Determining the Self-Service Technology Adoption in Saudi Arabia: A Multi-Industry Approach

By Bakar, Abdul Rahim Abu | International Journal of Marketing Studies, June 2014 | Go to article overview

Determining the Self-Service Technology Adoption in Saudi Arabia: A Multi-Industry Approach


Bakar, Abdul Rahim Abu, International Journal of Marketing Studies


Abstract

This study investigates the adoption of self-service technologies (SST) among consumers in Saudi Arabia using the multi-industry approach. Unlike the majority of previous studies which either focuses on a specific industry or a specific SST, this study looks at SST adoption across multiple industries and across various SST platforms. In addition, it proposes a new construct-"consumers seek values" comprising of time convenience, ease of use, usefulness, secure/privacy, autonomy, service ubiquity and enjoyment adopting the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) as the research framework. The model includes consumer demographic characteristics which represents the exogenous variable while consumer adoption of SST as the endogenous variable. Based from a mall-intercept technique, a final usable sample comprises of 400 respondents was collected in four major cities in Saudi Arabia. This represents an effective response rate of 44%. The hypothesis was tested using SEM and WrapPLS to illustrate the relationship. The results showed that the proposed framework was significant.

Keywords: multi-industry, consumer seek values, self-service technologies, TAM, Saudi Arabia

1. Introduction

The current convergence of information and communication technology (ICT) is creating new opportunities. These include redeploying people, reconfiguring organizations, sharing information and investing in technologies. In addition "service-oriented thinking" activities are emerging at multiple organizational levels in business and it leverages technology in response to the growing need for greater business integration, flexibility, and agility. One of the technologies that have been utilized quite aggressively by firms in respond to the service-oriented thinking activities is self-service technologies (SST). These technologies are technological interfaces that enable customers to produce a service independent of direct service employee involvement (Meuter et al., 2000), i.e., person-to-technology service delivery (Dabholkar, 1994).

The importance of SSTs in the service environment has grown significantly over the last decade. Technology-based interactions are expected to become an increasingly important ingredient for long-term success in the delivery of services for industry such as retailing and hospitality (Bitner, Brown, & Meuter, 2000) in the future. In this rapidly emerging, technologically oriented service concept, customers provide the service for themselves by utilizing technology with or without help from an employee of the service provider (Meuter, Ostrom, Roundtree, & Bitner, 2000; Henderson, 2001).Strategically, the deployment of sophisticated SSTs in service encounters is expected to increase consumer satisfaction through improved service quality (Bitner et al., 2000; Parasuraman & Grewal, 2000) while cutting costs at the same time (Weijters et al., 2007).

Nevertheless, although the proclaimed benefits of SSTs are enormous, relatively few institutions have publicly announced that the adopted SST has achieved its intended goals or objectives. The returns on technology infusion are not always satisfactory and are often substantive and not without risk (Jackson, Chow, & Leitch, 1997) despite businesses having invested billions of dollars in these technologies (Lee & Allaway, 2002). Other businesses also reported that despite the large amounts of capital invested in new customer service technology, the expected return on their investment has not been realized, either because employees do not always use the technology; executives contend that they see no linkage between their duties and what the technology does (Pijpers, Bebelmans, Heemstra, & Montfort, 2001); or that it is often at times difficult to gauge users' acceptance when introducing new technology (James, Pirim, Boswell, Reithel, & Barkhi, 2006). Although the use of SSTs in the service settings within the developed economies has seen an increasing level of acceptance by consumers, the same cannot be said in various countries throughout the world. …

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