Examining the Dynamics of Value Propositions in Digital Books: A Social Constructivist Perspective

Examining the Dynamics of Value Propositions in Digital Books: A Social Constructivist Perspective

Wilson Ozuem (University of West London, UK) and Geoff Lancaster (London School of Commerce, UK)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7409-7.ch015
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There are conceptual ambiguities around the concept of digital divide and contradictory findings in extant literature. For example, one major disjuncture is the emphasis on inequalities in material access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), which focuses on the technical and infrastructural domains of digital divide. Drawing on a social constructivist paradigmatic perspective, this chapter examines the dynamics of value propositions in digital books. The chapter concludes by calling for a greater and deeper understanding of digital divide, as well as further research on quantitative approaches.
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The digital economy, also referred to as a knowledge economy, has brought about a world in which wealth and power increasingly depend on information technology, intellectual property, and control over information flows (Shapiro & Varian, 1999; Carr, 2010; Simmons, 2008; Davenport & Beck, 2001). In one sense, such an economy provides further democratisation in the spread of ideas and resources; in another, it contributes to a “digital divide” between those with wide access to the internet and those without (Epstein, Nisbet, & Gillespie, 2011; DiMaggio et al., 2004; Cuervo & Menendez, 2006; Page et al., 2010; Bolt & Crawford, 2000). Determining how notions of digital divide influence decision making for organisations is problematic, not least because the concept of digital divide itself is amorphous, evolving, and rooted in consumer and organisational awareness and their level of technological adoption. The concept represents a complex phenomenon that is at one and the same ubiquitous yet elusive, completely prosaic yet vague, easy to conceptualise, but frustratingly prone to misperceptions. Researchers have defined digital divide in a variety of ways, but with no conceptual framework to link different types of computer-mediated environments or indicate their interaction in influencing effective online marketing strategy. The potential of new media tools, used in an appropriate combination, and a strategy to manage each of these, can create the basis of a sound marketing strategy that integrates offline and online modalities. No study of computer-mediated marketing environments (CMMEs) and its effect on marketing can begin without an accurate (or close) explanation of what the concept of the ‘digital divide’ implies. While experts and lay people alike have a feel for what it may mean, the term itself appears to defy a very close description to others. This chapter aims to contribute to extant knowledge on digital divide, particularly the impact of digital divide in the bookstores industry and also reinforce academic behaviour related to issues wider than publication, e.g. understanding consumer behaviour in the development of innovative business models in the industry, particularly marketing communications programme to target those segments that are digitally disaffected. This chapter presents a two-stage research design to solicit perspectives on the online marketing challenges confronting marketing executives in the bookstore industry.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Social Constructionism: An umbrella concept that describes the underlying meaning-making of qualitative research that reality is not something ‘out there’ to be discovered.

Information and Communication Technology: Stands for technologies or devices that provide access to information through telecommunications.

Thematic Analysis: Refers to the process of data segmentation and coding in qualitatively-based research methodology.

Electronic-Reader (E-Reader): An instrument for reading content, such as e-books , newspapers and document.

Qualitative Research: Refers to procedures or methodology used to generate unstructured, open-ended interviews, and observations.

Case Study: A research strategy that draws together numerous data collection techniques to generate qualitative data.

Digital Divide: Refers to those individuals with or without access to internet technology based on their acceptance of the medium of communication.

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