Academic journal article Journal of Global Business and Technology

Management of E-Services Adoption in the Telecommunications Sector in Bahrain

Academic journal article Journal of Global Business and Technology

Management of E-Services Adoption in the Telecommunications Sector in Bahrain

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

The oversaturation in the telecommunication market in Bahrain suggests reshaping of the competition to be solely based on innovation, cost and flexibility. E-Services can be used by as a competitive edge to reduce costs and increase service rate. This research investigates the factors influencing customers' intention to use e-services in the Telecommunication sector in Bahrain. It extends on the researches that combine the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and trust (TR) by examining the effect of a proper regulatory environment (RGE) on users' intention to adopt and use e-services (ITU). The study findings show that perceived usefulness (PU) has a significant impact on perceived ease of use (PEOU), but not on ITU. Moreover, PEOU and RGE are major determinants of ITU while TR has no significant effect on both ITU and PEOU. The research results yield useful insights for the marketing and development strategies of service providers. This research also contributes to the on-going multi-cultural research on the adoption of e-services.

INTRODUCTION

E-Services are defined as "Deeds, efforts or performances whose delivery is mediated by information technology. Such e-services include the service element of e-retailing, customer support, and service delivery" (Rowley, 2006); or simply services that are offered, provided and/or consumed through the Internet. Adoption is defined here as "the decision to make full use of an innovation as the best course of action available" (Rogers, 1995, p. 21). E-Services adoption is different than conducting basic e-commerce purchases in terms of complexity and long-term relationship between the consumer and service providers (Featherman and Pavlou, 2003).

The telecommunications market in Bahrain is experiencing an oversaturation stage with 1.7 million obile subscribers by the end of 2011, a penetration rate of 133%, according to the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority report (Sambidge, 2012). This provides little opportunity for service providers who are struggling under financial pressures to compete based on price. Accordingly, Bahrain's service providers have to explore new competitive challenges like e-services that can improve efficiency, enhance flexibility, cut operational expenses and strengthen customer relations and satisfaction (Ruyter et al., 2001).

According to the B2C e-commerce overview by the Gulf Cooperation Council (IMRG International, 2011), e-commerce and e-services adoption and use are still in their early stages in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. This is because of barriers like payment security, delivery options, satisfaction, and legal aspects; and offenses like unauthorized access, interference or unauthorized interception of data, and fraud. Bahrain, similar to many developing countries, is slow and far behind in terms of a proper regulatory environment and a legal framework that protect online transactions.

Adoption and use of e-services depend on many factors like perceived usefulness (PU), perceived ease of use (PEOU), concerns of inherent risk (Hoffman et al, 1995), trust (TR) (Lee, 2009), and regulatory environment (RGE) (Zhu et al. , 2006). Those factors have been proven to be major inhibitors to adoption and are of great concern for many potential adopters. ?-Services, e-commerce, and e-government adoption have been studied in numerous research in various countries (Anderson & Srinivasan, 2003; Gefen et el., 2003; Pavlou, 2003; Flavia'n & Guinaly'u, 2006; Cyr, 2008; Kim et al., 2009). As for the Gulf region and Arab countries, few researchers have examined the antecedents of e-commerce and e-government adoption and found that they are still limited (Kassim & Ismail, 2009; Said & Galaleldeen, 2009; Alawadi & Morris, 2008; Alshehri & Drew, 2010; Al-Solbi & Al-Harbi, 2008).

Given the tremendous rise in e-services adoption in developed countries, e-services rate of adoption is still stagnant in many developing countries and requires further investigations. …

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