So the community building process is in a very early phase and not many serious publications with a business focus are available. At this point we should remember the relation between mobile and electronic commerce. Of course we can reduce the discussion to a question of definitions. This position is not very helpful and even shortsighted. It denies that MAC is an emergent field with its own set of concepts and relationships. The reduced view of understanding MAC as Just another electronic marketing channel is understandable from a strategic or 3 marketing point of view.
It is not, however, really a help for understanding this new field and even less for supporting practice with reliable data and insights. This does not mean that we will not have one common view (or more of them) in the near future. An impression of this possible future is given in a short essay on I-I-commerce by Watson (2000). But before this becomes reality we have to elaborate theories, models and appliances of practical use. In short, MAC is different because of the equipment, the application and the infrastructure currently used.
It is this difference that makes research directions necessary. And it should not be forgotten at this point that there is still a high economic risk in the mobile business and it is not clear who will be the key players in the next decade. A first attempt to structure the research field is the hex model by Straus and Watson (2000). It is used to explain e-commerce from a stakeholders perspective. This model covers the basic interactions with various stakeholders whereby the organizations are linked by the supply-chain or further intermediaries.
Further models presented in the next sections of this paper concentrate on MAC services, MAC market players, and the value chain. Beyond this background we suggest to follow a structural approach. This structural approach is related to the need for something similar to a landscape or a map presenting the relevant areas in a context (dependencies, relations etc. ). In other words, there is a need for a general model allowing the integration of partial research results and supporting an incremental process of knowledge accumulation. A preliminary attempt is made after the comparison and discussion of the models already mentioned. . A STAKEHOLDER PERSPECTIVE The stakeholder perspective uses a broad definition of MAC based on a prior definition of e-commerce (see Watson et al. 2000). Mobile commerce is the use of cell phone various stakeholders to improve organizational performance. Stakeholders include customers, suppliers, governments, financial institutions, managers, employees, and the public at large. Increasing profitability, gaining market share, improving customer service, and delivering products faster are some of the organizational performance gains possible with m-commerce.
The hexagonal model describes the organization’s interactions with various stakeholders (see figure 2) developed by Straus and Watson (2000). In their model, the firm is shown to interact with six stakeholders, namely: (1) suppliers or (2) intermediaries, (3) customers (4) government, (5) employees, and (6) investors. 4 Investor Supplier/ intermediary Government Firm Employee Customer Figure 2. Hexagonal (Hex) Model of Firm Interactions potentially be investigated. For example, researchers could study the issues involved in GSM communications between a firm and its investors.
In identifying and exploring the research issues posed for each relationship, we concentrate on the goals that a firm is likely to pursue. In the case of the firm/investor relationship, the firm is most likely to be seeking to lower its cost of capital. It is the research questions raised by these relationships that are the dominant focus for the remainder of this section (see Table 1). Table 1: Stakeholder-driven research issues (Straus and Watson, 2000) Stakeholder Firm’s goal Research questions and issues Minimize the cost of How does a mobile information service make a firm a more attractive investment proposition? Vital. What information do mobile investors want to pull and what do they want pushed? 5 Reduce the cost of complying with government regulations. How can mobile technology reduce the cost of transferring information to governments? Decision making. How does mobile technology increase the buying power? Increase market share and share of a customer. What mobiles information services do customers value? How can customization increase switching costs? Maximize revenue. Technology reduce supplier/intermediary coordination and information sharing?
Retain customers. Reduce transaction costs. Reduce raw material costs. Supplier/elementary technology be used to influence political and public opinion? What business model maximizes revenue? Increase employee productivity. Can be leveraged by mobile information services? What is the ROI on mobile information services for employees? Share knowledge across the How to design and deliver organization. Mobile information systems that make knowledge accessible when and where required?
The research questions raised in Table 1 are, we believe, central issues for IS researchers studying MAC. They are large in scope and consequently unlikely to be answered in a single study. We believe a program of research will be more successful when driven by a top down approach, as this enables a comprehensive investigation to be planned. Key issues can be explored using multiple methods (e. G. , experiments to studying the relationship between information and an investor’s opinion of a firm to field studies of employee directed mobile information systems).