Basic vs. Advanced Modes of Internet Adoption: A Singapore Perspective

Basic vs. Advanced Modes of Internet Adoption: A Singapore Perspective

Thompson S.H. Teo (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-138-4.ch019
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The Internet can be used for different purposes ranging from simple Internet presence to using the Internet for business transformation. This study examines two modes of Internet adoption - basic and advanced. Questionnaires were sent to 566 firms in Singapore and 159 usable responses were received. Results suggested that firms operating in an advanced adoption mode invest more in Internet technology, had larger firm size, proactive business strategy, and significantly greater perceived Internet contributions to competitive advantage than did those operating in a basic adoption mode. No significant differences were found between the two adoption modes in terms of industry sector and hierarchical level of respondents. The results provide some useful information on the relationships between adoption modes and organizational characteristics as well as the impact of adoption modes on the five dimensions of competitive advantage (namely, differentiation, cost, innovation, growth and alliance). Implications of the results are discussed.
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New technologies have created innovative ways for firms to do business. The Web has been named as marketspace by researchers. Business Week (2003) reported that despite the crash in 2000, businesses are plunging ahead, with an estimated US $3.9 trillion of business-to-business (B2B) electronic commerce (e-commerce) in 2003. In order to leverage the potential of the Internet, more and more firms are establishing their presence on the Web. Liu at al. (1997) found that almost two-thirds of Fortune 500 firms are maintaining homepages on the Web, and about one-third of Fortune 500 firms are providing online business. Today, all Fortune 500 firms have Web sites. It is obvious that Internet technology may be used in different ways by different firms and that firms may differ in terms of their mode of Internet adoption.

Although much research has been done on the adoption of the Internet (e.g., Cyr et al., 2005; Papathanassiou, 2004; Tan & Teo, 1998) and e-commerce (e.g., Pavlou and Fygenson, 2006; Vilaseca-Requena et al., 2007), few have examined the topic of adoption modes. The basic or advanced nature of Internet adoption can be considered to be critical to its impact on competitive advantage. Despite the importance of Internet adoption modes, research in this area is still primarily conceptual in nature. Empirical research focusing on Internet adoption modes is relatively sparse. Most research has focused on identifying factors affecting Internet adoption issues rather than on assessing the extent, nature and impact of these adoption modes. This paper sheds light on this issue by empirically examining the impact of two Internet adoption modes – basic and advanced. An understanding of Internet adoption modes is important for researchers, practitioners and policy makers who intend to encourage greater Internet adoption and usage, as well as assess the impact of Internet adoption. Please note that the focus of this study is on firms that have a physical presence plus an email address or Web site address. Firms with only an online presence (i.e., pureplay firms) are beyond the scope of this study.

Three questions are addressed in this study:

  • 1.

    Do organizational characteristics differ for firms that have basic versus advanced adoption modes?

  • 2.

    Do firms with an advanced adoption mode perceived greater competitive advantage (in terms of cost, differentiation, alliance, growth and innovation) than firms operating in a basic adoption mode?

  • 3.

    Can an assessment of the specific significant differences between basic and advanced adoption modes yield any information on areas where the Internet has the greatest impact?

We attempt to answer the above questions through a survey of Internet adoption among firms in Singapore. Singapore is an ideal location to examine Internet adoption since the country is well known for its pro-IT cultural environment (Tan & Teo, 1999). As previous research (e.g., Yap et al., 2006) has emphasized the importance of conducive cultural and socio-economic environment in facilitating e-commerce diffusion, it would be interesting to examine the modes of Internet adoption and their impact among firms in Singapore. Further, Singapore has various national information technology (IT) plans that aim to make the country an intelligent island where IT is routinely harnessed to streamline business operations for competitive advantage, and to improve the quality of life for its citizens. Recently, Singapore launched its iN2015 masterplan that aims to turn Singapore into an Intelligent Nation and Global city where seamless access to IT will help promote innovation, connect businesses, individuals and communities (integration), and enable easy access to global markets (internationalization) (iN2015 Web site, 2007). Further, Singapore has one of the highest penetration (rank#11) of Internet users in the world (Internet World Stats Web site, 2006) thereby making it increasingly necessary for firms in Singapore to have Web sites.

This paper is organized as follows. First, we review the literature on Internet adoption modes, stages of growth theory and IT impact. Second, we describe the methodology used to gather data. Third, we discuss the results of data analyses. Last, we examine the implications of the results for researchers and practitioners.

