CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Maxine S Cohen

Committee Member

Laurie P Dringus

Committee Member

Ling Wang

Abstract

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have had a remarkable influence on society. Many argue that the impact of ICTs, either positive or negative, affects all of humanity. Acceptance, usability, and accessibility are key for ICTs to make a positive impact on society. Previous research states that Information Technology (IT) can lead to higher salaries, better communication, and more rapid advancements from emerging to developed nations. Additionally, information technology has demonstrated the potential to improve society's effectiveness and productivity by establishing a means to circulate knowledge, increase knowledge sharing, and provide knowledge accumulation and internalization. Therefore, if information technology can improve knowledge and productivity in society, why are the indigent not leveraging technology to a higher degree?

This formal research provides a benchmark analysis of a set of female Foreign Domestic Workers that have been hired as household maids. This study provides baseline insights of how these women who share low levels of skill, low wages, and to whom English, the worldwide language of the Internet is a second language, interact with technology. This study also contributes research data that can help improve development, design, and implementation of future Information Systems.

It can be concluded that FDWs do have availability of technology as shown in the study results. Yet, these women are not visiting websites designed for their use, such as government portals providing information and services. The study shows that the current Information Systems developed for this segment of the population may not be providing the Design, Quality of information, nor the User Acceptance needed to make these tools successful as compared to social media sites which are being visited by FDWs.

The results demonstrate that Foreign Domestic Worker's interaction with technology is still not integrated in their culture or every day activities although they have the advantage of living and working in Singapore, where infrastructure, technology and communications top ICT's charts and tables as one of the most advanced countries in the world.

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