Factors influencing citizen's adoption of e-Government services in Saudi Arabia

Al Mahroqi, O 2012, Factors influencing citizen's adoption of e-Government services in Saudi Arabia, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Business Information Technology and Logistics, RMIT University.

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Collection: Theses

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Title Factors influencing citizen's adoption of e-Government services in Saudi Arabia
Author(s) Al Mahroqi, O
Year 2012
Abstract This research explores the factors for citizen’s adoption or rejection of e-government in Saudi Arabia. The broad finding confirms other research into e-government adoption outside the OECD. Weaknesses in public administration and a low level of ICT aptitude in the wider population are argued to combine to limit both the range of services provided and the take-up of these services.

The citizens’ decision to adopt or reject e-government services was studied using the framework of the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) model. This assumes that usage of e-government is related to three factors – personal, technological and transactional. For the most part, the common assumption is that these all have the same effect (i.e. they all immediately influence the actual decision) and many studies identify particular variables as statistically significant. However, this research suggests a different formulation may be correct. In effect, personal factors influence the type of decision process constructed to make the decision to use e-government services. The chosen rule varies according to certain key characteristics and, in this case, sees individuals choosing to rely on ‘usefulness’ or ‘ease of use’ (in other words, the two technological factors) with ‘risk’ (a transactional factor) relegated to a secondary role.

This study suggests that ‘ease of use’ was the dominant decision process for those who lacked either ICT aptitude or had little previous experience with e-commerce. In effect these people were trying to adopt e-government services and finding they lacked the technological skills to deal with the relatively flawed systems on offer. Critically, a number of individuals with this characteristic were able to use e-government services in an OECD country where the demands on the user are lower due to better-designed websites.

‘Usefulness’, in turn, was the decision process adopted by those with the competence to access the systems in Saudi Arabia. In effect, these individuals made the decision to use e-government services on the basis of the value of doing the transaction on-line. More broadly, it was suggested that ‘ease of use’ is the test applied at the point of first use and ‘usefulness’ is the on-going test applied to any potential e-government transaction. Therefore, as often reported, both are relevant criteria but importantly they are used by different people in different situations. vi

This line of enquiry was informed by the wider decision-making literature that suggests that in any decision situation, individuals will reformulate the problem so that one criterion is dominant and then make the decision on the basis of this formulation (in effect they will use a simplified single-stage decision process, even when the situation notionally calls for a multi-stage complex rule). This finding has two wider implications. First, there is a need to reconsider those studies that suggest that multiple criteria were adopted to explore if different criteria were in use by different parts of the sample (as here), rather than being used simultaneously (as is often assumed to have been the case). The second implication is the importance of ‘ease of use’ as the dominant criterion when e-government is first being introduced. In effect, well-designed websites and clear administrative procedures are critical if e-government is to be adopted in societies where the wider population has relatively low ICT skills or experience. This may be consistent with the more recent studies in OECD countries that suggest that ‘ease of use’, has, over time, ceased to be a relevant factor in e-government services adoption.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Business Information Technology and Logistics
Keyword(s) Adoption of e-Government
Citizen Adoption of e-Government
Technology Adoption
Ease of Use
Technology Adoption Models
E-government in Saudi Arabia
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Created: Mon, 04 Feb 2013, 10:57:40 EST by Brett Fenton
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