Summary of BAM SIG Workshop

This successful workshop, organised by the e-Business & e-Government Special Interest Group of the British Academy of Management was hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University and BAM on 24th and 25th January 2008. The organisers, Dr Elizabeth Williamson, Caledonian Business School, Dr Savvas Papagiannidis, Newcastle University Business School and Professor Feng Li, Newcastle University Business School, welcomed around 30 delegates from all parts of the UK to present and deliberate on the Emerging Opportunities and Challenges in E-Business: Theories, Methods and Applications. The delegates were also welcomed by Mr Martin Togneri, Director and Dean of Caledonian Business School.Further details about the workshop are available here.

This meeting built on the previous successful workshop at Brunel University Business School on 10th May 2007, when the discussion centred around E-Business and Information Systems Research: Where are we going? Selected presentations from this workshop have been double blind reviewed and published in a special issue of the International Journal of Business Science and Applied Management Vol 2 Issue 2 (2007).

In the last few years, e-business developments are increasingly enabling new possibilities in the way we work, play, communicate, entertain and learn.  In particular, on top of ‘traditional’ examples of text messaging, instant messaging, online chat and forums, social networking (my space), music and ring tone downloading, blogs, podcasting, Google (search), Wikipedia, eBay (auction), (e-tailing),, EasyJet and so on, many new possibilities are increasingly opened through the so-called MMORPGs – Massively multiplayer online role play games.  Some of them have increasingly become important social, economic and political spaces, which are intertwined with the physical and electronic spaces and places of our world.  These developments are not only posing serious challenges and opportunities in terms of new technologies and applications in different contexts, but also posing serious methodological challenges for researchers to effectively make sense of what is happening in a timely and robust fashion. 

The main purposes of the workshop and focii of the presenters were to identify emerging technologies and applications in e-Business; and explore emerging methodological challenges in e-Business research. Eight presentations took place over two days with an opportunity for participants to network and socialise during the evening of the first day.

The first presentation was given by an invited speaker, Dr Stephen McLaughlin, a managing partner of KROBUS and an Adam Smith Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow. He drew on his experience gained within a complex supply chain organisation and discussed how the increasing need to change and respond to market forces is causing organisations to re-think how best to employ e-business technologies. This was followed by presentations on subjects including issues surrounding the adoption of e-commerce in commercial companies, central government, the NHS and universities. This workshop adopted the successful format of two half-days, with a social evening in between.