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Management article
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Reference no. 97504
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: "Harvard Business Review", 1997

Abstract

Millions of people are communicating at home and at work in an explosion of connectivity that threatens to undermine the established value chains for businesses in many sectors of the economy. What will happen, for instance, to dominant retailers such as Toys "R" Us and Home Depot when a search through the Internet gives consumers more choice than any store? What will be the point of cultivating a long-standing supplier relationship with General Electric when it posts its purchasing requirements on an Internet bulletin board and entertains bids from anybody inclined to respond? The authors present a conceptual framework for approaching such questions--for understanding the relationship of information to the physical components of the value chain and how the Internet''s ability to separate the two will lead to the reconfiguration of the value proposition in many industries.

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Abstract

Millions of people are communicating at home and at work in an explosion of connectivity that threatens to undermine the established value chains for businesses in many sectors of the economy. What will happen, for instance, to dominant retailers such as Toys "R" Us and Home Depot when a search through the Internet gives consumers more choice than any store? What will be the point of cultivating a long-standing supplier relationship with General Electric when it posts its purchasing requirements on an Internet bulletin board and entertains bids from anybody inclined to respond? The authors present a conceptual framework for approaching such questions--for understanding the relationship of information to the physical components of the value chain and how the Internet''s ability to separate the two will lead to the reconfiguration of the value proposition in many industries.

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