Course Goals









Spring Semester 2004 - 6:15 PM Mondays in Room 115 Mervis Hall

(CRN 41106) Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh

Last updated April 22, 2004 04:25 PM


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Professor: Dennis Galletta

                   232 Mervis Hall

                   phone 648-1699



Secretary: None


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Course Goals

It would be an understatement to say that the Internet has created frantic investment and hype over the last nine years. Although the honeymoon seems to be long over for most e-businesses, and several moved quickly on to divorce, there are no movements to abandon use of the millions of web sites that have been created.

Perhaps stability has emerged. Most firms with PE ratios in the hundreds are now at more conventional levels. Strategies are maturing, and it seems that a compromise between the online and physical world is likely to be effective; the usefulness of incorporating bricks with clicks emerged about 3 years ago. Customer relationship and supply chain management serve to handle the input and output streams, and back end processes tie them together.

The business world completely ignored the Internet until 1994, then became completely obsessed with it. The most recent NUA survey (which has not been updated since then) tells us that as of September 2002 there are over 606 million potential current customers (current users) worldwide. According to a December 29, 2003 Nielsen Netratings report, there are over 108 million home users in the U.S. alone (36% of the population) and narrowband (dial-up) users outnumber broadband users 2:1. Growth appears to be slowing in the U.S., but rapid growth continues in many other parts of the world. 

Riches have been reaped by a few firms, but it seems that not everyone is so lucky. Countless firms fell during the "bubble burst" of 2000, and the future is considered to be very uncertain.

While one might be somewhat pessimistic (reflected in enrollment patterns in this course), there remain staggering statistics. Nielsen reported in a December 23, 2003 report that buyers set another new record for purchases online: $2.95 billion in the second week of December alone (an increase of 48% from the year before). That represents 20.5% of their holiday budgets, an increase of 4.1 percentage points from 2002). In contrast, catalog sales continue to represent 6.7% of holiday budgets (unchanged since 2002) and brick-and-mortar stores decreased 3.9 percentage points to 72.9% of holiday budgets. The percent of satisfied online purchasers reached 62.1%, which is 4.1 points higher than 2002, and dissatisfied purchasers moved from 8% in 2002 to 6.8% in 2003, a decrease of 1.2 points.

Our goal is to blend some technical "how to" material into mostly-strategic "why" material to help you build a little less uncertainty into your online lives!

Learning Objectives

bulletUnderstanding of a broad range of Internet tools
bulletExposure to options for developing basic Internet applications (Front Page; a little Javascript for form validation and totaling; VB.Net, and Active Server Pages for linkages to databases)
bulletBusiness models and applications
bulletBenefits and risks
bulletWhat are local "movers and shakers" thinking (via guest lectures now being scheduled)
bulletDeveloping an Internet Business Plan


A computer is not required for class. In fact, it is expected that if you do bring along your laptop, you will not distract other students with it. Please do not expect to be able to catch up on your e-mail and do casual browsing during class, as it disturbs others.  Constantly-open laptops will result in lower course participation scores!

Name Tag: Please use name tags, assuming I do not know your name. Lack of a name-tag will result in lower course participation scores (maximum of 50%).

Turban, Efraim (with King, Lee, and Viehland). Electronic Commerce 2004: A Managerial Perspective (3rd Ed.) published by Prentice Hall, ISBN #0-13-009493-5

Supplementary Readings and cases (Harvard cases will be available from XanEdu by following their instructions.  The cost is $10.50 for online only (or $24.55 for both printed and online versions).


bulletPaypal (available in class only)
bulletLands' End (available from Courseweb site)
bulleteBay: The Customer Marketplace. (Harvard Case 9-602-071) (Harvard case 9-800-330)
bulletFree Markets Online (Harvard Case 9-598-109)
bulletOne essay assignment on e-business initiatives

Please do not e-mail me your case answers! Please print them and hand them in. Alternatively, you may use Courseweb.

Note on academic honesty: It is expected that all assignments will be your own original work, not copied and pasted from any source (friends, web sites, etc.).  Failure to cite a source and mark quoted material is a serious violation of academic integrity, no matter how small the assignment, and could result in a failing grade in this course and/or the MBA program.




