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Chaffey, E-Business and E-Commerce, Fourth Edition, Activity Answers

CHAPTER 4

E-environment

Activity answers
4.1 Introduction to social, legal and ethical issues
Q. List all the social, legal and ethical issues that the manager of a sell-side e-commerce web site needs to consider to avoid damaging relationships with users of his or her site or which may leave the company facing prosecution. You can base your answer on issues which may concern you, your friends or your family when accessing a web site. The following answers are a small selection of what may be suggested. They are covered in more detail later in the chapter: Cookies Are we limiting access to information from certain sections of society (social exclusion)? Privacy of personal information entered on a web site Sending unsolicited e-mail Replying promptly to e-mail Copyright Site content and promotional offers/adverts are in keeping with the different laws in different countries Providing text, graphics and personality in keeping with social mores of different countries

4.2 Understanding enablers and barriers to consumer adoption of Internet services


Q. Access a recent survey in your country of attitudes to the Internet. In particular, you should concentrate on reasons why customers have used the Internet or have not used the Internet at all. 1. These are the main observations: Using e-mail for communication remains the main online activity. The Internet is popular for finding product information with actual online purchases and online banking less important, but increasing
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Chaffey, E-Business and E-Commerce, Fourth Edition, Activity Answers

General browsing has reduced The government has not been successful in encouraging more users to access its services online

2. The main driver for use is identification of need and benefit marketing communications can be used to sell the benefits, but this will not be successful in all cases the government has invested in advertising to encourage online use of its service without significant changes. The main barriers are fear or lack of identification of need again marketing communications to explain benefits and reassuring customers can assist here.

4.3 Achieving legal compliance


Q. Identify different options for companies to monitor and comply with emerging e-commerce law. You should consider options for different sizes of company. The options are: 1. Do It Yourself (DIY). Monitor changes in law using e-mail alerts from online law specialists such as Marketing Law (www.marketinglaw.co.uk). Information from the government and local business advisers may also help provide information (www.sbs.gov.uk). This is the lowest cost option and is adopted by small and medium companies. Managers should check the company is on the data protection registrar, that clear responsibilities are defined (e.g. data controller, person responsible for data security). Staff should be trained on the implications of the DPA to them. 2. Contract a lawyer, or better still a specialist lawyer with expertise in e-commerce to audit your e-commerce legal practice or to monitor developments and advise you on a continuous basis. Medium to large companies will be able to afford this route. 3. Compliance departments. Large companies, particularly those in markets with additional legislation such as financial services, have departments to advise on these issues. They need to monitor e-commerce specific issues and inform marketers about them.

4.4Government and company monitoring of electronic communication


Write down the arguments for and against each of these statements, debate individually or a group to come to a consensus. 1. This house believes that organizations have no right to monitor employees use of e-mail or the web. Arguments for: Protects companies from employee fraud. Protects companies from time wasting activities (see the Lois Franxhi constructive dismissal case: http://news.zdnet.co.uk/internet/0,39020369,2072304,00.htm) (see cases http://news.zdnet.co.uk/internet/0,39020369,2083185,00.htm).

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Chaffey, E-Business and E-Commerce, Fourth Edition, Activity Answers

Protects companies from making unwarranted claims about other organizations(see Norwich Union 1997 case: Example: http://www.mccann-fitzgerald.ie/legal_briefing/litigation_arbitration/email_libel.html). May be written into employment contract. Can be conducted with government data protection guidelines. Guidelines related by UK government in June 2003: http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/dpr/dpdoc.nsf/0/024aaa3a87d81c 1f80256bf000526286/$FILE/3+moitoring.pdf

Arguments against: These are difficult to enumerate but revolve around the concepts of trust and invading an individuals privacy 2. This house believes that governments have no right to monitor all Internet-based communications passing through ISPs. Arguments for: Can alert them to terrorist activities. Not enshrined in law in all countries. In the UK, there is the Regulation of Investigatory Powers or RIP Act http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/20000023.htm

Argument against: Invasion of privacy.

4.5 Overcoming SME resistance to international e-commerce


Q. For each of the four barriers to internationalization given in Table 4.6 suggest the management reasons why the barriers may exist and actions that governments can take to overcome these barriers. Evaluate how well the government in your country communicates the benefits of e-commerce through education and training.

Table 4.7 Issues in SME resistance to exporting


Barrier 1. Psychological Management issues Will the investment be recouped? Do we have the human resources? How can barrier be overcome? Success stories of companies who have become exporters can show the contribution to revenue possible and the expenditure necessary. Highlight availability and cost of specialists for legal advice, export documentation and translation. Publicity about the range of low cost, off-the-shelf solutions for implementing e-commerce.

2. Operational

Do we need to translate web content for language and cultural differences? How do we deal with country specific laws and taxation? How do we build e-services? How do we make transactions

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Chaffey, E-Business and E-Commerce, Fourth Edition, Activity Answers

secure? 3. Organizational Do we have the right structure and responsibilities? Do we need to open new overseas sales offices? 4. Product/market Which market do we target? Do products or packaging require modification for overseas markets? Benchmarking from other countries can help address these issues. Provide training on best practice for organizational structure and employee development.

Source: Barriers from Hamill and Gregory (1997) and Poon and Jevons (1997)

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