10 Chap 7- Cyberpreneurship
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Cyberpreneurship Education: A New Frontier Mariati Norhashim, Kamarulzaman Ab. Aziz, Anisah Jumaat and Muhammad Nizam Zainuddin
Introduction Recent times have seen an increase in the interest and demand in entrepreneurship research particularly in entrepreneurial personalities, skills and its relationship with entrepreneurial tendency (Basu & Virick, 2008; Peterman & Kennedy, 2003; Yusof et al. 2007). This trend may have started as a result of perceptions about entrepreneurship as a social adjuster (Jack & Anderson, 1999) within an economy that can lead to positive economic growth (Garavan & O’Cinneide, 1994; Ibrahim, 2006; Murphy et al. 2000). Traditionally, the modern entrepreneurs were identified by Richard Cantillon (circa 1886) as individuals who undertake the risk of new ventures by investing, transforming and making profits after the resale stages (Weber & Schaper, 2004) usually on a small scale. In some segments of entrepreneurship research, few scholars theorized that one either has or does not have the entrepreneur gene based on demographic factors (Hagen, 1960; Hisrich & Brush, 1985; Light & Rosenstein, 1995; Ronstadt, 1987). Nevertheless, this view received further grounding through the education system (Kolvereid, 1996b). Education programmes, especially at the tertiary level prepare and equip students with knowledge and skills for the job market and become the ideal place for the cultivation of entrepreneurship (Davidsson & Honig, 2003; Krueger & Fernandez-Villaverde, 2001). Several empirical researches proof that entrepreneurship education increases the entrepreneurial self efficacy (Kaushik et al. 2006; Peterman & Kennedy, 2003; Singh & DeNoble, 2003). This approach in effect channels the graduates towards more options in their employment route (Katz, 1992; Kolvereid, 1996a; Kolvereid & Isaksen, 2006). However, only a few with the natural entrepreneurial tendencies opt for the entrepreneurial route, feeding into the entrepreneurial subpopulation of the nation. Nonetheless, this claim has valid grounds because according to the latest data taken from the Ministry of Higher Education’s (hereafter, MOHE) Graduate Tracer Study 2006 (MOHE, 2006) involving 132,900 graduates from various higher education institutions including universities nationwide, 30.7% of graduates remained unemployed six months after their convocation although they were exposed to either a specialised entrepreneurship major or elective entrepreneurship subjects. This reflects the outcomes of the education system that hardly meets the demand to build an entrepreneurial subpopulation of a growing nation. Thus, the academia, especially at the level of tertiary education, needs to provide the graduates with essential entrepreneurial knowledge to ensure that they are equipped with the necessary skills to tackle the challenges in the entrepreneurial world.
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Furthermore, with the emergence of new business models (Venkatraman, 1996), the shift of the world’s economy towards a knowledge based economy has resulted in a whole spectrum of business and market challenges that the traditional entrepreneurs of yesteryears are not equipped to tackle. The question thus becomes, ‘Can the current entrepreneurship syllabus prepare students in becoming entrepreneurs in ecommerce’? An entrepreneurship course is differentiated from a management course by the emphasis on creativity and innovation although they share many of the same subjects such as accounting, human resource management and information systems. Just as ‘entrepreneurship’ is similar but distinct from ‘small business management’, in the same way, a ‘cyberpreneurship’ syllabus is distinct from ‘entrepreneurship’. The purpose of this paper is to discuss and dissect the similarities and differences between the two and put forth our arguments that with the advent of information and communication technology, digital economy, the internet and ubiquitous technology; cyberpreneurship is not a mere trend but a legitimate branch of entrepreneurship studies that should be given its deserved focus. We are proposing cyberpreneurship as a syllabus for a course that can be incorporated into a business degree or an entrepreneurship degree rather than a degree programme on its own. In so far as entrepreneurship has found its place among subjects like management and business studies, we propose that cyberpreneurship should have a place among subjects such as e-commerce, e-business and management information systems. Although, the question as to whether entrepreneurship can be taught at all is still controversial but there is bare evidence that exposure to entrepreneurship at the college level does trigger the entrepreneurial spirit (Fiet, 2000). Entrepreneurship education is regarded as an avenue for developing that subpopulation in the society (Gorman et al. 1997; Kourilsky & Carlson, 1997). It can be said that through entrepreneurial education, seeds are planted in the minds of the students by giving them a platform to explore