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Global Information Technology and Electronic Commerce

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Prod. Code: ISBN: 0-968382-3-0

New 2002 Book -- Global Information Technology and Electronic Commerce: Issues for the New Millennium (ISBN: 0-9648382-3-0); Editors: P. Palvia/ S. Palvia/ Ed. Roche; (Look at details for January, 2002 review in CIO Insight) Order Now!

This book is in a text-book format; ideal for undergraduate or graduate level courses in MIS or International Business.

In the January 2002 issue of CIO Insight (, Paul Brown writes:
"..... Some 34 professors, researchers, business executives have come together to produce 25 chapters exploring the future of information technology world. The papers argue that while hardware and software may work the same worldwide, the technology infrastructure will vary remarkably, so it's critical to consider the pitfalls and potential best practices as a firm goes global with its IT capabilities...."

In the Q4, 2001 issue of the Journal of Global Information Technology Management, Professor Mahesh Raisinghani of University of Dallas reviews this book and writes:
"..... multiple perspectivs and breadth of topics make this book a welcome addition for global IT library books." 

Chapter Abstracts:
1. Global Information Technology Management Environment: Representative World Issues. (By:Prashant C. Palvia, Shailendra C. Jain Palvia, and James E. Whitworth)

Abstract: As an increasing number of businesses expand their operations into international markets, in order to succeed they need to recognize and understand the considerable cultural, economic, and political diversity that exists in different parts of the world. For these reasons, while information technology is a critical enabler and many times a driver of global business expansion, it usually is not applied uniformly around the world. This chapter describes and analyzes the key information systems/technology (IS/IT) issues identified during the last decade and a half in different regions of the world. Spurred by periodic key IS issues studies in the USA, several researchers have attempted to do done the same for many other countries. This chapter summarizes many of their findings, and provides insights into the various differences and similarities among countries. A model is developed and tested to help understand the nature of the issues and some of the underlying causes.
2. Malaysia's Multimedia Super Corridor: An Experiment in Employing Information and Communication Technologies for National Development. (By Roger W. Harris)

Abstract: In this chapter we shall examine the MSC project and attempt to assess its likely impact on the socio-economic development of Malaysia. Firstly, we will briefly describe Malaysia so that the MSC project can be more easily situated within its economic and social context. Secondly, we will describe the main features of the MSC and we will outline the progress of implementation so far. Then we will consider the project within a framework that will facilitate an estimation of its likely impact on national development. Since the MSC is intended to have global impacts, in addition to its national consequences, we will then locate it within an international context, specifically by comparing it with similar ICT-related initiatives in Malaysia's closest competing economies in neighboring countries within South-East and East Asia.
3. E-Commerce and the Information Environment in an Emerging Economy: Russia and the Turn of Century. (By Elia V. Chepaitis)

Abstract: This chapter examines the relationship in emerging economies between the information environment and e-commerce, and surveys cultural and economic factors that influence information resources in emerging markets. The author investigates the state of data communications in Russia: EDI, external business partnerships, the transfer of knowledge based systems, the telecommunications infrastructure, the spread of wireless communications, and the expansion of Internet access. Improvements in business culture and private information environments offer a contrast with a parallel widening of the "digital divide", the gulf between those who have access to computers and the Internet, and those who do not.
4. IT on the Arctic Circle - A Regional Survival Game. (By Jaana Kuula)

Abstract: This chapter discusses the location problems of the global information technology and software industries. Major questions are, what kind of problems IT industries meet in crowded centers, and on which basis these industries could be located elsewhere in a World scale. The chapter introduces Lapland as an example of potential new areas for locating global IT industries outside current production areas. Lapland is located on the Arctic Circle in Finland, and despite of hard living conditions it is producing new innovations in the IT field, and fulfills many of the requirements that international IT and software businesses set for their production. The chapter also introduces two Finnish software companies that have pushed them through to the World market despite of being located near the Arctic Circle, which in general, is not considered as a favorable environment for running IT businesses.
5. Avoiding Bad Decisions on the Road to Globalization. (By: Edward M. Roche)

