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Systèmes d'Information et Management

Article Title

Quel rôle pour les places de marché électroniques : simple prestataire technologique de services informatiques ou chef d'orchestre d'un processus global d'échange ?

Abstract

This paper investigates the functional role of Electronic Market Places (EMPs) in the process of business management. Our results are based on twenty-eight semi-structured interviews of people directly concerned with EMP development projects such as EMP directors, EMP buyers, EMP sellers and software companies. In terms of range, this qualitative research covers nearly twenty EMPs in different sectors of activity. The paper shows that under the term EMP lies a great variety of situations, and notably the relative setback of public EMPs. In most cases, EMPs play the role of computer companies which have to manage transactional streams in private virtual spaces. The interest for sellers and buyers to outsource the management of the exchange process to an EMP operator is put in question. Up to now, outsourcing only concerns supply and buying departments, but we can think that EMP could cover other domains upstream (products design) or downstream (logistic support) of the exchange process. The outsourcing issue leads us to describe the functional role of EMPs as new middlemen in the web value chain. To conclude, the paper provides a number of elements to help explain the obstacles of electronic B2B exchanges managed through EMP operators.

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