The Driving Internal Beliefs of Household Internet Adoption among Jordanians and the Role of Cultural Values

The Driving Internal Beliefs of Household Internet Adoption among Jordanians and the Role of Cultural Values

Khaled Saleh Al Omoush, Raed Musbah Alqirem, Amin A. Shaqrah
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2791-8.ch009
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The purpose of this study is to develop and validate a comprehensive model for the determinants of household Internet adoption through identifying the driving internal beliefs of individuals and the effect of cultural values on behavioral intention to adopt the household Internet among Jordanians. Given the widely recognized effect of cultural values on adoption of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), this study, applying Hofstede’s multidimensional framework, investigated the effect of cultural values on the behavioral intention to household Internet adoption in micro level. The empirical examination of the research model indicated that the behavioral intention to household Internet adoption is determined directly by five internal beliefs, including perceived needs, perceived risks, perceived ease of use, perceived resources, and perceived image. The results provide supporting empirical evidence linking most of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions to behavioral intention to household Internet adoption. With the exception of power distance, the results showed that collectivism (low individualism), masculinity, long-term orientation, and uncertainty avoidance had significant effects on the behavioral intention to household Internet adoption. The results demonstrated differences in the driving forces and cultural impact on Internet adoption between households and organizations settings.
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The development of the home ICT has a deep impact on the development of information and knowledge societies (Shan et al., 2008). On the other hand, the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and the natural environment to provide the members of the information society. Therefore, the starting point of the information society and dissemination of electronic applications begins from the consolidation of acceptance, access, and usage of the ICT by the families and individuals in their households.

As the Internet gains wider acceptance, information society has begun to emerge and take form. Thus, the vast technological possibilities of the Internet cause the fast progress of the information and knowledge society. The Internet has truly transformed global communication. It is more than just information. The Internet represents a set of services for various subsystems of society, and can be used for very diverse purposes. As a worldwide communications technology, the Internet has a great influence on people’s connections to friends, family, and their communities, which provides exchange of the text, graphics, audio and video information and access to the on-line services without boundaries.

The scope of Internet applications is therefore broad, and forces to deliver the Internet resource to households. Thus, the core indicators on acceptance and usage of Internet by households and individuals should be used in parallel with e-business activities and other applications blossom as a starting point of countries that are planning to establish the information and Knowledge society.

In many countries, societies and organizations experience difficulty and even failure in transferring IT into practice. Despite receiving billions of dollars in IT infrastructure, this problem seems to be more severe in Arab countries (Hill et al., 1998; Straub et al., 2001; Loch et al., 2003). In Jordan the ICT sector has grown rapidly during the last years and enormous investments have recently been made. Apart from Jordanian governments, ICT companies are also making efforts to involve more people in the adoption of their products and services. Although the number of adopters of new ICT products and services is growing, Internet are becoming more accessible, and Internet cafes have sprung up in even small Jordanian cities, there is a considerable ICT adoption gap especially in household Internet connectivity between Jordan and many other countries.

The Jordanian Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) has announced plan to increase Internet penetration to 50% by 2011. According to official numbers released by the TRC, only 18% of Jordanian households have internet access at the end of 2009 which assures that, things don't go according to plan. Current Jordanian stakeholders such as the government and Internet Service Providers (ISPs), are making a lot of efforts and resources to speed up the adoption of household Internet technology. It seems that these efforts are not being driven sufficiently by an adequate knowledge of the adoption behavior of individuals, the driving internal beliefs of the adopters, and the influence of cultural dimensions on behavioral intention toward entering the Internet to their homes.

On the other hand, the individual adoption of technology has been studied extensively in the workplace or in organizations settings. Recently, some researchers have started to develop models of ICT adaption and usage specifically looking at the household, building on the research of technology adoption in organizations (Oh et al., 2003(. The previous studies on adoption of household technology have offered limited information on the voluntary behavior of individuals, especially in adoption of Internet.

Many studies suggested that the culture of a country or region greatly affects the adoption of a technology through its beliefs and values on modernization and technological development (Straub et al., 1997; Kovacic, 2005; Sundqvist et al., 2005; Erumban & de Jong, 2006; Anandarajan et al., 2003; Gong et al., 2007; Calantone et al., 2006; Park et al., 2007; Srite & Karahanna, 2006; Myers & Tan, 2002; Veiga et al., 2001; Robichaux & Cooper 1998; Schepers & Wetzels, 2007). In a broader context, and as the initiatives results in failure, cultural barriers to technology transfer between western and other cultures have been well documented (Scheraga et al., 2000; Jensen & Scheraga, 1998; Straub et al., 2001; Hill et al., 1998).

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