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E-commerce adoption by travel agencies in Jordan

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posted on 2022-10-17, 16:15 authored by Mohammad Kasim Alrousan


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  factorsaffecting  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  e-commerce,  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  e-commerce 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, 

iitrialability, 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 canbe 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/webvendors  and  policy makers    in  drawing  a  roadmap  and  strategies  for  expanding  the  use  and  benefits  of  e-commerce  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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