E-commerce adoption by travel agencies in Jordan
Alrousan, Mohammad Kasim
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The advents of information and communication technologies (ICTs), especially the Internet applications, have become indispensable tool to the tourism industry. ICTs have had a major influence in changing the structure of this industry, to be information intensive industry. Travel agencies category of SMEs , have a vital role in tourism; managing, coordinating and supplying all aspects thereof, such as transport sector, hospitality sector and leisure attractions. The factors affecting e-commerce adoption by SMEs have been well-documented in developed countries, but inadequate studies have been conducted regarding e-commerce adoption in the developing countries; particularly in Arab countries. Moreover, it has been found that in spite of potential benefits for travel agencies of adoption of ecommerce, travel agencies are commonly regarded as slow adopters of e-commerce, lagging far behind the developed countries. Therefore, the focus of this study is on investigating the factors affecting e-commerce adoption by focusing on Jordanian travel agencies. To achieve this objective; an integrated conceptual framework was developed on the basis of previous models and theories relevant to ICTs and e-commerce adoption, namely Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation model, the Technology-Organisation-Environment model and Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions theory. The conceptual framework was developed for the explanation of the factors affecting e-commerce adoption by travel agencies. These factors were used to identify different levels of e-commerce adoption. These levels include: non-adoption, e-connectivity, e-window, e-interactivity, e-transaction and e-enterprise. The quantitative method was applied in this study for data collection using self-administrated questionnaire distributed to 300 Jordanian travel agents. The total number of valid questionnaires was 206, constituting a response rate of 68.6%. The descriptive analysis was used to explain demographic profiles of participants and current state of ecommerce adoption level. Multinomial Logistic Regression was used to test the research hypotheses. The research findings revealed that there are three different adoption levels of e-commerce by Jordanian travel agencies: e-connectivity, e-window and e-interactivity. The results showed that relative advantage, observability, business/partner pressure, uncertainty avoidance and government support were the significant predictors differentiating e-window from e-connectivity. Moreover, relative advantage, observability, financial barriers, power distance, business/partner pressure and government support proved to be significant predictors differentiating between e-interactivity and e-connectivity. It was also found that observability, competitive pressure, firm size and complexity were significant predictors differentiating between e-interactivity and e-window. On the other hand, the results showed that compatibility,trialability, employees’ IT knowledge, top management support, manager’s attitude, and customer pressure were insignificant predictors of any of the e-commerce adoption levels. Upon that, it can be argued with confidence that different levels of e-commerce adoption are affected by different factors. This entails the necessity of addressing the above ten significant predictors as they can be useful for managers, IT/web vendors and policy makers in drawing a roadmap and strategies for expanding the use and benefits of ecommerce adoption. Moreover, the conceptual framework of the study provide a best explanation of factors affecting e-commerce adoption levels in travel agencies as an example of SMEs, which contribute to the knowledge in the area of information systems particularly in the context of e-commerce adoption in developing countries.
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