Abstract: Developments in technologies are giving the multinational enterprise incredible opportunities to build powerful IT infrastructures and intelligent fast-response governance arrangements. Telecommunications continues to show greater cost/benefit improvement than microelectronics; application families such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technologies and enterprise resource planning (ERP) are providing off-the-shelf integration levels never before obtainable; Application and Business Service Providers (ASP and BSP) are yielding sourcing options considerably more flexible than in the past. Nevertheless, in spite of these compelling advantages, firms continue to make bad decisions about globalization. Examples of bad decisions include the use of pseudo-economics [making decisions based on faulty or patently unrealistic assumptions], re-engineering governance in ways that actually make things worse, deciding to consolidate data centers or instances of [major] software dependent based upon unrealistic expectations of network and service performance, as well as adopting meaningless standards and fighting other political battles which even if won yield no benefits. Other persistent difficulties include failing to support innovation in the firm. It is suggested that taking advantage of the opportunities at hand is best done with a very flexible view of what globalization of IT means for the individual firm.
6. Strategic Applications of Information Technology in Global Business: The "GLITS" Model and an Instrument. (By: Prashant C. Palvia)

Abstract: Information technology (IT) is now absolutely essential in the conduct of global business in multi-national corporations. A global information system (GIS) provides a new order of world-wide connectivity in the day-to-day, and even minute-to-minute, operational activities of global firms. While the use of technology for operational support and management effectiveness may in some situations be construed as strategic in nature, there are numerous opportunities for many firms to utilize information technology in a clear strategic manner. Anecdotal cases of strategic use of IT for global competitive advantage have been reported in the literature, but how can strategic opportunities for a firm be identified more systematically? This chapter provides a model, called the GLITS model, and an accompanying instrument for the identification of strategic opportunities in a firm, and for the measurement of how IT can be used for strategic purposes. The instrument, while based on a small sample, has undergone extensive statistical testing and exhibits high levels of reliability and validity. Besides obvious practical benefits to global organizations, a validated model and instrument provide the foundation for productive and rigorous research in international/global information systems.
7. IT Strategy in International Supply Chain Management. (By: Barry Shore)

Abstract: No area has the potential to affect the competitive business environment more than the internationalization of supply chain management. These relationships between customer and suppliers promise shorter production cycles, more flexible manufacturing strategies, and lower cost production. Benefits from these collaborations, however, can only be realized if several difficult problems are addressed and solved. They include the establishment and management of effective global interorganizational alliances for strategic inputs, the coordination of dispersed production facilities, and the organization of complex logistics operations. Information technology plays a major role in the effective solution of these problems. This chapter explores the emerging developments in international supply chain management and the role of information technology in the development of strategic IT supply chain strategies.
8. Reengineering Global Business Processes: Challenges and Issues. (By: Choton Basu and Prashant C. Palvia)

Abstract: Globalization trends have forced companies to contend with several new elements in a highly dynamic business environment. Clearly, the management and operation of organizations in this changing environment test an organization's ability to change. Identification of new markets, increased foreign competition, government regulations, currency issues, availability of technology infrastructure all affect the options for change. In such conditions, organizations are forced to develop global alliances, explore foreign markets, and redesign business processes to support global initiatives. In many cases they have to radically reengineer their business processes and handle resulting changes within the organization. In several cases this reengineering effort may involve multiple organizations, located in different parts of the globe. The ability to successfully transform the business processes of a global organization provides tremendous leverage for organizational growth and innovation. A framework has been developed in this chapter for understanding the salient issues in global business process reengineering. Furthermore, we provide insights into several global business-reengineering projects while incorporating some of the key results from an extensive survey and four case studies conducted during 1999-2000.
9. Cultural Asymmetries between Headquarters and Foreign Subsidiaries and Their Consequence on the Integrative Role of Information Technology. (By: Barry Shore)

Abstract: In an increasingly competitive global market, multinational organizations are under pressure to use "common" information technology systems to integrate the planning and control activities necessary between headquarters and foreign subsidiaries. Successful deployment of these systems however has been challenging. One factor, often difficult to address in a concrete way, is that social systems and work practices be can be very different throughout the world, and since software systems impose a structure on these social systems and work practices, overseas subsidiaries often find themselves confronted with changes that are difficult to accommodate. This chapter will consider these social or 'cultural' influences on the workplace and conclude with several concrete suggestions for managing the process of introducing appellations in cultures very different from the one in which they were developed.
10. Challenges in Transborder Data Flow. (By: Effy Oz)

Abstract: Free flow of information is one of the corner stones of free trade and economic growth. The Internet now connects millions of commercial organizations throughout the world. Ostensibly this huge network could contribute immensely to the welfare of businesses, but there are still technical, political, cultural, and especially legal challenges that make some international transfer of data difficult or simply impossible. The chapter reviews the different types of hurdles, especially the legal ones. We pay special attention to the hurdle between the largest economic blocs, Europe and the U.S. The new European directive on data protection forbids American businesses from using personal data of European citizens the way they use personal data of American citizens. This makes it practically impossible to use such data for marketing and decision making. The chapter reviews the new directive, a sample of data privacy laws, and the efforts to harmonize privacy laws.
11. Competencies, Capabilities and Infor-mation Technology: Analyzing Resources for Competitive Advantage in Russia. (By: Kalle Kangas)

Abstract: This paper argues that the traditional value chain and industry cluster analysis approaches appear to be obsolete for assessing the competitive edge of a firm in the new global information economy. The author proposes the use of a resource-based view (RBV) to identify core competencies and capabilities of a firm. The proposed approach is utilized to analyze the core competencies and capabilities of a Finland-based firm that trades with Russia and to illustrate the potential role of information technology. The approach stops short of offering prescriptions to develop new competencies; but the conclusions suggest (i) that the framework be developed to provide insights into organizational development over time and (ii) that the role of IT in building new competencies be given more attention by researchers.
12. The Evolving Global Electronic Commerce: Issues and Challenges. (By: Shailendra Palvia and Vijaya Vemuri)

Abstract: The Internet is rapidly changing how we communicate, earn, learn, entertain and do business. The speed at which the Internet has adapted to conduct business transaction is simply mind-boggling. In a short period of five years, a number of dot com companies were formed, generated memorable excitement in the investment community and then went out of business during the year 2000-01. The key to the survival of the e-Commerce companies is their ability to quickly adapt to the sweeping changes in Internet technology, consumer preferences, government regulations, and global alliances. For the future, we need to project and think about the most likely changes to occur. In this chapter, we concentrate on the role of advertising and the middlemen functions and how they are evolving with the growth of electronic commerce. Electronic commerce is radically affecting the advertising function. The Internet technology is allowing companies to monitor advertising effectiveness better and also to utilize reimbursement schemes pegged to actual results. Our analysis suggests that the prediction of disintermediation due to e-Commerce may just be a hype. The role of middlemen is evolving: in some sectors the role is disappearing, in others it is expanding, and in yet others newer intermediaries are forming to facilitate the demands of electronic commerce. We discuss the implications of and necessary strategic changes to adapt to growing global electronic markets. Finally, we articulate a few factors critical to the success of global e-Commerce.
13. The Role of Commerce in Global Electronic Commerce. (By: Michelle L. Kaarst-Brown and J. Roberto Evaristo)

Abstract: This chapter has three main parts. In the first part, we provide a broad understanding of the global trends in electronic and Internet Commerce, including statistics that illustrate trends in Internet usage around the world. The second section focuses on key national and cultural influences on these trends and how they explain the differences in Internet commerce in different countries. The third section illustrates how five firms in the book retailing industry around the globe reflect these differences in business-to-consumer (B2C) Internet commerce.
14. A Framework for the Management of Global e-Business in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. (By: Emmanuel O. Tetteh and Janice M. Burn)

Abstract: The World Wide Web (WWW) provides unique opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to build effective global infrastructures in at least three ways. First Internet-based infrastructures are relatively cheap; requiring significantly reduced capital investments over proprietary networks. Second, they provide an ever converging and rich environment for effective business networking and inter-organizational process management. Third, they provide SMEs with access to a greatly expanded consumer market through electronic business. In order to exploit these advantages in a global strategy, the SME needs to adopt an entirely different approach to management that can enable it to deploy an extensive infrastructure network based on shared resources with other firms. This chapter presents a framework for the analysis and design of global information infrastructures within the organizational context of SMEs using Internet-based information technologies. Central to the framework is the transformation of the key attributes of an SME environment through a virtual organising perspective. The framework is supported by a number of case examples of SMEs in the global context. It provides a new perspective to strategic infrastructure management in SMEs and to electronic business research.
15. E-Commerce and Community Tourism. (By: David Mason & Simon Milne)

Abstract: Tourism is often put forward as a way of helping rural communities to escape the poverty trap. In practice the development of viable tourism results in incurring costs and receiving benefits. While both households and businesses may benefit economically it may be difficult to attract the 'elusive tourist'. Residents must also deal with the negative socio-cultural and environmental impacts that are often associated with the industry. While technology may offer the potential to assist communities in solving some of these dilemmas, its use and acceptance, even amongst willing participants, is unpredictable. This chapter describes a project to build an e-Commerce solution in a poor rural area in Northern New Zealand and the methodologies developed and then utilized. We show that technology transfer in this context is problematic, and that it is the methodology which is important, not the technology itself.
16. Strategies for Global Information Systems Development: A Critical Analysis. (By: Murad Akmanligil & Prashant Palvia)

Abstract: Developing global information systems is a formidable task. Multinational companies operate in regions that are thousands of miles, many time zones, and many cultures away from the headquarters. Organizing the activities and aligning the tasks and mindsets of people that are so far apart and to actually change the way business is conducted through the use of new information systems is a major challenge. The global dimension presents even a bigger challenge. This chapter discusses alternative global IS development strategies that may be used and the factors that impact the selection of these strategies. Four systems from a large transportation company are presented as real life examples to demonstrate the viability of these strategies and the accompanying factors.
17. Emerging Best Practices in Global Systems Development. (By: Nicholas P. Vitalari, James C.Wetherbe, Brian D. Janz)

Abstract: With companies employing global structures to gain competitive advantages and ensure profitability, globalization of business is accelerating at a phenomenal rate. The primary objectives of this chapter are to explore the implications for companies going global and to identify the information technology (IT) infrastructure required to support global operations. The chapter draws upon previous work on global management and the role of IT in global enterprise. Five operational tactics, accompanied by case examples, for implementing the predominant IT strategy are also presented. The chapter concludes with an extensive look at five strategies for successful global applications development, and the changing role of information systems (IS).
18. Global Software Teams: A Framework for Managerial Problems and Solutions. (By: Erran Carmel)

Abstract: With the rapid globalization of software development, many software projects are now dispersed in multiple sites-- in many countries. A globally dispersed software development team presents some unique management problems that did not exist for the classic, traditional, co-located team. The global software team framework assists us in understanding the problems and appropriate managerial solutions. The global software team framework makes use of a physical metaphor -- of forces that pull outward and pull inward. The five centrifugal forces that exert outward pressure on the global software team's performance are: loss of control, coordination breakdown, communication poverty, federation of distributed units, and culture clashes. The six centripetal forces that exert inward pressure on the team for more effective performance are: collaborative technology, team building, leadership, product architecture and task allocation, software development methodology, and telecommunications infrastructure.
19. The Design of Information Systems for the International Firm: A Grounded Theory of Some Critical Issues. (By: Hans Lehmann)

Abstract: International Information Systems have taken on increased importance as organisations develop and refine their global operations. A number of researchers have proposed frameworks for categorising and analysing these systems. Little research has been done to test these frameworks or to assess their relevance over time. This chapter summarises the evolution of an IIS as it follows its organisation's global business development. Using a Case History method in the Grounded Theory tradition the chapter supports the notion of an "information system migration" following the development of the Global Business Strategy of the Multi-National enterprise through various stages. Failure of the IIS to adapt to the organisation's strategy changes sets up a field of antagonistic forces, in which business resistance eventually defeated all attempts by the information technology people to install a standard global information system. Although the case yielded data rich enough to establish some conceptual foundations, further research will be necessary to progress towards a possible substantive theory of international information systems development.
20. Successful Implementation of ERP Systems for Multinationals: Using Control and Coordination Artifacts. (By: Steven John Simon)

Abstract: The dominant market for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) vendors has traditionally been the largest of multinational corporations (MNCs). Until recently, most vendors (SAP, PeopleSoft, Oracle, etc) have promoted a "one size fits all" solution built upon industry best practices. This approach forced organizations to either conform to the industry best practices and configuration suggested by vendors and implementation consultants or embark upon extremely costly reconfiguration of their ERP package. This chapter explores an innovation in SAP's R/3 package - Application Link Embedding (ALE) - which allows the organization to disperse the package throughout its globally distribute units. The chapter reviews the concepts of control, coordination, their trade-offs, and Bartlett and Ghoshal's topology of MNC strategy. ERP systems are introduced along with the discussion of their strengths. Two architectures are suggested as a basis for system configuration - tightly and loosely coupled systems. Next, the concepts of control and coordination and Bartlett and Ghoshal's topology are combined to create a strategic orientation for the MNC. Finally, this strategic orientation is compared against an ideal ERP configuration or enterprise information architecture.
21. Developing Global Executive Information Systems. (By: Anil Kumar and Prashant Palvia)

