nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2008‒05‒17
six papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. Women's Professional Identity Formation in the Free/Open Source Software Community By Metiu, Anca; Obodaru, Otilia
  2. Communities of Practice and Virtual Learning Communities: Benefits, barriers and success factors By Fontainha, Elsa; Gannon-Leary, Pat
  3. Usages of the internet and e-tourism. Towards a new economy of tourism By Christian Longhi
  4. Implications of the Information and Communication Technology Development on Firms’ Performance By FRATOSTITEANU, COSMIN
  5. Demand Management Opportunities in E-fulfillment: What Internet Retailers Can Learn from Revenue Management By Agatz, N.A.H.; Campbell, A.; Fleischmann, M.; Nunen, J.A.E.E. van; Savelsbergh, M.W.P.
  6. Possibilities of quality enhancement in higher education by intensive use of information technology By Mishra, SK

  1. By: Metiu, Anca (ESSEC Business School); Obodaru, Otilia (INSEAD)
    Abstract: We examine the formation of women’s professional identity in a particular type of male-dominated domain, the free and open source software development communities, and more broadly in information technology. Through an ethnographic analysis of interviews and online forums discussions, we find that women experience two types of discrepancies or gaps that constitute obstacles in the process of identity formation: an image gap and an identity gap. We show the strategies employed by women as they attempt to bridge these gaps; we also find that some of these strategies, while tackling one gap, may also deepen the other.
    Keywords: Gender; Identity Formation; Self-presentation
    JEL: Z13
    Date: 2008–04
  2. By: Fontainha, Elsa; Gannon-Leary, Pat
    Abstract: A virtual Community of Practice (CoP) is a network of individuals who share a domain of interest about which they communicate online. The practitioners share resources (for example experiences, problems and solutions, tools, methodologies). Such communication results in the improvement of the knowledge of each participant in the community and contributes to the development of the knowledge within the domain. A virtual learning community may involve the conduct of original research but it is more likely that its main purpose is to increase the knowledge of participants, via formal education or professional development. Virtual learning communities could have learning as their main goal or the elearning could be generated as a side effect. Virtual communities of practice (CoPs) and virtual learning communities are becoming widespread within higher education institutions (HEIs) thanks to technological developments which enable increased communication, interactivity among participants and incorporation of collaborative pedagogical models, specifically through information communications technologies (ICTs) They afford the potential for the combination of synchronous and asynchronous communication, access to -and from- geographically isolated communities and international information sharing. Clearly there are benefits to be derived from sharing and learning within and out with HEIs. There is a sense of connectedness, of shared passion and a deepening of knowledge to be derived from ongoing interaction. Knowledge development can be continuous, cyclical and fluid. However, barriers exist in virtual CoPs and these are defined by the authors and illustrated with quotes from academic staff who have been involved in CoPs.Critical success factors (CSFs) for a virtual CoP are discussed. These include usability of technology; trust in, and acceptance of, ICTs in communication; a sense of belonging among members; paying attention to cross-national and cross-cultural dimensions of the CoP; shared understandings; a common sense of purpose; use of netiquette and user-friendly language and longevity. The authors recognise the enormous potential for the development of CoPs through e-mail discussion lists and discussion boards but have themselves experienced the difficulties inherent in initiating such a community. These are corroborated and illustrated with text from interviews with academic staff. Much of the literature on CoPs emanates from outside Europe, despite the fact that e-learning articles have a large diffusion around Europe. The authors suggest further exploration of this topic by identifying and studying CoPs and virtual learning communities across EU countries.
    Keywords: Communities of practice; collaborative; informal learning; interactivity; usability; e-learning
    JEL: A20 Z13
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Christian Longhi (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS : UMR6227 - Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of internet on the organization of industry and the market<br />dynamics in the tourism activities, focusing in the European scene. Tourism incorporates many features of<br />the contemporaneous information and communication economy. Even if e-tourism still stands for a small<br />share of the whole tourism activity, the paper establishes that the internet basically explains the<br />organization of the activities and markets that emerge today. A relevant analytical framework able to<br />apprehend these dynamics is first defined. The concept of sectoral system of production and innovation is<br />shown to provide a relevant analytical framework to grasp the basic changes of the tourism industry. The<br />paper enlightens on this basis the evolution resulting from the emergence of e-tourism and the uses of<br />internet, their impacts on the coordination of the activities and the markets, with a special focus on the<br />European case
    Keywords: Tourism; Sectoral Systems of Production and Innovation;ICT; Virtual Communities; GDS
    Date: 2008
    Abstract: The society towards we are heading is and will be an Informational Society-Knowledge Society (IS-KS). This mainly relies on using Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The syntagm which designates the new society particularly points out the means on which it will rely on its progress, which, at first sight, gives the impression of one technicist, unilateral name. The syntagms which have defined societies until now, contain a key-word (slavery, feudalism, capitalism), which synthesizes a scale of possible social situations in which people, individual or/and in group, are inevitably placed, according to certain conditions, making a specific economic-social structure. Nowadays, society is defined by the syntagm “new economy”, which clearly presents the message of some profound changes which are taking place. Of course, the new economy supposes a lasting growth, but it induces another approach of this lasting growth, different from the one which was made so far.
    JEL: L25 D83 L86
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Agatz, N.A.H.; Campbell, A.; Fleischmann, M.; Nunen, J.A.E.E. van; Savelsbergh, M.W.P. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: In this paper, we explain how Internet retailers can learn from proven revenue management concepts and use them to reduce costs and enhance service. We focus on attended deliveries as these provide the greatest opportunities and challenges. The key driver is service differentiation. Revenue management has shown that companies can do much better than a one-size-fits-all first-come-first-serve strategy when selling scarce capacity to a heterogeneous market. Internet retailers have strong levers at their disposal for actively steering demand, notably the offered delivery time windows and their associated prices. Unlike traditional revenue management, these demand management decisions affect both revenues and costs. This calls for a closer coordination of marketing and operations than current common practice.
    Keywords: demand management;revenue management;home delivery;marketing-operations interface;E-fulfillment
    Date: 2008–04–25
  6. By: Mishra, SK
    Abstract: Quality of higher education is a multi-dimensional concept. It lies in effectiveness of transmitting knowledge and skill; the authenticity, content, coverage and depth of information; availability of reading/teaching materials; help in removing obstacles to learning; applicability of knowledge in solving the real life problems; fruitfulness of knowledge in personal and social domains; convergence of content and variety of knowledge over space (countries and regions) and different sections of the people; cost-effectiveness and administrative efficiency. Information technology has progressed very fast in the last three decades; it has produced equipments at affordable cost and it has now made their wider application feasible. This technology has made search, gathering, dissemination, storing, retrieval, transmission and reception of knowledge easier, cheaper and faster. Side by side, a vast virtual library vying with the library in prints has emerged and continues growing rapidly. One may hold that the e-libraries are the libraries of tomorrow when the libraries in prints will be the antiques or the archival objects of the past. This paper discusses in details how information technology can be applied to enhance the quality of higher education at affordable cost. It also discusses the major obstacles to optimal utilization of information technology and measures to remove them.
    Keywords: Information Technology; Quality in Higher Education; e-library; e-book; e-journal
    JEL: A23 A20 I23
    Date: 2008–05–11

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