their entrepreneurial ideas (Savickas, 2002) and circumscribe, compromise and self create those ideas (Gottfredson, 2002). Furthermore, based on empirical studies, entrepreneurship education has had an effect on motivation (Kolvereid & Moen, 1997; Webb et. al.,1982; Upton et. al., 1995), behaviour (Basu & Virick, 2008; Krueger & Fernandez-Villaverde, 2001) as well as entrepreneurial skills in terms of innovativeness (Clarke, 1990; Menzies & Paradi, 1999). A cyberpreneurship course would hopefully encourage more students to become entrepreneurs in the e-commerce industry. Those graduates at the time of enrolment who are aiming to secure employment upon graduation may start to realise that they can be their own boss. In effect, entrepreneurial education awakens the entrepreneurs within individuals. According to Zainuddin & Ismail (2009), students who majored in entrepreneurship programmes in Malaysian universities possessed high entrepreneurial self efficacy and about 50% of them intended to become entrepreneurs immediately upon completing their studies. This view seems to be shared by many, judging from the fact that entrepreneurial education has become a popular addition to many institutions around the globe (Gibb, 120
1987; Linan et al. 2005; Souitaris & Zerbinati, 2004). This is certainly true in the case of Malaysia as the number of courses offered at various levels in the education system and efforts at public education by the government through the MOHE, the now defunct Ministry of Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development (MECD) as well as other agencies have been on the increase (Othman et al. 2004; Ramayah & Harun, 2005). The trend is definitely timely as the deadline for developed nation status looms in year 2020 where achieving a knowledge society is on the agenda. Entrepreneurship development is a key national agenda and incubator. Thus, entrepreneurship development agencies have made their presence felt (Ariff & Abubakar, 2002). Some may be confused as to the difference between cyberpreneurs and entrepreneurs who peddle technology products. Cyberpreneurship specifically deals with businesses that conduct their revenue generating processes on the internet. In other words, cyberpreneurs are entrepreneurs in e-commerce businesses. This must be distinguished from technopreneurs (Jones-Evans, 1995). Technology entrepreneurs do not necessarily sell or deliver products online and yet have core business processes such as research and development or customer relationship management done through the internet. It is a difference between generating revenue versus cost cutting using Information and Communication Technologies (hereafter, ICT). Although both add value, the critical difference is that of the revenue model. Multimedia University has a Cyberpreneurship Development Centre which aims to promote and develop virtual organisations. Their premise as to what cyberpreneurship means is based on businesses which use the ‘improvements in computer technology, especially the internet, to conduct business, promote business or perform entrepreneurship’. This paper will discuss the common approach to entrepreneurship education from the syllabus perspective and highlight the distinctive attributes of cyberpreneurship. The distinction of cyberpreneurship from entrepreneurship also argues for the need to provide cyberpreneurship education separately. A prescription for teaching cyberpreneurship as a separate subject and how it would fit into an entrepreneurship course structure is offered. This paper will also highlight the unique challenges in creating a cyberpreneurship education curriculum from the aspects of technology, business models and ethics. Cyberpreneurship vs. Entrepreneurship Education Many researchers have opined that entrepreneurial instinct is innate and cannot be taught. However, studies have shown that certain entrepreneurial attitudes and skills can be inculcated through education and training. Henry et al. (2005) found that entrepreneurship education and training have been differentiated based on the intended outcomes as in Jamieson (1984) or the level at which training is offered (Garavan & O’Cinneide, 1994). The differences in categorisation however, they observed, does not seem to reflect the variation in content and methodology of entrepreneurship courses. Teaching methods vary from the theoretical classroom based approach to the experiential learning techniques. Although there is still much 121
