The Use of Alert Signals: What Does the Pharmaceutical Sales Force Information Noise on the Internet Signal?
GITAM Journal of Management, January-March 2009
30 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2006 Last revised: 22 Oct 2012
Date Written: October 1, 2006
Internet provides an interesting contribution to the ever growing business information explosion, especially through PR releases, creating the risks of overwhelming the researcher using electronic search engines. A good screening procedure allows getting useable information by the search criteria definition; however the search results are not always useful. The paper presents an example showing the use of an automatic alert through a publicly available search engine (Google) and the comparison of the results with those from a commercial data base of news available to an academic institute (LexisNexis). The paper reviews the search results, notably the preponderance of the pharmaceutical sector and the higher results for a paid-for search engine compared to a free engine, and explains these findings in terms of theories of information, signaling and signal detection and their application to the internet market place, and provides some basic recommendations on the use of search engines.
Keywords: Adverse selection, moral hazard, noise, imperfect information, signaling, signal detection theory, alert, internet, sales force
JEL Classification: L22, L65, L86, D21, D23, J21, J23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation