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Geographic and socially embedded electronic transactions: Towards a situated view of business-to-consumer and business-to-business e-commerce

By Charles Steinfield


Electronic commerce development was shaped by a number of assumptions about how it adds value to economic exchange. These assumptions focused attention on the ability of e-commerce to transcend distance and reach into markets without physical presence, replace costlier in-person transactions with electronic ones, and demonstrate network effects that reward rapid growth. In this paper, I argue that such a view does not fully conform to the way much trade occurs, resulting in efforts by many firms to implement e-commerce in a manner that at best fails to capitalize on existing assets and at worst disrupts existing relations and reduces value. In particular, work on the dynamics of click and mortar firms is used to highlight opportunities posed by taking a more situated view of e-commerce in business-to-consumer ecommerce. In addition, such a situated view is further suggested in the business-to-business arena by examining the importance of local and regional business clusters. Some evidence suggests that a situated approach to e-commerce in both contexts would yield benefit, although this approach is as yet relatively underutilized

Publisher: Physica-Verlag
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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