Adaptive service e-contract information management reference architecture

Publication Date14 August 2017
Date14 August 2017
AuthorAsif Qumer Gill,Ali Braytee,Farookh Khadeer Hussain
SubjectInformation & knowledge management,Knowledge management,Knowledge management systems
Adaptive service e-contract
information management
reference architecture
Asif Qumer Gill,Ali Braytee and Farookh Khadeer Hussain
School of Software, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Purpose The aim of this paper is to report on the adaptive e-contractinformation management reference
architecture using the systematicliterature review (SLR) method. Enterprises need to effectively design and
implement complex adaptive e-contract information management architecture to support dynamic service
interactionsor transactions.
Design/methodology/approach The SLR method is three-fold and wasadopted as follows. First, a
customizedliterature search with relevant selection criteria was developed,which was then applied to initially
identify a setof 1,573 papers. Second, 55 of 1,573 papers were selectedfor review based on the initial review of
each identied paper title and abstract. Finally, based on the second review, 24 papers relevant to this
researchwere selected and reviewed in detail.
Findings This detailed review resulted in the adaptive e-contract information management reference
architectureelements including structure, lifecycle and supporting technology.
Research limitations/implications The reference architectureelements could serve as a taxonomy
for researchers and practitioners to develop context-specic service e-contract information management
architecture to support dynamic service interactions for value co-creation. The results are limited to the
number of selecteddatabases and papers reviewed in thisstudy.
Originality/value This paper offers a reviewof the body of knowledge and novel e-contract information
managementreference architecture, which is importantto support the emerging trends of internet of services.
Keywords Digital, Information architecture, Service science, E-contract, Internet of services
Paper type Literature review
1. Introduction
Traditional enterprise capabilities deliver or provision services based on an upfront xed
service contract. The service science body of knowledge (Spohrer and Kwan, 2009) and
emerging internet of services (Terzidis et al.,2012) shift our focus from traditional service
delivery to service offering over the internet through voluntary and dynamic interactions
between service systems. The adaptive enterprise service system theory (Gill, 2014)states
that a modern enterprise is a digital ecosystem of adaptive or smart service systems that
voluntarily interact with each other and exchange adaptive or agile services for value co-
creation through dynamic or adaptive contracts and associated transactions. The type of
dynamic interaction between service systems can either be a bilateral relationship
consisting of service provider and service consumer, or a multilateral relationship between
service systems or parties (Klenket al., 2012).
The dynamic interactions between service systems can be enabled through an adaptive
service e-contract (electronic contract) rather than an upfront xed service contract. The
formation of the adaptive e-contractfor a service is an agreement between signatory service
systems for service exchange in the overall context of a mutualbusiness relationship (Chiu
et al.,2003). The challenge is how to effectively design and implement an adaptive
Received 28 October 2016
Revised 28 February 2017
Accepted 20 April 2017
VINEJournal of Information and
KnowledgeManagement Systems
Vol.47 No. 3, 2017
pp. 395-410
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/VJIKMS-10-2016-0058
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
e-contract. An e-contract is a digital information artefact, and to design and implement an
adaptive e-contract, it is important to rst effectively understand the overall information
architecture of the adaptive e-contract (Krishna and Karlapalem, 2008). The ISO/IEC (2010)
standard denes the architecture as the fundamentalconcepts or properties of a system in
its environment embodied in its elements, relationships, and in the principles of its design
and evolution. Drawing on this denition, we need to rst identify the elements for the
adaptive e-contractinformation architecture.
An information architecture-driven approach seems useful for studying, analysing,
designing and implementing the complex adaptive e-contracts. Therefore, we apply the
architecture-driven approachto systematically identify and review the literature and report
the e-contract information management reference architecture elementsincluding structure,
life cycle and enabling technology. The e-contract structure is anticipated to help in
understanding and analysingthe contract information elements and their relationships. The
e-contract life cycle may assist in understanding and analysing the different contract
information life cycle stages or behaviour associated with the structure of an e-contract
(Krishna and Karlapalem, 2013). Finally, the e-contract technology could also help us to
understand and analyse the technologies available to support the adaptive e-contract
information management. Thus,this paper focuses on the following main research question
(RQ) and three sub-RQs (RQ1-RQ3):
RQ. What are the architectural elementsof a service e-contract?
RQ1. What are the elementsthat form the structure of a service e-contract?
RQ2. What are the life cyclestages of a service e-contract?
RQ3. What are the technologiesthat support the service e-contract?
To address the above-mentionedRQs, this paper adopts a systematic literature review (SLR)
research method (Brereton et al., 2007). The SLR-based study helped us to systematically
identify, categorize, review and synthesize the existing published work on e-contracts. We
have not seen such a SLR (published in the public domain) in the context of an e-contract.
The objective of this study is to provide a reference architecture or taxonomy for further
investigation in this important and emerging area of adaptive enterprise service systems
and adaptive e-contracts.
This paper is organized as follows.Section 2 presents the research background. Section 3
discusses the SLR research method. Section 4 presents the research ndings and analysis.
Section 5 discussesthe research results before concluding in Section6.
2. Research background and context
The service science sector or service dominant (S-D) logic started to emerge with the
increased developmentin information technology and computing. With the recent advances
in S-D logic (Maglio and Spohrer, 2008) and internet of services (Terzidis et al., 2012), the
denition of service has evolved in many different ways. The most usable denition in the
S-D logic context states that services are the application of resources and competence
(knowledge and skills) (Spohrer and Kwan, 2009;Maglio and Spohrer, 2008). Service, in
the context of internet of services, is referring to the software functions, which are
implemented as Web service accessible over the internet (Terzidis et al.,2012). Value co-
creation is the mutual value gained by the partiesinvolved in volunteer service interactions.
Value is the renement of a system which creates benet in the environment (Gill, 2014).
Value co-creation and co-production are not the same things in S-D logic. The value co-

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