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An Exploratory Study of the Emerging Role of Electronic Intermediaries

Authors: Bakos, Yannis
Bailey, Joseph
Keywords: electronic data interchange;electronic markets;intermediaries;Internet commerce
Issue Date: 1997
Publisher: International Journal of Electronic Commerce
Citation: International Journal of Electronic Commerce, Volume 1, No. 3, Spring 1997, pp. 7-20
Series/Report no.: CeDER-PP-1997-04
Abstract: It is often argued that as electronic markets lower the cost of market transactions, traditional roles for intermediaries will be eliminated, leading to "disintermediation." We discuss the findings of an exploratory study of intermediaries in electronic markets, which suggest that markets do not necessarily become disintermediated as they become facilitated by information technology. We explore thirteen case studies of firms participating in electronic commerce and find evidence of certain new emerging roles for electronic intermediaries, including: aggregating, matching suppliers and customers, providing trust, and providing inter-organizational market information. Two specific examples are discussed in greater detail to illustrate an unsuccessful strategy for electronic intermediation (BargainFinder) as well as a successful one (Firefly).
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