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

See all articles by Arvind Ashta

Arvind Ashta

CEREN EA 7477 Burgundy School of Business - Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté

Alfred Zeyl

Burgundy School of Business - Groupe ESC Dijon-Bourgogne

Date Written: October 1, 2006

Abstract

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

Ashta, Arvind and Zeyl, Alfred, The Use of Alert Signals: What Does the Pharmaceutical Sales Force Information Noise on the Internet Signal? (October 1, 2006). GITAM Journal of Management, January-March 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=938081

Arvind Ashta (Contact Author)

CEREN EA 7477 Burgundy School of Business - Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté ( email )

29 rue Sambin
21000 Dijon
France

Alfred Zeyl

Burgundy School of Business - Groupe ESC Dijon-Bourgogne ( email )

29 rue Sambin
Dijon, 21006
France

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