Abstract: The globalization of businesses, facilitated to a large extent by advances in computers and communications technology, creates tremendous demands for information. This information originates worldwide and is needed for decision-making by senior executives in global corporations. Executive information systems developed to provide information for senior executives fail to incorporate the global dimension. In this chapter we discuss the issues for designing, developing, using and managing a global executive information system (global EIS). The issues discussed in this chapter are based on the results of a study that was conducted to explore the need for global EIS for executives working in global corporations. These results are discussed in the context of a framework developed specifically for a global EIS.
22. Key Influence Factors and Issues in Global IT Outsourcing Management. (By: Ned Kumar and Prashant Palvia)

Abstract: This chapter provides an understanding about the complexities involved in global IT outsourcing and the management initiatives needed for the successful implementation of a global IT outsourcing partnership. Technological advances combined with increased globalization and competitive pressures have forced many firms to consider alternatives that will reduce organizational cost, and at the same time create and/or maintain their competitive advantage in the global market. Increasingly, the phenomenon of outsourcing is being considered by many firms as a solution to their IT needs and problems. Outsourcing provides them with a way out of skyrocketing IT expenditures at the same time allowing them to use some of the state-of-the art technologies and facilities. Even though there has been a plethora of studies done on domestic outsourcing of information systems, the research on outsourcing outside national borders, called global outsourcing, has been scarce. One of the areas which has been especially neglected in the literature is the area of outsourcing management. Anecdotal evidence points to the fact that even the best outsourcing deals can go sour if not managed properly. In the context of global IT outsourcing, the management of the outsourcing relationship becomes even more complex because of the geographical distance and the difference in the national and organizational cultures of the client and vendor firms. This chapter identifies the key elements that should be considered while managing an outsourcing relationship with a 'foreign' vendor and the role the manager should play in a given global outsourcing context.

23. Location Economics and Global Software Development Centers. (By: Hemant K Jain and Jaeki Song)

Abstract: A severe shortage and increasing costs of Information Technology professionals are forcing software development companies to explore global system development strategies. The main objective of this chapter is to present a conceptual model for global software development that considers economic, political, managerial, and technical environments. A review of relevant literature from economics, global manufacturing and global R & D is presented and factors affecting the global software development decision are identified. The conceptual framework addresses the global software development decision and the selection of development center locations. The model provides insight into the reasons for choosing a particular country among possible locations.
24. Control and Coordination of Information Systems in Multinational Corporations. (By: Madhu T. Rao, Carol V. Brown and William Perkins.)

Abstract: As industries lean collectively ever closer to Kenichi Ohmae's vision of a borderless world, companies are being forced to re-examine their current operations in order to face the challenge of surviving in a global business environment. Organizations, confronted with the newly emerging imperatives of worldwide markets, have rapidly begun to decompose traditionally domestic value-chain services into ones that have little or no regard for national boundaries. This "stateless" organization is, perhaps, one of the most significant business trends of the 20th century. Globalization's impact has not merely tinted top management's view of long term strategy but has percolated down to functional departments. In this context, no area has been more affected than the Information Systems (IS) function. As more and more multinational corporations seek to expand into emerging markets, senior management is beginning to recognize that global strategies require coordinated global IS options. This chapter examines some of the constraints facing Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in such global companies as well as potential solutions for coordinating worldwide IS activities. The chapter reviews the theoretical concepts of control and coordination in the context of international IS operations, and a framework of mechanisms to deal with the obstacles identified.

25. Global Information Technology Infrastructure for Transnational Corporations: Developing, Deploying, and Maintaining. (By: Subhash (Sam) S. Valanju and Hemant Jain.)

Abstract: Over the past decade, global business environment has become significantly more competitive and complex. In most multi-national corporations, Information Technology (IT) is playing significantly important role in formulating global corporate strategy and supporting globalization of business processes and practices. The support of this enhanced role of information technology in providing sustained competitive advantage through effective global processes and practices requires a state-of-the-art technology infrastructure. The objective of this chapter is to present a comprehensive methodology for and issues related to developing, deploying and maintaining global Information Technology infrastructure for multi-national corporations. The process starts with the definition of the business requirements for the infrastructure, identification of infrastructure components, conceptual development and feasibility analysis.