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debate as to the best approach to teaching entrepreneurship, there is a consensus that some things can be taught such as practical skills and abilities whereas others cannot be taught such as entrepreneurial traits. Risk taking propensity and locus of control are among such entrepreneurial traits. (Othman et al. 2006) Trends among tertiary education programmes as well as governmental efforts across the globe signal the popularity of the opposite view. Entrepreneurship education has been focusing on providing the needed skills to set up new businesses. However, a process perspective is getting popular with new concepts such as intrapreneurs and social entrepreneurs. More importantly, an entrepreneur is increasingly being seen as a distinct profession from a manager. Management education is argued to have a negative effect on the development of entrepreneurial skills and qualities (Jennings & Hawley, 1996; Timmons et al. 1987). Management education focuses on the challenges of existing businesses whereas the emphasis of entrepreneurship is on the creation of a new venture (McMullan & Long, 1987). The development in entrepreneurship education in recent years has focused on the entrepreneurial process approach. The tasks of undertaking an entrepreneurial venture were the primary content of the syllabus. However, there is a growing emphasis on exposing students to the factors that make an individual an entrepreneur. The socio-psychological predictors of entrepreneurship endeavour and success have been given much attention in research and teaching. The information seeking, processing and decision making skills of an entrepreneur has been given due recognition in the teaching of this subject. Baron & Shane (2005) include an entire chapter in the cognitive foundations of entrepreneurship while Hisrich & Shepherd (2005) attempt to profile the individual entrepreneur in terms of the emotionpsychological makeup as well as social attributes whether ascribed or attained. Timmons & Spinelli (2003) take a look at ‘the entrepreneurial mind in thought and action’ which attempts to provoke students into assessing their entrepreneurial attributes. These books take advantage of recent research findings as to gender, age, experience, social networks and other demographic and socio-economic variables on the entrepreneurial path taken and its success. Baron & Shane (2005) define entrepreneurship as a field of study that seeks to understand how opportunities to create new products or services, markets, production processes, ways of organizing existing technologies or raw materials arise and are discovered by specific persons, who then use various means to exploit or develop them. Entrepreneurial research seeks to understand the process of entrepreneurship and the factors that give rise to its success. The success factors arise from within the entrepreneur himself/herself as well as the environment in which he/she operates (Yusuf, 1995). The ways in which the entrepreneur engages with the environment is also critical to his success. 122
In short, entrepreneurship education has been focused on what entrepreneurship means, the characteristics of an entrepreneur and what entrepreneurs do. Although all these are relevant regardless whether one is doing business in the physical or the cyber world; cyberpreneurship requires reevaluation of business ideas such as economies of scale and scope, the creation and management of assets and the marketing process. Rayport & Sviokla (1996) argue that since the economic logic of the physical value chain and virtual value chain is different, the two chains must be managed distinctly but also in concert. Hence, how then do we teach cyberpreneurship? Mr. /Ms. Cyberpreneur please stand up! The ‘flattening world’ means that old skills and ideas of how value is created may now be deemed obsolete (Friedman, 2006). It is pointed out that jobs would go to the ‘best, smartest, most productive, or cheapest worker – wherever he or she resides’. If these superlatives do not apply, then individuals must acquire the right knowledge, skills and ideas to remain employable. This is particularly so when secured employment gives way to freelancing self-employment which is a close cousin to entrepreneurship. It may be very soon when entrepreneurship must look beyond the creation of business systems to sell products and services because the individual is the product and service all in one. Thus, the first issue of entrepreneurship education that requires modification for the purpose of cyberpreneurship is the understanding of who entrepreneurs are and what they do. For the purpose of teaching cyberpreneurship, students could be made aware of the opportunities and obstacles encountered by ‘researchers’ turned entrepreneurs or ‘users’ turned entrepreneurs. Although the idea of a cyberpreneurship syllabus paving a way for an ‘incubation’ career path may not be different from the usual entrepreneurship syllabus, the level of technical competencies may be one distinguishing factor. Cyberpreneurship as a course aims to prepare future technopreneurs to deal with the unique challenges of an e-commerce venture. This will entail redefining the roles and processes of entrepreneurship in e-commerce ventures. What it is not is a course on e-commerce itself or even technology management which is more technical in nature. In the following sections, we discuss how a cyberpreneurial perspective will mean a different and perhaps deeper look at the three steps mentioned above, namely  identifying opportunity  planning  assembling resources. However, before discussing the specifics of cyberpreneurial perspectives, a clear understanding of cyberpreneurs need to be established.