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Associate Editors
Table of Contents
M. Gordon Hunter, Felix B. Tan
M. Gordon Hunter, Felix B. Tan
Chapter 1
Alexander Y. Yap
Why are some countries successful with e-commerce while others flounder? This chapter is an update of an earlier research study that the authors... Sample PDF
A Composite Model for E-Commerce Diffusion: Revisited
Chapter 2
Robert M. Davison, Yuan Li, Carol S.P. Kam
In the last few years, Web-based surveys have received increased attention given their potential to cut the costs and time associated with... Sample PDF
Web-Based Data Collection in China
Chapter 3
Jaymeen R. Shah
Privacy laws for the Internet are difficult to develop and implement domestically and internationally. A clear problem is how such laws are limited... Sample PDF
Privacy Protection Overseas as Perceived by USA-Based IT Professionals
Chapter 4
Hongxin Zhao, Seung Kim, Taewon Suh, Jianjun Du
This study attempts to examine empirically how social institutional factors relate to Internet diffusion in 39 countries. Based on nine-year... Sample PDF
Social Institutional Explanations of Global Internet Diffusion: A Cross-Country Analysis
Chapter 5
Somya Joshi, Michael Barrett, Geoff Walsham, Sam Cappleman
This article investigates how, and with what success, global organisations design computer-based systems for knowledge sharing which aim to balance... Sample PDF
Balancing Local Knowledge Within Global Organisations Through Computer-Based Systems: An Activity Theory Approach
Chapter 6
Kevin K.W. Ho, Byungjoon Yoo, Seunghee Yu, Kar Yan Tam
While previous studies on buy-it-now (BIN) auctions focus on the impact of BIN format on economic performances, our study focuses on factors that... Sample PDF
The Effect of Culture and Product Categories on the Level of Use of Buy-It-Now (BIN) Auctions by Sellers
Chapter 7
Shirish C. Srivastava, Thompson S.H. Teo
Though policy makers and governments are interested in understanding the returns from e-Government implementation, there are relatively few... Sample PDF
A Framework for Understanding Returns from E-Government
Chapter 8
Juan Juan Zhang, Sang-Yong Tom Lee
This article studies the role of international spillover of information and communication technology (ICT) in economic growth. We examine the... Sample PDF
A Time Series Analysis of International ICT Spillover
Chapter 9
William Wresch, Simon Fraser
Studies summarized by the United Nations Commission on Trade and Development continue to show that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in developing... Sample PDF
Technological Hurdles to Caribbean E-Commerce: Responses by Innovative Managers
Chapter 10
Robert M. Davidson, Carol S.P. Kim, Maggie Y. Li, Yuan Li, Carol X.J. Ou
In the last few years, Web-based surveys have received increased attention given their potential to cut the costs and time associated with... Sample PDF
Web-Based Surveys in China
Chapter 11
David Gefen, Tsipi Heart
Deliberate exploitation of natural resources and excessive use of environmentally abhorrent materials have resulted in environmental disruptions... Sample PDF
On the Need to Include National Culture as a Central Issue in E-Commerce Trust Beliefs
Chapter 12
Steven Hornik
The horizontal and vertical dimensions of individualism and collectivism are an important characteristic of cultures. These dimensions have many... Sample PDF
Culture's Impact on Technology Mediated Learning: The Role of Horizontal and Vertical Individualism and Collectivism
Chapter 13
Tamara Dinev, Massimo Bellotto, Paul Hart, Vincenzo Russo, Ilaria Serra, Christian Colautti
The study examines differences in individual’s privacy concerns and beliefs about government surveillance in Italy and the United States. By... Sample PDF
Internet Users' Privacy Concerns and Beliefs About Government Surveillance: An Exploratory Study of Differences Between Italy and the United States
Chapter 14
Shaobo Ji, Qingfei Min, Weihe Han
The purpose of this study is to review current research activities concerning information systems (IS) in mainland China. We thus examined Chinese... Sample PDF
Information Systems Research in China: An Empirical Study
Chapter 15
John Lim
Two seemingly disparate phenomena, advancement in computing technologies and rise in complexity of business negotiations owing to globalization... Sample PDF
A Study in the East Asian Context on Computer Support of Pre-Negotiation and Negotiation Stages
Chapter 16
Sang-Woo Lee, Myeong-Cheol Park, Dan J. Kim
This study relies on a customer demand-based view to examine how mobile number portability affects competition in the Korean mobile... Sample PDF
Mobile Number Portability in an Asymmetric Telecommunications Market: Korea Case
Chapter 17
Hazel Taylor
As outsourced and multinational IT projects become more common, managing risks for these projects is increasingly important. The research reported... Sample PDF
Vendor vs. Client Risks in Outsourced IT Projects: An Agency Theory Perspective
Chapter 18
Susan K. Lippert, John A. Volkmar
Research to date on information technology (IT) adoption has focused primarily on homogeneous single country samples. This study integrates the... Sample PDF
Cultural Effects on Technology Performance and Utilization: A Comparison of U.S. and Canadian Users
Chapter 19
Thompson S.H. Teo
The Internet can be used for different purposes ranging from simple Internet presence to using the Internet for business transformation. This study... Sample PDF
Basic vs. Advanced Modes of Internet Adoption: A Singapore Perspective
Chapter 20
Clive Sanford, Anol Bhattacherjee
This article presents an interpretive analysis of the key problems and challenges to technology implementation in developing countries, based on a... Sample PDF
IT Implementation in a Developing Country Municipality: A Sociocognitive Analysis
Chapter 21
Susan A. Sherer
This article investigates IT investment management processes in the U.S. and Portugal. In Portugal compared to the United States, we find less... Sample PDF
Comparative Study of IT Investment Management Processes in U.S. and Portugal
Chapter 22
Ruey-Lin Hsiao
This article examines e-marketplace adoption difficulties from a contextualist perspective. The analysis of industrial characteristics will unearth... Sample PDF
Misaligned Market: The Importance of Industry Context in Technology-Mediated Exchanges
Chapter 23
Syaiful Ali, Peter Green
Information technology plays a significant role enabling organisations to achieve their objectives. Accordingly, the governance mechanisms over the... Sample PDF
IT Governance Mechanisms in Public Sector Organisations: An Australian Context
Chapter 24
Shirley Chan
In most parts of the world, it is generally considered impolite or even rude to pick up an incoming mobile phone call and to have a longer (and... Sample PDF
Mobile Phone Communication Innovation in Multiple Time and Space Zones: The Case of Hong Kong Culture
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