Academic journal article JITTA : Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application

Understanding the Influence of Espoused Culture on Acceptance of Online Services in a Developing Country

Academic journal article JITTA : Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application

Understanding the Influence of Espoused Culture on Acceptance of Online Services in a Developing Country

Article excerpt

Abstract:

The acceptance of any technology in developing countries cannot be taken for granted given the fact that these technologies are imported from developed countries and may have been designed without any consideration of the cultural values of the developing countries. Information Technology acceptance and the influence of espoused national cultural values on its acceptance have been investigated in the developed countries, but such studies are rare in developing countries. The present study surveyed 201 Nigerians using constructs from established models with the aim of understanding the influence of some espoused national cultural values on acceptance of online services. The results indicate that espoused national cultural values seem to moderate the effect of some of the independent variables. In particular, Power Distance has a positive influence on "perceived usefulness-satisfaction" relationship; Masculinity/Femininity has a negative influence on "ease of use-satisfaction" relationship and a positive influence on "information/system quality-satisfaction" relationship. Individualism/Collectivism and Uncertainty Avoidance also indicate significant moderating effects on the relationship of "information/system quality-satisfaction." The resulting model is fairly significant with R^sup 2^ = 0.67 for user's satisfaction and R^sup 2^ = 0.51 for users' behavioral intention to continue to use the online services. The implications of the findings are discussed.

Keywords: Hofstede culture dimensions, espoused national cultural values, technology acceptance, online services, developing countries, behavioral intention

INTRODUCTION

Online services such as online banking, online applications and online learning are an emerging experience in developing countries in general and in African nations in particular (Howard and Mazaheri 2009; Buys et al. 2009). Crucial services, including governmental and nongovernmental ones, are becoming commonplace in developing countries. Citizens are increasingly being directed to go online to complete application forms for services, admission, or open accounts. In developing countries, some banking services, as well as job announcements and applications, are now commonly available and accessible online. Like their counterparts in developed countries, the citizens of developing countries are now using Internet cafés to receive online services that are either not available or physically available at a much higher cost (Helbert 2010). According to Muto and Yamano (2009) the Internet and the associated online services have real potential of enabling the less-developed countries to become co-players in the virtual global world. The developing countries are expected to gain much from the numerous benefits that go with online services (Muto and Yamano 2009; Hassanein and Head 2007; Porter and Donthu 2006). It is expected that in the future, more services will become available online for everyone everywhere at a much lower cost (Porter and Donthu 2006; Sundqvist et al. 2005; Baack and Singh 2007).

As Hofstede (2001) and others (Straub et al. 2002; McCoy et al. 2005) point out, nations differ widely in their national cultural values which affects much of their attitudes and decisions including acceptance of information technology (IT). Based on information system research conducted in developed countries (Srite and Karahanna 2006; Swigger et al. 2004; Sundqvist et al. 2005), there is a strong evidence indicating some impacts of espoused cultural values on IT acceptance (Sundqvist et al. 2005; Baack and Singh 2007). Developing countries have distinct national cultural values that set them apart from developed countries. There is a need to investigate the role of national cultural values on technology acceptance in developing countries since most of the existing studies are based on developed countries. Some authors (such as Yoon 2009; Straub et al. 2002; Ford et al. 2003; McCoy et al. …

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