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Identifying opportunity The general principles and methods of identifying opportunity would have been covered in the usual entrepreneurship course. However, exploring this step from a cyberpreneurial point of view requires a change from linear to nonlinear thinking. In identifying new opportunities, innovativeness is crucial. Old markets can be revitalised using new technologies and platforms while new markets excavated using old technologies and new platforms. Exposing students to a framework of innovation will lead to a competence in both opportunity identification and structuring of business models. Often, business models for internet products and services are merely adaptation of brick and mortar businesses. Auctions, rentals, subscriptions and straightforward purchase orders have their physical counterparts. Problems in the real world such as inventory storage, customer service and logistics are not entirely done away with. The next section will address how the cyberpreneurship slant can be given the next step in the entrepreneurial process, namely planning. Planning In an entrepreneurship course, this stage will be about preparing the business proposal, which would mean among other things, gaining an understanding of the market, researching on government policies and regulations assembling the team and financing. Market research for online businesses is a decidedly different proposition than that of researching for a brick and mortar business where surveys and focus groups might not be available or provide useful data. As yet, most ecommerce textbooks pay little attention to this part of setting up a business. Thus, it is proposed that a cyberpreneurship course looks at new ways of assessing how the market would likely respond to the offering. The course should also discuss types of businesses that actually work on the internet as well as those that do not. Assembling Resources One of major attractions of doing an internet business is the low cost of entry. Usual entrepreneurship syllabi would include issues such as financing and credit management. However, resources needed for a business encompass more than seeding and start up capital. Students may have difficulty transferring brick and mortar ideas of what resources are to cyberspace. Business dealings with digitised products and services will find that sourcing the ‘product and/or services’ for sale is not about finding the cheapest or logistically viable supplier. Rather it may be about ‘manufacturing’ a product 124
and/or service online. Innovative acquisition of ‘inventory’ like that of the photography industry has allowed an ‘entirely digital approach to the capture, organisation, selection, manipulation and distribution of photographic images’ (Friedman, 2006). The above vignette (Norhashim et al. 2006) illustrates several ways in which cyberpreneurship can be taught differently than entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship education normally focuses on idea generation and recognition of opportunities, launching of the new venture and building lasting success. Among common objectives of entrepreneurship education are to equip students with the needed skills and knowledge to:      
Recognise and develop business opportunities Study the market and understand customers’ needs and preferences Create a viable business idea Develop the business plan Design and implement a business system Scan the environment for issues that could impact the business
Although the usual model of the entrepreneurial process is highly relevant in a technology setting, a holistic approach should be favoured above the piecemeal approach. Merely inserting a few chapters on the issues of k-economy is insufficient. A holistic approach would mean looking at the basic entrepreneurial process from a cyberpreneurship point of view. The following table (Table 7.1) provides the prescription for teaching cyberpreneurship as a separate subject and suggests how it would fit into an entrepreneurship course structure. However, it is important to take note that the issues above are still hotly debated both in the industry and academia. There is still no strong theoretical rigor or framework that has withstood the test of time. It is precisely for this reason that tertiary educational institutions should take the lead in filtering and refining ideas and knowledge that has been generated in the new economy. What is the role of a university if not to provide digestible and practical applications of the latest thinking?
