The culture of a business – i.e. the meaning of its existence, the essence of everything it does – can be understood in many ways, including by looking at the way in which the business approaches the Internet and manages its presence there. What is also needed to reach this objective are the right tools and an appropriate model of analysis. This is what is provided in a recent work by Cai-shun Zhong (out of the Foreign Languages College, Jiangxi Normal University, Jiangxi, China) published in the August edition of the International Journal of E-Business Development.
Entitled “Modeling the Socio-Cognitive Process of Cultural Recontextualization in E-business Web Design”, the paper gives us a good example of how to study business culture by starting from the actual operations of the business itself and how that business presents itself to the consumer. The author emphasises the “cultural representation” of the business and of the society in which in originated, beginning with an analysis of the e-business web designs of Amazon and Taobao, two e-business platforms based in America and China, respectively.
After a theoretical overview of the method of analysis of web design, the article then looks at a comparison of various aspects of the two sites: product presentation, the purchase process, and the listing of search categories. The author then looks at the two sites in greater detail, assessing the image conveyed by each page and the graphical approach to each aspect. In this way, Amazon and Taobao, which obviously represent two different cultures of enterprise and underlying societies, are compared based on their web design, which is assumed to be an indicator of the cultural context within which each business acts.
This passage from the conclusions is particularly interesting. The author states that an analysis of the two web sites reveals that “e-business web design needs not only to address the difference between business and general cultural orientations, but also to construe how the cultural information is reified in the web page components”, i.e. how cultural information is received by those who view the site.
Thus, the culture of enterprise and the culture of consumption are compared and go hand in hand with a constant exchange of information and feedback.
This work by Cai-shun Zhong (a paper of roughly ten pages, dense with explanatory illustrations) is written in a manner that is easy for the reader to follow and can provide an example of how the culture of enterprise can be seen even in unusual and unexpected places.
Modeling the Socio-Cognitive Process of Cultural Recontextualization in E-business Web Design
International Journal of E-Business Development Aug. 2014, Vol. 4 Iss. 3, pp. 75-84