The Evolution Of E-Commerce Research: A Stakeholder Perspective


Cecil Eng Huang Chua
Detmar W. Straub
Huoy Min Khoo
Savitha Kadiyala


The rapid rise of e-Commerce as a legitimate market has brought a corresponding increase in the number of academic papers on the subject. Stakeholder theory suggests that, as an emerging research discipline, e-Commerce research is likely to focus primarily on specific stakeholders and ignore others. This paper surveys seven of the top nine e-Commerce journals to test this proposition. We demonstrate that academic e-Commerce researchers concentrate their attentions on two stakeholder groups, specifically customers and the internal organization (i.e., managers and employees) of the Net-Enhanced Organization (NEO). Other stakeholders such as suppliers, indirect stakeholders, investors, and regulators receive disproportionately less research interest. However, as e-Commerce matures, these neglected themes, topics, industries, and stakeholders will require increasing attention. We thus explore some of the research questions relevant to these neglected stakeholders, and argue that IS and e-Commerce researchers should investigate these emergent issues before researchers in other disciplines do so.

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November, 2005

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