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Table 7.1: Common entrepreneurship syllabus vs. cyberpreneurship aspects Common Entrepreneurship Syllabus • Who entrepreneurs are. • What they do. • Entrepreneurship processes: o Identifying Opportunities Old markets can be revitalised using new technologies and platforms while new markets excavated using old technologies and new platforms. o Planning Performing market research for online businesses, developing business models for the internet and establishing a localized take on government policies and regulations. o Organizing Resources Sourcing the ‘product and/or services’ for sale is not about finding the cheapest or logistically viable supplier. Rather it may be about ‘manufacturing’ a product and/or service online.
Cyberpreneurship Aspects The level of technical competencies may be one distinguishing factor. Redefining the roles and processes of entrepreneurship in e-commerce ventures. What it is not is a course on ecommerce itself or even technology management which is more technical in nature. Proposed syllabus content: o Understanding who cyberpreneurs are and what they do. o Reevaluation of brick and mortar ideas such as economies of scale and scope, the creation and management of assets and the marketing process. o Appreciation of the technological infrastructure and infostructure dimensions. o Examining new customer relationships that would suggest new revenue models as well as digitized products and services. o Exploring market research for cyberspace. o Looking at how borders can be created in the so-called ‘borderless world’. o Re-thinking of resources acquisition and management. o Local government policies and regulations as well as international cyberlaws. o An exposure to business ethics in cyberspace.
We do recognize that the topics tend to be part of the syllabi of courses such as entrepreneurship, business, Information Technology, E-commerce, Management Information System, etc. Our argument is that these topics are pertinent when discussing cyberpreneurship, giving cyberpreneurship enough depth, breadth and unique aspects that warrant it to be presented as a syllabus of its own. We feel that with ICT, digital economy, internet, ubiquitous technology, etc, cyberpreneurship is not a mere trend but a legitimate branch of entrepreneurship studies that should be given its deserved focus. This syllabus is appropriate at the final stage in an entrepreneurship major or course that will allow students to put together their existing knowledge from the courses mentioned to form their understanding of cyberpreneurship. Issues and Challenges ICT has had a moderating and confounding effect on almost all aspects of business and individual success in entrepreneurship. Popular media abounds with internet success stories of previously disadvantaged groups such as women, the elderly, racial minorities and the disabled in the same way it has allowed new markets to be opened and exploited through low cost entry as well as niche market development (Friedman, 2006). The impacts of ICT and the internet brought about the need for specialised strategies, technology challenges as well as a spectrum of new opportunities. Multimedia University is one example of an institution that has taken the plunge and exhibit leadership by introducing cyberpreneurship as a compulsory subject for all of its students irrespective of their majoring. This experience however has brought to light challenges that had to be tackled when trying to implement a cyberpreneurship syllabus. It was found that in order to deliver cyberpreneurship education, a sound syllabus must at least address the technology dimension as technology is the primary differentiating factor between cyberpreneurship and entrepreneurship courses. Secondly, the course needs to study the implications of the cyberpreneurship value matrix on the cyber business model; and finally, the course needs to address the legal and ethical challenges that face the cyberpreneur. Technological Issues Cyberpreneurship is a new field in entrepreneurial education (Norhashim et al. 2006). One of the key differentiating factors for cyberpreneurship education is the technological dimension. Cyberpreneurship by definition alludes to the closely intertwining of technology (ICT) in all aspects of entrepreneurship and thus, requires the delivery of cyberpreneurship education to provide a higher level of appreciation as well as understanding of the technological dimension. The technological dimension encompasses both infrastructural and infostructural needs for conducting enterprising activities in e-commerce and electronic business modes. 127
