New Frontiers in e-Business, e-Government and e-Learning

9th/10th November / University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Organisers: Professor Feng Li, Dr Savvas Papagiannidis, Dr Alexis Barlow

The British Academy of Management e-Business & e-Government Special Interest Group would like to invite academics and practitioners to participate in an interactive workshop at Newcastle to explore new frontiers in e-Business, e-Government and e-Learning.The main purposes are to:

  • identify key developments both in technologies and their applications in different sectors and organisations;
  • discuss and debate key issues of common interests between participants; and
  • facilitate collaborations in research and publications.


In the past three years, the SIG has successfully edited three journal special issues and one edited book, in conjunction with the e-Business & e-Government Track at BAM annual conferences.We are currently negotiating with a number of journal editors and book publishers for a journal special issue and/or an edited book. This workshop will provide a useful forum for you to test your ideas and shape the focus of the journal special issue as well as the agenda of the SIG in general.


The first Internet boom started in the mid-1990s, and it quickly led to a bubble on the stock markets which eventually went bust in 2001.  However, the market recovered very rapidly and by 2005, there were already talks about a second Internet boom which is much more robust than the first one. For many commentators, the Internet boom itself has never stopped, because even during the stock market downturn people from all over the world continued to join the Internet to search, chat, e-mail and spend money. Today, the way we work, play, communicate, learn and shop has changed significantly, and in business, governmental, educational and voluntary organisations throughout the world, new strategies, new business models and new organisational designs are increasingly adopted to exploit the new opportunities and challenges enabled by the Internet and related technologies.

In the last few years, some new – and not so new - developments have been particularly significant, and their full social, economic, political and organisational implications are still poorly understood today. These developments, both technical and non-technical, are enabling new possibilities not even imaginable a few years ago.Examples include text messaging, instant messaging, online chat, friends networks (my space), music and ring tone downloading, blogs, podcasting, online forums, Google (search), eBay (auction), (e-tailing),, Easyjet and so on, but one of the most profound is perhaps the so-called MMORPGs – Massively multiplayer online role play games – which are significantly extending our world, and in some cases creating parallel universes.

MMORPGs are far more than computer games and some of them have already become goldmines for economic activities and social interactions – and there have been significant cross-over between the physical and the fantasy worlds both economically and socially.Further more, even though they are virtual ‘games’, millions of players are spending as much as 40 hours per week playing them – interacting with virtual characters of other players– know as Avatars – and in the process billions of game dollars (worth millions of real US dollars) changes hands, which can be bought and sold using real world money.World of Warcraft, one of the most successful MMORPGs, already has 7 million subscribers (3million in China alone!), many of them paying $15 a month subscriptions.This translates into $1billion revenue for the company alone.The amount of economic activities taking place between the players inside the game is difficult to estimate.

The Workshop

What we need to do is to make sense of such developments – either singly or in combinations - and their potential implications.The workshop will be organised as a limited number of presentations by invited guest speakers; combined with themed discussions around a range of issues.Possible topics include (but not exclusively):

  1. From a business perspective, what are the most significant technical and non-technical developments, and why?  What are the main challenges and opportunities?
  2. What novel activities and applications are currently taking places and how they might develop in the future?
  3. How might we study them? Are existing research methodologies and methods appropriate, or do we need to develop new methodologies/methods?
  4. What theoretical frameworks, techniques and skills do we need to understand the social, economic, business and political issues?
  5. MMORPGs – What are the business implications?

What you need to do ?

Each participant is expected to prepare the following information (please download the registration form) and submit it by 7th November:

  1. Who are you and what are your expertise and research/teaching interests?
  2. What do you see as the most significant developments in the broad area of this SIG (the main opportunities and challenges)?
  3. What specific topics would you like to investigate in collaboration with other SIG members? Please bear in mind the focus of this workshop is on new frontiers.


This event will be free of charge for e-Business & e-Government SIG members, and a token registration fee of £20 will be charged to non-SIG members. Cheques should be made payable to the "University of Newcastle". To register please post or email the completed registration form and a cheque, if applicable, to the following address.

Sue Robson ( )
Institute for Policy and Practice
4th Floor, Claremont Bridge
Newcastle University
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU,
United Kingdom


We plan to start the Workshop around mid-day on the 9th November to allow people to arrive; and then finish the workshop at mid-day on 10th November to allow people time to get home or spend the weekend in the beautiful Northumberland.

Each speaker will have 45mins to present a topic which will be followed by a questions from the floor and a round the table discussions.

Thursday 9th November: Room 2.21, Research Beehive, Old Library Building, Newcastle University


Registration and Coffee


Welcome note by Prof. Feng Li


Prof Tony Manninen, University of Oulu, Finland – "MMORPG: Is it a product or is it a service - challenges and implications of online games"


Discussion 1 – MMORPG
Discussion Coordinators: Feng Li & Savvas Papagiannidis


Coffee Break


James Cornford - "Focusing on Customer Focus in E-government"


Discussions 2 – Challenges of e-Government and e-Public services
Discussion Coordinator: Michael Bourlakis


BAM SIG - Sum up - AOB

 19:30-22:30 - Dinner and networking - Zizzi (42-50 Grey Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6AE)

Friday 10th November: Room 2.21, Research Beehive, Old Library Building, Newcastle University

Professor Mike Martin, Newcastle University: "Identity AND Relationship Management: The new challenges in public and commercial services".


Gianluca Misuraca, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland - "Linking research and practice at the European level the EFPL Executive Master Programme on E-governance"


Discussions 3 – The New Media Industries
Discussion Coordinator: Joanna Berry


Coffee Break


Professor Paul Beynon-Davis, University of Cardiff - eBusiness maturity and regional development


Discussions 4 – Emerging technologies and applications
Discussion Coordinators: Alexis Barlow & Peter Duncan


Closing notes


Participants will need to book their own accommodation. For hotel listings and prices please visit one of the following sites:

Travel Information