Do Chasms Exist Between Developing, Newly Developed, and Developed Countries When It Comes to Adopting ICT Technology?: The Case of South Korea and Thailand

Do Chasms Exist Between Developing, Newly Developed, and Developed Countries When It Comes to Adopting ICT Technology?: The Case of South Korea and Thailand

Hoon Yang (University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, USA), Sang-Gun Lee (Sogang University, South Korea) and Jae Kyung Kim (State University of New York, College at Oneonta, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/jabim.2012040104
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In this paper, the authors examine if a difference exists in adopting or diffusing information and communication technology (ICT) between developing and newly developed countries. To analyze the problem, the authors use the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) suggested by Venkatesh et al. (2003), which consists of effort expectancy, performance expectancy, and social influence. The authors also use innovation diffusion functions, made up of introduction, growth, maturity, and decline phases. The authors researched how these factors affect the adoption in the three phases. The authors surveyed cellular phone adopters in Thailand and South Korea for 15 years from 1989 to 2003. Thailand and South Korea each represent developing and newly developed countries, respectively. For the data analysis, survival analysis is used, because it can explain the characteristics of the potential adopters or non-adopters. They found that the ICT diffusion patterns, as well as the ICT diffusion factors, of the two countries are different. Therefore, the results of the authors’ research can be used to build a strategy to reduce the digital divide gaps among countries.
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2. Research Review

Since Ryan and Gross (1943) discussed the diffusion of technology innovation, this has been a fascinating research topic that spilled over to other academic fields including information systems studies. In the discipline of management information systems, Rogers (1995) raised this issue with his diffusion of innovations (DOI) theory, and many researchers suggested several theories, frameworks, and research methods such as the technology acceptance model (TAM) (Davis, 1989), theory of planned behavior (Taylor & Todd, 1995), and social cognitive theory (Compeau & Higgins, 1995). As research evolves, the main topics of research have focused on the pattern and extent of ICT diffusion and the propensity of an adopter to adopt and assimilate ICT (Fichman, 1999). While these theories have played a profound role in developing this field, they do not apply equally well to all types of ICT innovation in all adoption contexts (Fichman, 1999).

At the initial stage of research, researchers focused primarily on developing theories about the adoption of innovations by individuals (Agarwal, 2000). Later, individual-level ICT adoption and diffusion studies expanded to an organizational-level that includes all unit levels within an organization as research found that the critical factors for ICT adoption and diffusion for individuals were completely different from those for organizations. For example, Gallivan (2001) pointed out that these traditional individual level innovation adoption frameworks may not fit well when used in more complex technologies and adoption scenarios which require high levels of coordination across multiple adopters or where the technology has a high knowledge burden.

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