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Cyberpreneurship education should also impart, on top of the technological understanding, the awareness of technological developments and their impacts on cyberpreneurs. ICT is characterized by short lifecycles and rapid development. These often have significant impacts on cyberpreneurs; examples include mobile technology that enabled mobile commerce, multimedia technology that enhances online marketing, and many more. Thus, cyberpreneurs need to have the discipline of conducting technology monitoring and forecasting to ensure that they can guarantee the sustainability as well as growth of their businesses. A cyberpreneur needs to tackle technological issues right from the beginning or even before they start their businesses. For example, when developing a business plan, cyberpreneurs may decide whether some functions, such as the website, are to be done in-house or outsourced. Nevertheless, even when a cyberpreneur decides to outsource, he/she needs to know and understand what solutions are exactly needed. Another key aspect of the technological dimension is the networking technology. It is crucial for cyberpreneurs to understand the networking technology that enables them to connect with the target markets and conduct a variety of business transactions. In order to navigate the networking technologies, cyberpreneurs also need to be aware of the various communication protocols that help to ensure communication over the internet occurs smoothly and efficiently. The awareness of the networking and communication aspects also underlines another key issue – security. Right from the beginning, cyberpreneurs will be using information systems. The online transactions and the internet in general also lend itself extremely well for the creation of databases. Cyberpreneurs should have an understanding of information systems and the advantages as well as benefits of having databases. There are times when the information systems and databases become central to a business’s competitive advantage as well as the sources for alternative revenue streams. In short, the educator must know not only the managerial and business aspects of an online business but also the technological aspects of the various technologies, especially its impact on the business aspects such as managing practices, cost, productivity and profitability. Business Model Issues Rayport & Sviokla (1996) illustrate the differences between the physical value chain and the virtual value chain. This brings to the fore the fact that ICT and the internet also have implications on the general principles and methods of identifying opportunities. The cyber (internet) markets require entrepreneurs to change from linear to non-linear thinking. Friedman (2006) concurs by asserting that the internet allows small businesses to act big and the big businesses to act small either by adding bells and whistles for little added costs for the former and enabling personalized customer service for the latter. 128
Understanding the differences between these two chains has implications for the opportunity identification as well as the structuring of a new venture. Yip (2004) illustrates two cases where the technologies available require reevaluating the impact on business model fundamentals such as cost and revenue relationships. This is a major difference that must be understood by cyberpreneurship educators. The challenge here is that the educators need to impart the understanding that the cyberpreneurial business model demands the ability to configure ICT skills and knowledge as well as entrepreneurial skills towards creating a successful organisation in cyberspace. Legal and Ethical Issues The relationships between business, government and society are complex. Multiple theoretical approaches are used to understand and manage the relationships. Economics, politics, sociology and management disciplines are but some of the viewpoints from which legal and ethical issues can be debated and policies formulated. Cyberpreneurship suffers from being very new and in itself not very well understood, much less attempted to be understood in the legal and ethical aspects and the ways in which it should be handled. This section will attempt to illustrate the legal and ethical challenges facing cyberpreneurs in terms of  compliance  contractual obligations and  community. Compliance Steiner & Steiner (2003) list ten reasons for government regulation over the private sector which they assert comprise flaws in the market as well as social, political and other reasons. They are (i) natural monopolies (ii) natural resources regulation (iii) destructive competition (iv) externalities (v) inadequate information (vi) socially desirable goods and services (vii) protecting individual rights and privacy (viii) resolution of national and global problems (ix) regulation to benefit special groups and (x) conservation of resources. The government sets out rules and regulations not just through the highest court or governing body but also through specialised agencies. Government agencies are created with the authority to not only set up the rules and regulations but also be the enforcing arm. More often than not, a business must deal with not just one but multiple agencies depending on the business they are in. At times, there may even be rulings from different agencies that could be in direct conflict with one another. In most businesses, the idea of a regulation being obsolete dawns slowly whereas, the cyber industry have yet to achieve a maturity where innovations are no longer a daily if not a minute-by-minute phenomenon. How then do cyberpreneurs prepare themselves so as to not suffer from an unexpected backlash from an unforeseen regulation?
