fittingly to the firm’s competitive posture, is apparent.

This issue opens the twenty-third volume of the Journal of Management Information Systems, the first in the expanded format. This is an excellent time to express gratitude to our readers and authors, and to the global community of the MIS scholars and practitioners. In this expression of gratitude, I represent the Journal’s Editorial Board, constituted of the leaders of our discipline. Very special thanks go, as always, to our reviewers, the primary guarantors of quality. Here are the JMIS referees:

Niv Ahituv

Pervaiz Alam

Paul Alpar

Donald L. Amoroso

Murugan Anandarajan

Hayward P. Andres

Dorine Andrews

Yoris Au

Sulin Ba

Barbro Back

Akhilesh Bajaj

P.R. Balasubramanian

Dirk Baldwin

Subhajyoti Bandyopadhyay

Indranil R. Bardhan

Reza Barkhi

Henri Barki

Stuart J. Barnes

Dinesh Batra

Irma Becerra-Fernandez

Skip Benamati

Michael Benaroch

Raquel Benbunan-Fich

Samuel Bendahan

François Bergeron

Hemant Bhargava

Anol Bhattacherjee

Sudip Bhattacherjee

M. Brian Blake

Gilbert Bock

Indranil Bose

Robert M. Brown

Glenn J. Browne

Jacek Brzezinski

Terry A. Byrd

Edward G. Cale, Jr.

Jinwei Cao

Sven Carlsson

William J. Carroll

Sergio de Cesare

Susy Chan

Jerry Cha-Jan Chang

Debabroto Chatterjee

Patrick Chau

Ramnath K. Chellappa

Hong-Mei Chen

Kuan Chen

Minder Chen

Hsing Kenneth Cheng

Robert T.H. Chi

Roger Chiang

Alina M. Chircu

William C. Chismar

Jong-min Choe

H. Michael Chung

Wingyan Chung

Theodore H. Clark

Roger Clarke

Randolph Cooper

Qizhi Dai

Ronald Dattero

Bruce Dehning

Didem Demirhan

Amit Deokar

Gordon Depledge

Sarv Devaraj

Rajiv M. Dewan

Gisela von Dran

Peter Duchessi

Omar A. El Sawy

Sean B. Eom

J. Alberto Espinosa

Robert Evaristo

Ming Fan

Xiaofen Fang

Bijan Fazlollahi

Steven Feiner

Eliezer M. Fich

Kirk Fiedler

Elizabeth Fife

Edmond P. Fitzgerald

Jerry Fjermestad

Steven W. Floyd

Chiara Francalanci

Michael R. Galbreth

Dennis Galletta

Michael Gallivan

Gordon Gao

Edward J. Garrity

Judith Gebauer

David Gefen

Michiel van Genuchten

Anindya Ghose

Paulo B. Goes

Janis L. Gogan

Thomas Goh

Dale Goodhue

Ram D. Gopal

Sanjay Gosain

Peter Gray

Stefano Grazioli

Saul Greenberg

Robert K. Griffin

Michael D. Grigoriades

Bin Gu

Kemal Guler

Alok Gupta

Jungpil Hahn

Barbara Haley

James A. Hall

Ingoo Han

Kunsoo Han

Paul Hart

Stephen Hayne

Ann Hickey

Starr Roxanne Hiltz

Rudy Hirschheim

Richard Hoffman

John A. Hoxmeier

Paul Hu

Qing Hu

Wayne Huang

Cary Hughes

Kai Lung Hui

Ard Huizing

E. Gerald Hurst

Zahir Irani

Gretchen I. Irwin

Varghese Jacob

Bharat A. Jain

James J. Jiang

Alice Johnson

Linda Ellis Johnson

K.D. Joshi

Boris Jukic;

Nenad Jukic;

Charles Kacmar

Surinder Kahai

Timo Kakola

Ajit Kambil

P.K. Kannan

Jahangir Karimi

Michael Kattan

Timothy Kayworth

Julie E. Kendall

William J. Kettinger

Omar E.M. Khalil

Melody Y. Kiang

Sia Siew Kien

Ruth King

Rajiv Kishore

Gary Klein

Cenk Kocas

Rajiv Kohli

Esther Koster

Marios Koufaris

Kenneth A. Kozar

Kenneth L. Kraemer

Allan Krebs

Ramayya Krishnan

Uday Kulkarni

Akhil Kumar

Ram Kumar

Mary C. Lacity

Simon S.K. Lam

Karl R. Lang

Tor J. Larsen

Kathy S. Lassila

Gwanhoo Lee

Heeseok Lee

Ho Geun Lee

Jungwoo Lee

Yang Lee

Zoonky Lee

Richard Leifer

Jan Marco Leimeister

Katherine N. Lemon

Mary Jane Lenard

Hugo Levecq

Dahui Li

Ting-Peng Liang

Stephen L. Liedtka

Nancy Lightner

John Lim

Kai Lim

Ming Lin

Yihwa Irene Liou

Astrid Lipp

Henry C. Lucas, Jr.

