Book publishing in Australia: the potential impact of digital technologies on business models

Tian, X 2008, Book publishing in Australia: the potential impact of digital technologies on business models, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Business Information Technology, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Book publishing in Australia: the potential impact of digital technologies on business models
Author(s) Tian, X
Year 2008
Abstract This research presents findings from an Australian government-funded research project looking at the implications of digitisation for the book publishing industry in Australia. Although digitisation is to some extent synonymous with digital technologies and in fact, the impact of current and emerging digital technologies is clearly central to any such study, the major focus was on business and organisational dimensions, with particular emphasis on current and emerging stakeholders, competition, value propositions and business models, both current and potential.

The publishing industry has always been linked inexorably to the dissemination of knowledge. The emergence and development of digital technology has the potential to provide significant opportunities for publishing in both print and electronic formats, and with advances in electronic commerce, offers the prospect of new value propositions and business models. New digital publishing formats encapsulate a range of characteristics including multiple option infrastructures, various content formats and viewing modes designed to suit customer requirements, editing processes and information updates on the server. These innovations all contribute to reductions in processing time with the speedy, efficient transmission of content resulting in economic benefits to relevant stakeholders. However, it must be remembered that even the latest digital tools and applications can only be viewed as enabling mechanisms whose acceptance and implementation must align directly with the business strategy and objectives of organisations.

This thesis employed both an interpretive research paradigm, using a mixed methodology design, and elements of the design science paradigm. The aim was not to develop theories, but to build business models. The reporting and analysis of results is based on data gathered from two online surveys, one of publishers and one of end users, and from 14 case studies of Australian book publishers.

The results indicate that Australian book publishers continue to take a pragmatic approach to technology adoption, governed by both current market conditions and the failure of earlier technologies to deliver the anticipated results. The most influential technologies currently in use in publishing continue to be the Internet and the World Wide Web. Little explicit interest is currently being shown in such potentially disruptive technologies as for example, the Semantic Web, although evidence for its influence can already be detected, however, there is widespread appreciation of the wider dimension to digitisation and of its potential impacts on organisational structures and strategies. This includes renewed attention to issues of value, and of the potential benefits of providing enhanced customer value through digital content and delivery channels, their consequent implications for changes to value chains, and the emergence of new and transitional business models.

This research contributes to the literature both by reinforcing many of the arguments for trends in book publishing emerging from around the world, and by its uncovering of specific data on trends in book publishing in Australia and of the implications for value chains and business models.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Business Information Technology
Keyword(s) Book Publishing
Supply Chains
Value Chains
Business Models
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Created: Thu, 10 Nov 2011, 15:21:01 EST by Guy Aron
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