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  • The Editor's Column
  • Ilze Zigurs

The four research articles in this issue present very different, yet highly complementary, views of key phenomena related to electronic services. The issue starts with Iris Junglas and Richard Watson's study of "National Culture and Electronic Commerce: A Comparative Study of U.S. and German Web Sites." These two authors analyze cultural differences of U.S. and German Web sites in a way that is both interesting and widely relevant. They pair a U.S. with a German company in three different industries and provide detailed descriptions of the Web sites of those pairs. Their analysis develops three clusters of attributes that influence the structure and functionality of corporate Web sites. As the authors note, an understanding of the influence of these clusters can help in more effective development of new electronic services.

The second research article is by D. Harrison McKnight, Charles Kacmar, and Vivek Choudhury, and it is titled "Dispositional Trust and Distrust Distinctions in Predicting High- and Low-Risk Internet Expert Advice Site Perceptions." These authors propose a very interesting approach to the study of trust, which is well known as an essential component of perceptions of electronic services. Rather than viewing trust and distrust as two ends of a single dimension, this article proposes that these two concepts be given separate roles. The intriguing discussion of how trust and distrust might be viewed separately provides excellent food for thought about a very important aspect of e-services. The study that is reported in this article adds a creative and useful perspective to the literature.

The third research article, titled "Empirical Models of E-Government Growth in Local Governments," is by Christopher Reddick. The analysis in this article is conducted at the level of local governments, and it focuses on identifying the stage of development of those entities with respect to their relationships with other governments, their citizens, and businesses. A stage model is described and applied to data collected from an e-government survey. The findings of this analysis are especially appropriate in this time of attention to government costs and practices, and the results provide an opportunity for governments to see how they might connect more closely with citizenry through technology.

The final research article in this issue is by Fu-Ren Lin, Shiu-Li Huang, and Nian- Shing Chen, and it is titled "Incremental Revision of Recommendation Rules for Information Services." This article takes a rather different view of the overall problem of providing information services that satisfy users. Here, the view is of the underlying techniques that are used to recommend information, and how a specific algorithm might [End Page 1] be implemented to enhance recommendations. A test of the system includes the useful application of an instrument for measuring user satisfaction with Internet information services. Thus, the contributions of this interesting paper come from several directions and contribute to the variety of views that the papers in this issue take on the complex problem of provision of electronic services.

Change is as endemic to the academic world as it is to the electronic world, and therefore we have two announcements of changes in the editorial board. First, it is with great regret that we announce that Senior Editor Carol Saunders is leaving the editorial board of e-Service Journal. My personal regret is inescapably mingled with my admiration for the reason she is leaving us, namely that Carol is the incoming Editor-in-Chief of the MIS Quarterly. Warmest congratulations to Carol for this recognition! She will be missed here at e-SJ but her significant contributions to our field will continue.

Secondly, I am delighted to announce the addition to the editorial board of our newest Associate Editor, Professor Thomas Stafford of the University of Memphis. Tom served as guest co-editor for a special section in our last issue and he brings a wealth of experience as a researcher, reviewer, and editor. He has served on editorial boards of journals and conferences, including Associate Editor for ICIS 2004 and many track chair and mini-track chair positions. His research interests span e-business, e-commerce, supply chain management, and motivations for Internet use...


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