Exploring the Role of Technology Readiness in Developing Trust and Loyalty for E-Services

Exploring the Role of Technology Readiness in Developing Trust and Loyalty for E-Services

Keyoor Purani (Indian Institute of Management, India) and Sunil Sahadev (University of Sheffield, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3954-6.ch018
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Abstract

Technology readiness relates to an individual’s propensity to embrace new technology. Consumers high in technology readiness are very optimistic about the impact of technology, have high levels of innovativeness, are very comfortable in using technology, and feel less insecure about technology. Previous studies have shown how technology readiness influences a consumer’s evaluation of service quality. The effect of technology readiness can also be on such constructs like trust with the service provider as well as loyalty to the service provider. The present study looks at the impact of technology readiness on the evaluation of e-service quality and its subsequent impact on e-trust and e-loyalty. Users of job-service portals in India were contacted for data collection. A total of 350 respondents replied to the questionnaire. The data was analysed through a path analysis procedure. The study found ample evidence for the impact of technology readiness on e-service quality, e-trust and e-loyalty. However the path from e-trust to e-loyalty as well as from e-service equality to e-trust was not found to be significant. The paper discusses the development of the conceptual model, empirical study as well as the implications. Finally, the practical implications that emerge from the results are also discussed.
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Introduction

With greater penetration of the Internet and the invention of new processes to service consumers though the electronic media, consumers rely increasingly on on-line service providers for even the most rudimentary tasks and services. As Rust and Kannan (2003, p.37) explain, “Traditional e-commerce is giving way to a new paradigm known as e-service.” Services which were hitherto the preserve of traditional brick and mortar service providers like real-estate brokers, marriage bureaus, letting agents, gambling houses, mortgage advisors, etc. are all now being encroached upon by online service providers. An interesting aspect to the rapid adoption of e-services is the adopter’s level of technology readiness. Technology readiness defines an individual’s predisposition to use new technologies. Individuals who are not yet ready to migrate to a technology dependent service environment may not perceive much value in the conveniences provided by e-services. It is therefore important to measure the level of technology readiness in understating constructs like e-trust, e-satisfaction and e-loyalty in the context of e-services. While extant literature in this area have considered the linkages between most of the important aspects related to e-services, the impact of technology readiness in shaping the adoption of e-services has been very rare. However with high proliferation of on-line service providers like grocery retailers, fashion retailers, book retailers etc., it is very important to understand this aspect. The present study considers this aspect and looks at how individual differences in the readiness to adapt technologies could impact customer evaluation and experiences with e-services. In the next sections we introduce the concepts and then develop the conceptual model. Subsequently the contexts of the empirical study as well as the results are discussed.

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