T320-Block1-Part4.pdf - T320 E-business technologies foundations and practice Block 1 Part 4 Constructing vocabularies alongside technologies Prepared

T320-Block1-Part4.pdf - T320 E-business technologies...

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T320 E-business technologies: foundations and practice Block 1 Part 4: Constructing vocabularies alongside technologies Prepared for the course team by Ian Martin Introduction 2 Overview 2 Aims 2 Constructing the concept of e-business 2 E-business and e-commerce defined 4 Distinguishing between e-business and e-commerce 4 Etymology 5 Summary 6 Copyright © 2008 The Open University WEB 00555 8 1.1
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T320 E-business technologies: foundations and practice Introduction Overview You will have noticed from previous discussions surrounding the use of terms such as model, framework and standard that the vocabularies we use in everyday conversation, business scenarios and academic contexts are not always shared. You're also probably coming to realise that the technologies and standards of e-business, and ways of doing e-business, have undergone a process of construction. In this part of Block 1 I am going to take a look at the construction of the concept that is at the very heart of this course: that of e-business. To do this I shall introduce you to an academic article that serves as a key resource in understanding the e-business concept. In doing so, I hope we can come to an agreement on what constitutes e-business, e-commerce and electronic data interchange, and how our understanding can exist alongside the definitions of others. Aims The aim of this text is to introduce you to the concept and definition of e-business that is central to this course, and to help you to think about the relationship between vocabulary and technology. When you have finished this part of Block 1 you should be able to: x Define the terms e-business and e-commerce. x Explain the relationship between the concepts of e-business and e-commerce. x Use Earl's six-stage model of e-business in order to measure an organisation's e-business maturity. Constructing the concept of e-business The ability to express ideas clearly is a fundamental part of effective communication. In academic writing it often seems that the author is taking ages to make his or her point. There's a reason for this. When writing at this level, it's important that an author communicates precisely to the reader his or her understanding of a term and how he or she wishes it to be used. This can be particularly important in a relatively immature academic field such as e-business, which has been around for less than fifteen years. It has a rapidly expanding vocabulary that is still being constructed alongside the technology. This can cause much confusion for those new to the language, with terms jostling alongside each other for acceptance. One fundamental part of our vocabulary that you may already be wondering about is the choice of the term 'e-business' to describe the subject matter in this block and the course as a whole. Perhaps you've also seen it written down as eBusiness, or ebusiness. Another, related term you may be aware of is e-commerce (or eCommerce, or ecommerce). So what's the difference between e-business and e-commerce? Well, you will see shortly that people in the business and academic
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