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Diffusing the Internet in the Arab world: the role of social norms and technological culturation

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3 Author(s)
Loch, K.D. ; J. Mack Robinson Coll. of Bus., Georgia State Univ., Atlanta, GA, USA ; Straub, D.W. ; Kamel, S.

Drawing on the theoretical work of Hill et al. and Straub et al., this study examines culture-specific inducements and impediments to using the Internet in the Arab world. Research questions were: (1) to what extent does the process of technology culturation affect the acceptance of the Internet? and (2) to what extent do social norms (SNs) affect the acceptance of the Internet? Of the two research methods employed, the first was a quantitative field study of knowledge workers. The instrument measured the extent to which respondents and their organizations are influenced by advanced technology cultures. Using partial least squares (PLS), the first of two models tested links between SNs; technological culturation and Internet usage for each respondent. The second model investigated links between technological culturation and Internet utilization for the respondent's organization. Findings show strong support for both models, explaining, respectively, 47% and 37% of the variance. The second method was a qualitative analysis of respondents' free-format comments. These findings reinforce the quantitative findings, on the one hand, and reveal additional cultural barriers that still need to be studied, on the other. Findings identify how culture can both inhibit and encourage technological innovation and how Arab cultures can move their economies more quickly into the digital age.

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Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 1 )