The Impact of Culture and Gender on E-Government Diffusion in a Developing Country: the Case of Nigeria
Umeoji, Emeka St Leo
Due to the high rate of e-government projects failures occurring in developing countries and the researcher being from a developing country, an impetus to undertake this research was provided. In IS research, diffusion of e-government products and services was noted to be slow within developing countries, and most developing countries striving to adopt e-government have undertaken it under the heavy burden of gender inequalities and strong multicultural beliefs. However, these social factors were shown to liberally influence users’ perception, which in turn influences users’ intentions and usage behaviour. Although there has been much research to explain users’ perceptions, few have been conducted on e-government diffusion using developing country experiences. The identified gap prompted this research to investigate how the citizens of a country ‘Nigeria’ receive information about the egovernment products and services and how this information has influenced the way they feel, form opinions and make judgments on egovernment products and services. Therefore, the aim of this research is to examine the implication of culture and gender upon e-government diffusion within Nigeria. For this purpose, a conceptual model was formed combining social interaction, trust of egovernment delivery personnel and constructs from Roger’s theory of diffusion and Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) to study e-government diffusion from the citizens’ perspective. Additionally, the culture and gender elements were considered. In turn, these elements were expected to determine and explain predictor constructs that would be used to explain, determine and predict citizen’s acceptance of e-government products and services. To acquire the data to this research, a qualitative research approach involving the case study method was employed. The data collection techniques used included interviews, personal observations, and examination of archival documents. The three main indigenous communities of Nigeria Yoruba, Ibo and Hausa were used and cross case analysis employed. This led to the findings identifying social interaction and the trust of personnel providing egovernment as the novel parts of the framework for this research. The main conclusions drawn from this research were that culture and gender were observed to have strong influences on social interaction as an e-government awareness channel; but significantly low influence on the other means of e-government awareness channels. Further, social interaction was noted to be a very strong determinant of communication within the indigenous societies. From the research findings it was learnt that for e-government to spread extensively, social interaction should be employed to improve the diffusion of e-government products and services. Future directions of this research include using a quantitative research approach to improve research findings and also investigating the relationships of trust of egovernment personnel and other forms of trust identified by previous research, i.e. the trust of government and trust in e-government. However, the view of this research is that since few studies of this kind are emphasized within IS research evaluating e-government diffusion, developing countries, culture and gender, other researchers interested in a topic similar to this research will learn of the importance of this research and these factors for other developing countries in the world. Due to the limitations of time and distance and financial constraints all the indigenous communities could not be represented. Hence, this was also considered to be a limitation to this research.