Free and open source software adoption framework for Swiss small and medium-sized tourist enterprises

Chib, S 2013, Free and open source software adoption framework for Swiss small and medium-sized tourist enterprises, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Business IT and Logistics, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Free and open source software adoption framework for Swiss small and medium-sized tourist enterprises
Author(s) Chib, S
Year 2013
Abstract The link between IT and the hospitality and tourism industry has been the focus of many research initiatives. As the hospitality and tourism sectors significantly contribute to a nation’s economy, it is imperative that hospitality and tourism enterprises enhance their competitiveness to participate and survive in the global competition. It is common that the tourism and hospitality sector in any economy consists primarily of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In the case of Switzerland, tourism and hospitality is one of the sectors that employs a significant workforce but is mainly comprised of SMEs. Swiss tourism SMEs are under immense pressure to achieve and maintain a sustainable competitive advantage. Although information technology (IT) adoption has been strongly advocated for tourism enterprises to ensure their success in the global tourism value chain, tourism SMEs have not been utilising IT solutions in their businesses due to the prohibitive costs and a lack of appropriate information about IT solutions. A special class of IT applications known as free and open source software (F/OSS) is growing in prominence and offers scope to provide viable and affordable solutions for various operational and strategic levels for businesses. F/OSSs are socially developed software solutions that are primarily low cost in comparison to their proprietary counterparts. This thesis argues that, in the context of Swiss tourism SMEs, F/OSS-type applications can provide low-cost and high-quality technological solutions, which could assist in improving their competitiveness. Accordingly, the objective of this study is to create an F/OSS adoption framework, which enables analysis of Swiss SMTEs’ willingness to adopt F/OSS applications in their operations. Based on the level of FOSS development and the potential areas for technology adoption within SMTEs areas as outlined in the previous literature, this study proposes and empirically tests an F/OSS adoption model in the context of Swiss tourism SMEs. The model identifies direct and indirect determinants of FOSS adoption which are moderated by demographic factors (age, gender, education and internet experience). The research design consisted of sampling techniques, questionnaire development, qualitative interviews, and pre- and pilot testing of the survey instrument. In order to test the model, data was collected electronically from 152 cross-sectional participants. The data analysis consisted of descriptive analysis and structural equation modelling (SEM). The results of this analysis demonstrated that the predictors of BI to adopt F/OSS explained 23.2 per cent of the variance. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to further validate the research model. In terms of a general F/OSS acceptance model in the context of Swiss SMTEs, based on the findings of the current research, effort expectancy, social influence and community influence are significant determinants of Swiss SMTEs’ behavioural intention towards F/OSS adoption, more than performance expectancy and facilitating conditions. Moreover, the characteristics of Swiss SMTEs and of F/OSS itself could be valid factors influencing the behavioural intentions of Swiss SMTEs. The main contribution of this thesis lies in filling the gap in the research by proposing and testing an F/OSS adoption model that can assess how F/OSS-type applications might be adopted by tourism SMEs. The model contains both direct and indirect determinants of F/OSS adoption. Researchers and practitioners can benefit from the results of this study as it contributes towards our understanding of SMEs’ stance on and intentions to adopt F/OSS.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Business IT and Logistics
Keyword(s) Free/Open source software
Technology adoption
Swiss tourism
Small and medium size enterprises
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Created: Tue, 12 Nov 2013, 15:34:21 EST by Leona Campitelli
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