Determinants of quality assurance for common good in an e- environment of man- machine symbiosis

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Palliam, Ralph
Awwad, Rawda
Conference Paper
Marketing in a computer mediated environment presents numerous challenges. The emergence of internet-based business has radically transformed the global political, economic and social landscape over the past decade. Man-machine symbiosis is an expected development in this regard. This entails a close working relationship between the human and the electronic cyberspace. The use of computers facilitate an exchange process provides solutions for a consumption-related problems. Man on the other hand co-operates in presenting cyber solutions in a systematic fashion without the need for the consumer to move from one location to another. In this symbiotic relationship, individual entrepreneurs will design several objectives based on research, will determine the need-satisfying criteria, and will set in motion the necessary physical transfer mechanisms. Machines will perform the routine work that consumers would need to perform in an exchange process. The symbiotic relationship presents itself with many challenges. It is therefore not surprising that quality assurance in an e-environment needs to be addressed with urgency. The consequences of numerous stakeholders associated with a single e-transaction make quality assurance markedly different from a regular brick and mortar environment. Whilst, internet users are reassured by sites showing evidence of independent endorsement, the generation and creation of quality assurance in an e-environment becomes difficult due to an absence of physical encounters between the numerous parties involved and as a result of trust related issues. What comes first, faith and then trust, or trust and then faith inherently describes the situation one faces in an e-environment. Quality assurance assumes that a potential buyer need not take into consideration the associated risks and comes to believe the entire transaction process. The task of e-marketers therefore becomes one of optimizing satisfaction and limiting anxiety. The creation of "happiness" is fundamental to a successful e-environment and therefore systemic quality assurance with analytical rigor should occupy a heightened status of attention. Establishing quality assurance where uncertainty is diminished is important to the long-term success of an e-environment. This study presents a model for cultural quality assurance for common good in an e-environment.