Adoption of web-based self-service technology : a case of airline online check-in systems

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Adoption of web-based self-service technology : a case of airline online check-in systems

 

Author: Lee, Yee Sum Louisa
Title: Adoption of web-based self-service technology : a case of airline online check-in systems
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2012
Subject: Internet -- Social aspects.
Service industries -- Data processing.
Consumers -- Effect of technological innovations on.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: xiv, 209 p. : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2551315
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/6824
Abstract: The acceptance of technology, particularly various information systems, by tourists has been a well-studied area in tourism literature. Tourism research on technology acceptance has been challenged in a similar setting, from culturally biased perspectives to quantitative investigation. This thesis attempts to fill the knowledge gap by constructing a conceptual model for understanding technology adoption intention of web-based self-service technology (SST) in the tourism industry setting, and by exploring the differences between Asians and Westerners with regard to technology adoption intention dimensions. To achieve the objectives, qualitative and quantitative methods, along with an Etic-Emic approach, were adopted. The entire research followed the Churchill (1979) instrument development procedure to attain the key objectives. To identify the factors affecting web-based SST adoption intention from the perspectives of both Asian and Westerners, the preliminary qualitative study combined the corresponding literature review with focus group interviews with Asians. The following are the eleven factors utilized in the study: perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, perceived behavioral control, trust, subjective norm, perceived risk, customization, word of mouth (WOM), perceived playfulness, prior experience, and attitude. Expert panel assessment was carried out to assess the content reliability and validity of all measuring items. Respondents filled out online, self-administered questionnaires in the pilot testing, after which a total of 202 useable questionnaires were gathered. Exploratory factor analysis was employed to analyze the pilot test data, in which nine factors were finalized: perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, perceived behavioral control, subjective norm, perceived risk, trustworthy and customized experience, WOM, perceived playfulness, and attitude.
The pilot test was followed by the main survey, which was conducted to construct and test the conceptual model and the relationships among the key constructs via hypotheses testing. The survey took place at the Hong Kong International Airport in March 2012. A total of 479 valid questionnaires were gathered. Quota sampling was used to match the sample with the equal proportion of Asians and Westerners. The data were analyzed using confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling. The five constructs, namely, perceived usefulness, trustworthy and customized experience, perceived risk, perceived behavioral control, and subjective norm, were specified as the significant factors affecting adoption intention, mediated by attitude. Attitude was also confirmed to be a critical determinant affecting technology adoption intention. In addition, divergence of Asians and Westerners in terms of adoption factor was also examined. Compared with their counterparts, Asians were likely to be attentive to WOM, subjective norm, and perceived playfulness. In the final section of this thesis, theoretical and practical implications, as well as research limitations and future research directions, are discussed. Theoretically, this research provided a holistic investigation and collation of the major factors examined in previous technology adoption studies. The thesis contributed to technology adoption research by identifying two new dimensions, customization and WOM, that shade technology adoption intention. A reliable and valid conceptual model and corresponding measuring items were generated. Research findings demonstrated the applicability of the model, and the universal application of the model across populations was also confirmed. The study also revealed the overlooked yet important aspect of web-based SST in tourism research. In terms of the practical implications of the thesis, airline and tourism practitioners were recommended to enhance the functionalities of their current web-based SST, provide more human-touch and customized features, educate users in using the system, devote attention to travelers' internal referents, and carry out sophisticated system security. These recommendations were in consideration of usefulness, trustworthy and customized experience, perceived risk, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control, which were found to be the critical determinants that affect web-based SST adoption intention. Limitations and future research directions were also included.

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