The Internet heralded an unprecedented evolution in the transformation of all business and communication. The Internet is growing at an annualized rate of 18% and now has one billion users. Due to this growth, e-commerce will continue to grow in next few years. The United States online population is estimated to be 211 million by 2006 and United States online retail sale are estimated at $112.5 billion for 2006. Jupiter Research predicts that online retail sales are expected to grow from $81 billion in 2005 to $144 billion in 2010 (Jupiter Media Metrix, 2006). E-commerce is defined as buying and selling of information, products, and services via computer networks or internet. Internet and electronic commerce technologies are transforming the entire economy; and changing business models, revenue streams, customer bases, and supply chains. New business models are emerging in every industry of the New Economy. In these emerging models, intangible assets such as relationships, knowledge, people, brands, and systems are taking center stage (Hudson, 2000; Verhoest, Hawkins, & Desruelle, 2003). The relationship and interaction of various stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, strategic partners, agents, or distributors is entirely changed (Sharma & Gupta, 2001, 2003; Sharma, 2005).
Key Terms in this Chapter
E-Commerce: E-commerce is defined as the conduct of buying and selling of products and services by businesses and consumers over the internet. E simply means anything done electronically, usually via the Internet. E-commerce is the means of selling goods on the Internet, using Web pages.
Cyber Slacking: When technologies are implemented in the hope of seeing productivity rise and quality increase but do not see corresponding productivity increases, this activity has been coined as “cyber slacking.”
Privacy: Privacy is defined as an individual’s right to be left alone, free from
Security: Security refers to the integrity of the data storage, processing and transmitting system and includes concerns about the reliability of hardware and software, the protection against intrusion or infiltration by unauthorized users.
Social Isolation: The separation of individuals or groups resulting in the lack of or minimizing of social contact and/or communication. This separation may be accomplished by physical separation, by social barriers and by psychological mechanisms. In the latter, there may be interaction but no real communication.
Digital Divide: Digital divide can be defined as the lack of equal access and benefit from computer technologies and the Internet in particular, creating a gap between those who have and those who have not.
Telecommuting: Telecommuting is defined as, the practice of working at home or at a remote site in lieu of working in the office.