Cultural Interpretation of E-Commerce Acceptance in Developing Countries: Empirical Evidence from Malaysia and Algeria

Cultural Interpretation of E-Commerce Acceptance in Developing Countries: Empirical Evidence from Malaysia and Algeria

Zakariya Belkhamza (Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-100-1.ch009
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Global deployment in information and communication technology requires understandings of the cultural constraints in technology acceptance and usage behavior. Prior research indicates that the salient technology acceptance models may not be applicable to all cultures since empirical support was mainly obtained from North America and developed countries. There has been little research done on technology acceptance and usage behavior in the context of developing countries which exhibit distinctive cultural differences from developed countries. The purpose of this study is to test the cross-cultural applicability of technology acceptance model in two developing countries, Malaysia and Algeria, and to investigate the influence of cultural values on the acceptance of e-commerce. The four cultural values of individualism/ collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity/femininity identified by Hofstede are posited to comparatively explain the e-commerce acceptance in the context of the two countries. Only uncertainty avoidance was found to moderate the relationship between perceived usefulness and intention to use e-commerce, whereas the other three national culture dimensions did not moderate the relationship, which validate the longstanding notion of important cultural differences between Malaysia and Algeria and show that those differences extend to the e-commerce context.
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Culture And Information And Communication Technologies

The study of the relationship between culture and information technology has taken several directions in cultural anthropology. The reference discipline of anthropology provides additional insight as well as support for focusing on the relationship between cultural and information technology. Anthropologists like Bertolotti (1984) points out that the culture of a country or region greatly affects the acceptance of technology through its beliefs and values about modernization and technological development. Thus, ignoring the cultural context can result in delays or, at worse, failures in information technology adoption process (Matta and Boutros 1989).

Straub (1994) suggests that cultural factors have a significant effect on technology diffusion process ranging from evaluation to adoption, use and performance. Burn (1995) believes that cultural values affect the efficacy of technology transfer across national boundaries. Particularly, culture is considered to be the most important factor in technology transfer from industrialized countries to developing ones. As the way technology is perceived and used in organizations is embedded in certain cultural environment, successful information technology implementation across cultures addresses both the technological readiness and the wider cultural and national setting within which the organization operates (Cummings and Guynes, 1994; Tricker, 1988; Robey and Rodriguez-Diaz, 1989).

Limaye and Victor (1991) argue that although information technology in business organizations around the world would converge, the conveyed meaning and the outcomes of information technology use may remain culturally oriented. There have been ample evidences in information systems literature on cultural differences regarding to the perception and use of information technology, and the way it is managed and transferred.

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