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Item type Score
5 written cases @ 7 (on paper or CourseWeb) Individual


1 e-commerce analysis (on paper or CourseWeb) Individual


Class Discussion; Participation; Attendance Individual


Application assignment: Internet Business Plan


Application assignment: WWW Implementation


Total   100


Now available: Access to cases.  See the instructions to access the cases. Questions to answer for each case are described at each link in the schedule below. Please submit your answers on paper (preferred) or using CourseWeb.  Please do not use e-mail.

Internet Business Plan: Working individually or in teams of up to 5, establish a fictitious or real organization's plan for their presence on the WorldWide Web. The larger the team, the more elaborate the project is expected to be.  Five grading criteria will be used, three of which are specific portions of the business plan outline.

bulletAnalysis of the market and the competition
bulletFinancial projections
bulletSteps to take
bulletOverall (effort, creativity)

If you want some in-depth help on Business Plans, you can take the on-line tutorial offered by our textbook. Also see other sources on the business plan outline page.

WWW Implementation of Business Plan: Provide an executive summary and walk through the site. Students will judge the site, but the grade will not be based on these peer judgments.  Links to last year's project sites (many of which might no longer be working) and top 3 peer winners in each category can be found on the results page. Last year, first place overall and first place for effort was "Centrale...Brasserie" (Reema Anand, Erik Ketzan, Viktor G. Jelinek).  First place for originality was "" (John Florek, Andria Barnes, Sapna Dodia, Adam Podrat, George Parker). First place for viability was "Oakland Wireless" (Rob Verenna, Steve Knoll, Lee Forsythe). Congratulations to the winners.



Week Topic/materials (please have chapters read before class) Assignment Due
1 (Jan 5)

Course Introduction/technological roots


2 (Jan 12)

Overview of Electronic Commerce (chapter 1)

E-Marketplaces and Economic Impacts (chapter 2)

Build to Order Production (chapter 2A)

3 (Jan 26)

Technologies: Infrastructure, Web Design, Web programming --(Appendices A, B, C from text Web site)
Ties to a database via forms, Javascript, & Front Page 2003
--(handouts provided on Jan. 26)

Assignment 1 due

4 (Feb 2)

Technologies: VB and ASP.NET familiarity (handouts on Feb 2)

Retailing in E-Commerce (chapter 3)

Internet Consumers, Marketing Research (chapter 4)

Data Collection, Mining, Analysis (chapter 4a)


Lands' End case due

5 (Feb 9)

Company-Centric B to B (chapter 6)

EDI and Internet-Based EDI (chapter 6a)

E-Marketplaces and B to B Exchanges (chapter 7)

Networks and Extranets for B to B (chapter 7a)

Order Fulfillment (chapter 14)

6 (Feb 16)

E-Supply Chain, Intrabusiness, Portals, C-Commerce (chapter 8)

Intranets (chapter 8a)

Auctions (chapter 11) case due  
7 (Feb 23)

E-Government, E-Learning, C2C, KM (chapter 9)


8 (Mar 1)

Advertising (chapter 5)

Mobile Commerce/Pervasive Computing (chapter 10);

E-Commerce Security I (chapter 12)

Free Markets case due

Guest Speaker: Nikhil Mathew of Free Markets 

9 (Mar 8) E-Commerce Security II EBay case due
Guest Speaker: Dain Gary of RedSiren
10 (Mar 15)

E-Commerce Security III

Electronic Payment Systems (chapter 13)

11 (Mar 22)

Launching a Successful Internet Business (chapter 16)

Building E-Commerce Applications and Infrastructure (online chapter 18)

Business Plans (text's tutorial)

Paypal case due (available through Courseweb)

12 (Mar 29)

EC Strategy and Implementation (chapter 15)

Legal and Social Impacts Environment (chapter 17)

Guest Speaker: Kevin Horner, CIO of Alcoa North America

13 (Apr 5) Presentations of Business Plans, Web sites Business Plan, Web site due


Note: All updates will be presented in reverse-chronological order.

March 29: Some have asked whether an image map is required.  It is not required (was never listed in the requirements), and I have revised the grading guidelines accordingly.

March 15: Some have asked me about the Paypal case.  It is available on Courseweb.

Jan. 6: Dates for some of the cases and readings have been revised slightly due to guest speaker availability.