Electronic Commerce: The Strategic Perspective
Richard T. Watson, University of Georgia
Pierre Berthon, Bentley College
Leyland F. Pitt, Simon Fraser University
George M. Zinkhan, University of Georgia
Copyright Year: 2014
Conditions of Use
This book is a great synopsis of the author's extensive experience. This focuses on the foundational issues dealing with e-commerce and it perfect for upper level undergraduate students. It is written without extensive jargon so it is useful for... read more
This book is a great synopsis of the author's extensive experience. This focuses on the foundational issues dealing with e-commerce and it perfect for upper level undergraduate students. It is written without extensive jargon so it is useful for all majors. The case studies at the end of each chapter are a little dated but they are classic examples of critical points in the evolution of digital commerce.
Since the book is based on a previous print version it has obviously had the chapters copy edited. I didn't find any errors in my reading of the book.
I appreciate that the book is written in a way that addresses the larger strategic choices that businesses need to make as they adopt any sort of technology to increase their competitive stance. Unlike many volumes that are quickly outdated, this volume deals with more basic choices that don't change even though the technology is constantly changing that allows businesses to carry out their basic goals. That being said, some of the examples are dated (e.g., Chapter on Distribution and the example of Dell computer's production in the late 1990s and Amazon at that time just sold information about books). The constant changes in the field of e-commerce/ digital commerce make almost any book have out of date items by the time they are published. I would just advise educators to add supplementary material to update any specifics that feel too old.
The books is clearly written and very succinct. It is not too long so I think that students will find all the chapters useful and instructors can use these as a starting point for engaging class discussions.
Even though each chapter is written by a different professor, or grouping of professors, the overall tone of the book is consistent. The overall organization of the book allows for a fairly comprehensive view of the topic.
The overall book has a fairly comprehensive scope and sequence that moves from basic foundational issues to more societal and policy questions. Given I would suggest that instructors consider using the entire book, each chapter would function well on its own.
The introduction clearly explains the overall logic and pedagogical goals of each chapter.
I worked with the online interface through the Open Textbook Initiative. This worked quite well. It is also available for direct download in many formats so it should be easy for students with almost any device.
As this is based on an earlier print edition through a publisher it was clean.
The book covers the growth of e-commerce the challenge and opportunities this brings to businesses. The perspective is primarily western and usually deals with examples from North America. However, since it is older it doesn't cover the rapid changes in Eastern Asia and how these market giants (e.g., Alibaba) have embraced digital commerce and the changes that mobile commerce have made as a result of this market shift.
The text covers in concept form the major business ideas related to an e-commerce business. The authors do a good job of outlining how the Internet and World Wide Web can alter traditional buying and selling. One of the great features of the... read more
The text covers in concept form the major business ideas related to an e-commerce business. The authors do a good job of outlining how the Internet and World Wide Web can alter traditional buying and selling. One of the great features of the text is the use of models to help identify the actions and interactions of business and e-commerce systems. The authors do point out that examples were removed from the original published version. What remains is substantially timeless. However, I needed to add the technology of now to the materials. I also felt that I needed to add small business materials, planning materials, and web site development exercises to meet the needs of my students.
The book is accurate in what it presents. Remember that it will still be necessary to supplement technical detail, especially if your course has an Information Technology component. Make certain you read the entire book before you start your course to find other elements you will want to add. The authors are generally correct that what they have written is timeless, but each chapter needs to be enhanced in some way.
This version has retained content that is relevant and will continue to be that way for a while. It obviously has holes because of the gap of time between its writing and now. It is a great foundation to start with.
The writing is generally clear and understandable. The measuring effectiveness section is not as easy a read, but only because of the content presented and the modeling and analysis it is moving toward. Plan for your students to spend more time there, and make certain they grasp the importance of the figures and diagrams and that they understand them. I would consider having students build Excel worksheets to represent the calculations, and to have them research metrics available from their web host to help with these measures.
The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework. However, make certain you read the entire book before you start your course so you are not surprised by the end. In the final chapter, the authors tie specific future trend ideas to postmodernism, which makes sense but was not what I would have expected in terms of style. They approach this part from Philosophy to Business, where I might have only stated the business characteristics. This will lead to excellent discussion and problem solving of the future of e-commerce, the web and related topics.
The text is easily viewed as a series of essays and can be used in that form. The chapters are presented in a natural order, but taking them out of order is not a particular problem.
The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion. The authors are generally correct that what they have written is timeless, but each chapter needs to be enhanced in some way. In general, the way I will use this is to read the text material, use some enhancement to the material, and then do a hands-on exercise to each topic.
Many of the graphics were better on the HTML version than the PDF, but some of those will still need interpretation. Some were not particularly readable even when enlarged because of resolution. This is not a “small device” book presentation. I am going to see if enhanced graphics are available, and use them if I can. If not I will probably adapt what is there.
I found no major grammar flaws. I did find one typo which was in chapter 1 and I hope is gone by the time you read this in the copy you have. I also prefer that “very” either be left out or replaced with a more precise word.
I did not detect any problems in this area in the text.
I am adopting this book for my IT version of the Electronic Commerce Course with all the enhancements I have listed. Feel free to contact me to get the materials after I have completed the building of my enhancements.
Table of Contents
- An Introduction
- Electronic commerce technology
- Web strategy: Attracting and retaining visitors
- Promotion: Integrated Web communications
- Promotion and purchase: Measuring effectiveness
- Post-Modernism and the Web: Societal effects
About the Book
This book is written both for practitioners and business students. Managers wishing to understand how electronic commerce is revolutionizing business will find that our comprehensive coverage of essential business issues (e.g., pricing and distribution) answers many of their questions. Advanced business students (junior, seniors, and graduate students) will find that the blend of academic structure and practical examples provides an engaging formula for learning.
The book's title reflects some key themes that we develop. First, we are primarily concerned with electronic commerce, which we define as using technology (e.g., the Internet) to communicate or transact with stakeholders (e.g., customers). Second, we discuss how organizations must change in order to take advantage of electronic commerce opportunities. In this sense, our book offers the strategic perspective (i.e., the best way to operate a successful business in the 21st century). Third, with the growing importance of the Internet and related technologies, organizations must take electronic commerce into account when they are creating strategic plans. Thus, electronic commerce is a strategic perspective that all firms must adopt, both in the present and in the future. In other words, an organization that does not explicitly consider electronic commerce as a strategic imperative is probably making a crucial error. Here, we focus primarily on the opportunities and tactics that can lead to success in the electronic marketplace.
About the Contributors
Richard T. Watson
Leyland F. Pitt
George M. Zinkhan