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Raising the Standard of Management Education for Electronic Commerce Professionals

By Richard Joseph

Abstract

The teaching of electronic commerce in universities has become a growth industry in itself. The rapid expansion of electronic commerce programmes raises the question of what actually is being taught. The association of electronic commerce as primarily a technical or information technology (IT) phenomenon has not been sufficient to constrain it to IT and information systems departments. Business schools have been keen entrants into the electronic commerce coursework race and they are developing electronic commerce programmes in an environment where there is no agreed definition of the term. This paper draws on the work of Kenneth Boulding who argued that the dynamics of change in society are largely a product of changing skills and the way these skills are arranged into roles at the organizational level. It is argued that an overly technical interpretation of electronic commerce narrows the skills being acquired as part of formal education. Universities, under pressure from the market and technological change, are changing their roles resulting in a further narrowing of the breadth of issues that is seen as legitimate to be included as electronic commerce. The outcome is that aspiring electronic commerce professionals are not being exposed to a wide enough agenda of ideas and concepts that will assist them to make better business decisions.Electronic Commerce, Management Education, Skills, Training, Universities,

DOI identifier: 10.1080/08109020210137501
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