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Contractual Obligations Every business generates revenue by providing a service or a good. In the case of a cyberpreneur, the service or the good is not always a straightforward and tangible thing. The essence of a free market implies that every party participates willingly and knowingly. Hiller & Cohen (2002) delve into the intricacies of contracting online. Contract laws are designed to protect each party’s interests clearly delineating each party’s rights and responsibilities including remedies for breach of contract. Several major issues arise in electronic transmitted transactions. There is difficulty in translating traditional contract principles to internet based agreements. Concepts like authentication, legal capacity and warranties can be difficult to enforce. The issues above are but a few legal issues that a cyberpreneur must think about when dealing with business partners be they suppliers or customers. Community Consumer and children protection, equity and the digital divide, online gambling, pornography and piracy are on the agenda of every connected country. In the physical economy, delivery of goods and services are often subject to border controls. These borders allow governments not only to exert taxes and levies but also protect their markets and people. Contraband exists in the cyberspace just as they do in the physical domain but are much harder to detect and control. Policing is just as much a concern in the cyberworld as it is in the physical world. Privacy is a very important issue when it comes to the internet. Coupled with the ubiquity of mobile personal communication devices, no one is safe from having their privacy violated and published online or worse, being subjected to identity theft. However, personal information is becoming a commodity and there is a market for it. Information that is collected from the internet is just one side of the picture, a business must also be aware of the consequences of publishing information on the net. Just as in real life, defamatory or information that could be dangerous (e.g. health advice) must be handled with care. A certain level of self-censorship is important not only for ethical reasons but also for managing legal risks. Hinduja (2004) notes the lack of social control in an online setting and narrates some developments on the constitutional and legal front responding to the need for a citizen’s privacy concerns. He further emphasises the need to constrain the unethical and infringing behaviours of corporations and organisations online. Conclusion Cyberpreneurship defined as entrepreneurs in e-commerce businesses raises unique issues within the realm of entrepreneurial research. Entrepreneurship courses focusing on brick and mortar businesses are argued to be inadequate to prepare 130
students interested in embarking on an e-commerce business. E-commerce courses on the other hand focuses on the structuring and implementation of e-commerce businesses but disregard the pre startup process. A cyberpreneurship course can fill this gap. The content of the course should incorporate the following issues:  Understanding who cyberpreneurs are and what they do.  Reevaluating brick and mortar ideas such as economies of scale and scope, the creation and management of assets and the marketing process.  Appreciating the technological infrastructure and infostructure dimensions.  Examining new customer relationships that would suggest new revenue models as well as digitized products and services.  Exploring market research for cyberspace.  Looking at how borders can be created in the so-called ‘borderless world’.  Re-thinking resources acquisition and management.  Understanding local government policies and regulations as well as international cyberlaws.  Having an exposure to business ethics in cyberspace. Information and communication technologies are central to an internet business’ competitive advantage. In preparing the ‘professional cyberpreneur’, the educator must know not only the technical aspects of the various technologies but their impacts on the business aspects such as cost, productivity and profitability. A major challenge for cyberpreneurship educators is that although there are many case studies that have been done on internet businesses, the knowledge has not yet saturated to the point of being condensable into theories and formulas. In essence, the technological and business aspects of cyberpreneurship education can be built on the existing knowledge of ICT and business theories. However, what remains a gap that is difficult to bridge are the legal and ethical aspects as this is the ‘soft’ part of being a cyberpreneur. References Ariff, M., & Abubakar, S. Y. (2002). Strengthening entrepreneurship in Malaysia. Malaysian Instistute of Economic Research, Kuala Lumpur. Baron, R. A., & Shane, S. A. (2005). Entrepreneurship: A process perspective. Thomson South-Western. Basu, A., & Virick, M. (2008). Assessing entrepreneurial intentions amongst students: A comparative study. Paper presented at the National Collegiate Investors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) Conference 2008, Getting to the point: Ideas, process, products, March 20-22, 2008, Dallas, Texas. Clarke, T. E. (1990). Review of the status and availability in Canadian colleges and universities of courses or programs dealing with the commercialization and adoption of science and technology. Ottawa. Davidsson, P., & Honig, B. (2003). The role of social and human capital among nascent entrepreneurs. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(3), 301-331. 131
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