Internet adoption decision model among Iranian small and medium enterprises

Information technology plays an important role in making existing businesses more efficient and effective. Moreover it offers the opportunity to create new business by opening up new markets and introducing new products and services. The adoption of information technology represents a huge problem to small business entrepreneurs. Situation they are facing is different from larger corporations. Despite the extensive benefits and opportunities that internet can offer to SMEs, most Iranian SMEs are relatively reluctant as yet to take advantage of the internet and these firms with internet access are using it minimally. The objective of this study is to develop an internet adoption decision model for Iranian SMEs with the help of main behavioral theories by identifying the factors influencing the adoption decision and actual usage of internet from the perspective of decision makers.

Among different behavioral theories ,the behavioral model of TAM (Technology Acceptance Model) was used as the base of the modified research model and its foundation was on previous literature on technology acceptance and innovation adoption research .The original constructs of TAM (perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, attitude, behavioral intention, actual behavior) were retained while the literature suggests subjective norm, image, perceived risk and facilitating conditions to be useful antecedents for internet adoption. Based on the literature, a modified TAM was developed. Hypotheses were discussed in this study related to the theoretical relationships between constructs and antecedents. Quantitative research approach was selected for this thesis. Then measurements of constructs were developed according to prior studies. Afterwards pilot test in three rounds were conducted. The data was gathered through online survey. The response rate was 37.7%. After data filtering to eliminate invalid responses the number of questionnaires decreased to 118. Structural Equation Modeling using visual PLS has been employed to test the proposed research model.

Tests of significance for all paths were conducted using the bootstrap re sampling procedure. The results of the structural path analysis of the research model provided support to fifteen hypotheses. The results are consistent with theory of acceptance model. Factors proposed as determinants of internet adoption: perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, facilitating conditions, perceived risk, image, subjective norm, attitude and behavioral intention were found to be statistically significant. Finally, the implication of this work to both researchers and practitioners has been discussed.

Author: Ghamatrasa, Marjan

Source: LuleƄ University of Technology

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