Mark Lycett

William McCarthy

Jane M. Mackay

Roy McKelvey

D. Harrison McKnight

Ephraim R. McLean

Simha R. Magal

M. Adam Mahmood

Arvind Malhotra

Yogesh Malhotra

Ji-Ye Mao

Salvatore T. March

Ivan Marsic

Nelson Massad

Anne P. Massey

Charles H. Mawhinney

Jerrold H. May

Roberto J. Mejias

Shaila Miranda

Rajesh Mirani

Prasenjit Mitra

Ali R. Montazemi

Ramiro Montealegre

Jeanette Moody

Steven Morris

Jolene Morrison

Michael D. Myers

Peter P. Mykytyn, Jr.

Barin N. Nag

Murli Nagasundaram

R. Ryan Nelson

Boon Siong Neo

Fred Niederman

Mark Nissen

Rosalie Ocker

Wonseok Oh

Bob O’Keefe

Lorne Olfman

James Oliver

Carl Pacini

Jonathan W. Palmer

Raymond R. Panko

Manoj Parameswaran

Michael Parent

Jeffrey Parsons

Ravi Patnayakuni

David Paul

Souren Paul

David J. Pauleen

Paul A. Pavlou

Kenneth Peffers

Robin Pennington

Francis Pereira

Roger A. Pick

Mitzi G. Pitts

Jean-Charles Pomerol

Gerald Post

John H. Prager

G. Premkumar

Sandeep Purao

Jim J. Quan

S. Raghunathan

Arik Ragowsky

T.S. Ragu-Nathan

Arun Rai

Rex Kelly Rainer, Jr.

K. Ramamurthy

K.S. Raman

B. Ramesh

Richard G. Ramirez

H.R. Rao

R. Ravichandran

T. Ravichandran

Sury Ravindran

Amy W. Ray

Louis Raymond

Paul Resnick

Hyuen-Suk Rhee

Vernon Richardson

William B. Richmond

Frederick Riggins

Suzanne Rivard

Daniel Robey

Michael B. Rogich

Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.

Sherry D. Ryan

Young U. Ryu

Timo Saarinen

Rajiv Sabherwal

Naveed Saleem

G. Lawrence Sanders

Sunanda Sangwan

Radhika Santhanam

Surendra Sarnikar

Carol Saunders

George Schell

Petra Schubert

Judy Scott

Ravi Sen

Kishore Sengupta

Nainika Seth

Vikram Sethi

Theresa M. Shaft

Michael Shaw

Jim Sheffield

Olivia Sheng

Morgan M. Shepherd

Michael Shields

Siew Kien Sia

Atish P. Sinha

Sumit Sircar

H. Jeff Smith

Michael D. Smith

Charles A. Snyder

Toni M. Somers

Jai-Yeol Son

William E. Spangler

Valerie K. Spitler

Rajendra P. Srivastava

Thomas F. Stafford

Stephen Standifird

Sandy Staples

Eric W. Stein

Dick Stenmark

Lee Stepina

John M. Stevens

Katherine Stewart

Mani Subramani

Girish Subramanian

Ramesh Subramanian

Robert T. Sumichrast

Shankar Sunarajan

Arun Sundararajan

Shankar Sundaresan

Tae Kyung Sung

Roderick I. Swaab

Edward J. Szewczak

Paul P. Tallon

Kar Yan Tam

Sonny Tambe

Bernard C.Y. Tan

Yao-Hua Tan

Mohan R. Tanniru

Alfred Taudes

Nolan Taylor

David P. Tegarden

Rahul Telang

Gary F. Templeton

James T.C. Teng

Hock-Hai Teo

Thompson Teo

Jason B. Thatcher

Matthew Thatcher

Ron Thompson

James Y.L. Thong

Amrit Tiwana

Kerem Tomak

Leon van der Torre

Jonathan K. Trower

Gregory E. Truman

Yanbin Tu

Ilkka Tuomi

Brad Tuttle

Tuure Tuunanen

N.S. Umanath

Andrew Urbaczewski

Rustam Vahidov

Vasja Vehovar

Viswanath Venkatesh

Michael Wade

Steven Walczak

Zhiping Walter

Bin Wang

Jingguo Wang

Michael S. Wang

Shouhong Wang

Y. Richard Wang

Carol Watson

Mary Beth Watson-Manheim

Thomas Weber

Chih-Ping Wei

Charles E. Wells

John Wells

Larry West

J. Christopher Westland

Seungjin Whang

Michael E. Whitman

Jeffrey L. Whitten

George Widmeyer

Rolf Wigand

Fons Wijnhoven

Charles Willow

Barbara Wixom

Christopher Wolfe

Charles A. Wood

Hans Wortmann

D.J. Wu

Mu Xia

Weidong Xia

Christopher Yang

Byungjoon Yoo

Fatemeh Zahedi

Han Zhang

Ping Zhang

Zuopeng Zhang

Huimin Zhao

J. Leon Zhao

Lina Zhou

Kevin Zhu

Youlong Zhuang

Ilze Zigurs

Moshe Zviran

Following the expansion of the Journal, it is also a pleasure and a privilege to announce the expansion of the JMIS Editorial Board.

The new members of the Editorial Board are:

Michael J. Gallivan (Georgia State University)

Paulo Goes (University of Connecticut)

Alok Gupta (University of Minnesota)

Rudy Hirschheim  (Louisiana State University)

Ann Majchrzak (University of Southern California)

Suzanne Rivard (HEC Montréal)

Rajiv Sabherwal (University of Missouri)

Bernard C.Y. Tan (National University of Singapore)

As ever, I am looking forward to working with the Board and the referees in expanding the horizons of our field.

Vladimir Zwass