AS YOU READ THE ENCOMPASSING SPECIAL ISSUE on the Economics of Electronic Commerce, guest edited by Ravi Bapna, Anitesh Barua, and Andrew B. Whinston, you will realize how far we have come in the two decades of both doing business online and in our study of e commerce. Eight papers of the Special Issue present nuanced economic analyses of the various forms of electronic markets for a variety of physical and digital products, as well as of the collaborative commerce in supply chains. The works included here, after a competitive vetting and editing under the supervision of the Guest Editors, surface new understandings of achieving critical order mass in launching options exchanges, collaborative demand forecasting by supply-chain participants, customized bundling of information goods, competing in the app marketplaces, gifting for status in virtual worlds, the effects on online music piracy of advice giving and taking, and of effective mechanisms in pay-per-bid auctions. The richness of the subject matter and of the theoretical prisms the authors deploy to study the problems will be further discussed by the Guest Editors in their introduction to the Special Issue.
The first of the two papers in the general section investigates the ever-more salient antecedents to employees’ breaching of corporate requirements concerning information systems (IS) security. John D’Arcy, Tejaswini Herath, and Mindy K. Shoss use coping theory to probe how the stress induced by frequently inadequate (in various respects) security requirements affects the noncompliance behavior of workers who might then place IS security in peril. We know from the available disclosures of security breaches, and we infer in our assumptions about the nondisclosures, how important the matter is. The authors are able to validate a model that relates technostress to the adverse security-related behaviors and are thus in a position to offer valuable guidelines for corporate practices that would ameliorate the stressful effects of IS security requirements. There is also a significant novel contribution to our theoretical understanding of technostress here.
The outsourcing of information technology has, of course, served for decades as a means of cost reduction. However, it can offer much more to the companies that think strategically toward developing a true relationship with their outsourcing partner. Incentive alignment is necessary to develop a longitudinal win-win perspective on the outsourcing relationship. This is often said, but not often done via appropriate contractual arrangements. Of necessity incomplete, long-term outsourcing contracts can build in the mechanisms necessary for both sides to eschew opportunistic behavior and, in particular, information poaching. Xiaotong Li, the author of our concluding paper, offers a formal model and shows how to design the appropriate outsourcing relationship.