On November 23-24, the 3rd Taobao Village Transformation and Development Forum was held in Zhijiang, Hubei. We tried to make this forum for the transformation and development of Taobao Village in Zhijiang into an industry-academia dialogue. The development of Taobao Village provides fresh materials for the academic community. The academic community provides logical explanations for Taobao or e-commerce phenomena, and provides logical guidance for the development of the industry. Both are mutually beneficial.
The primary task of science is to explain phenomena. However, for a long time, there have been two tendencies in China's social science research: one is to use the theoretical terminology to pack the practices of enterprises or governments. The other is to try to explain the phenomenon, but the explanation of the phenomenon is not deep enough, and it stays on the empirical level. The explanation provided is simply a restatement of the government or the enterprise. This explanation is certainly not wrong, but it is not deep enough. The research conclusion does not exceed the scope of common sense or experience, and academic research has not provided "added value" for human cognition.
A good explanation must be described in theoretical language instead of everyday language, and in logic rather than experience. The conclusion must be beyond common sense or counter-common sense. Just like the gravitational interpretation of Apple's whereabouts and the proposition of the heliocentric theory, we have re-understood the everyday phenomenon that is commonplace, and have the "original" epiphany or surprise. For such an explanation or theory, people in reality need it, not only to satisfy their curiosity, but also to make them consciously apply the principles to guide practice. If scholars' research conclusions are common knowledge of common people, the business community and the government will not be interested in such a theory.
We use theoretical language, not just to use different languages to explain the same meaning, not new bottles and old wine, not word games, but because of the generality of theoretical language and theoretical insights, we make our understanding of phenomena more concise , Consistent and profound. A good theory must be able to explain many phenomena. The same mechanism can understand vastly different worlds, thereby saving human cognitive resources. At the same time, the extension of theoretical logic can produce counter-intuitive meanings, as if throwing objects (launching artificial earth satellites) into the sky can not land.
Once human beings learn to use concepts or models to think, and take up theoretical weapons, they are liberated from the imprisonment of common sense, and then they truly transcend humans beyond the animal world. This is also the difference between developed society and traditional society.
Of course, a deep explanation of the phenomenon is not easy. It first needs to identify phenomena with theoretical value, then come up with imaginative hypotheses. Asking questions is more important than solving them.
What is a good phenomenon? My well-understood phenomenon must be a phenomenon that conflicts with existing theories. To capture good phenomena, on the one hand, you need to be theoretically literate and proficient in existing theories. The theoretical language has to enter its own way of thinking, and over time, it precipitates into unconsciousness. Once you encounter a problem that the theory cannot answer in reality, you instinctively produce confusion and "thinking of the mind", causing the focus of attention. On the other hand, you need to have a deep insight into reality, and you need to soak in practice for a long time.
Practitioners often understand the reality better, but lack theoretical thinking. They don't know what is worth studying. Not all phenomena are worth studying. Some successful cases may just be the presentation of existing theories in specific scenarios. Conversely, some ordinary phenomena or failure cases may have hidden mechanisms behind them. It must not be explained by existing theories.
People who have been trained in theory often lack the opportunity to experience the phenomenon and personal experience, especially in some special areas, such as Taobao shopping, live shopping, and online celebrities carrying goods, it is difficult to propose appropriate concepts and theories. Some theorists only know the endorsement, they don't know the expression form of the concept in reality.
Even if there is a phenomenon worth studying, it is not necessarily a satisfactory answer. The phenomenon in reality is the composite result of complex and multiple mechanisms, and it is the material that is "contaminated". Theoretical research needs to be simplified and "washed" through analysis in order to identify specific mechanisms in "pure", "vacuum", and "friction-free" environments. The mechanism of some phenomena can be guessed, but it is difficult to prove. Proposing new concepts and hypotheses requires researchers' imagination and abstract thinking, and logic.
The vivid practice of the development of Taobao Village and rural e-commerce in China has provided a wealth of material for the academic community. At present, academic research cannot keep up with the development of practice.
In the process of contacting and investigating Taobao Village in the past year, our team tried to put forward some new concepts, such as online shopping addiction, online shopping disappointment, convergence point equilibrium, transaction process utility, e-commerce marketing power, asymmetric knowledge and asymmetry information. There are also some immature propositions. For example, the products suitable for live broadcast are mostly cheap products and impulsive consumer products. The eastern part is dominated by manufactured goods while the central and western parts are dominated by agricultural products and resource products. There are 22 Taobao villages in Hubei and 10 in Zhijiang. Does this phenomenon have theoretical value? These propositions, concepts and phenomena need to be discussed and discussed with scholars and entrepreneurs at this conference. We welcome participants to share your theoretical results or reflections over the past year. Constantly improving the theoretical level of the annual Taobao Village Industry-Academic Dialogue is a way to help Taobao Village transform and upgrade.
Some scholars believe that during the Zhijiang Taobao Forum, the academic community must help companies solve the real problems they face. This is understandable and necessary. However, the role of scholars in this area is limited, and one should be cautious. The world of scholars is a pure, decomposed, general, single-logic world, and knows little about the local knowledge faced by entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial world is a comprehensive, skilled, special, and concrete world. Scholars can provide advice from a single-disciplinary, multi-disciplinary perspective, and entrepreneurs can "combine" as appropriate based on their own resources, goals, and constraints.
The Zhijiang Forum has invited e-commerce leaders from the east, middle and west, and their practice has provided vivid cases for scholars. At the same time, Zhijiang City, the host of the forum, is the first county of e-commerce in Hubei Province. Business performance is outstanding, on the other hand, we also invited experts and scholars from many universities. We will distribute the electronic version of the conference materials to the participants in advance so that everyone can familiarize themselves with the materials in advance and prepare questions. During the meeting, participants have the opportunity to ask questions to the guests. On the evening of the 23rd, two hours were provided for entrepreneurs and scholars to exchange freely, and entrepreneurs could fully communicate, exchange experiences, and develop cooperation. Entrepreneurs and scholars fully interact to identify valuable phenomena, propose new concepts, and expand existing cognition. It is expected that the delegates who participated in this meeting came along with satisfaction and returned.