CCE Theses and Dissertations

Investigation of Intention to Use e-Commerce in the Arab Countries: A Comparison of Self-Efficacy, Usefulness, Culture, Gender, and Socioeconomic Status in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Yair Levy

Committee Member

Timothy Ellis

Committee Member

Francisco J.Mitropoulos


Since the advent of the Internet, the use of e-commerce has been an emerging way of conducting business. E-commerce has the potential to radically alter economic activities and social environments. Widespread use of information and communication technologies (ICT) along with their widespread diffusion has led to speculation about "frictionless" economies in which the transaction costs are nearly zero, contestability and barriers to entry disappear, as well as markets clear instantly. Although e-commerce is becoming pervasive and has high impact on businesses as well as people's lives, it is still far from achieving its potential as a global electronic marketplace, in particular in Arab countries.

This study investigated constructs that impede the use of e-commerce in the Arab countries; more specifically Saudi Arabia. A predictive model was proposed, based on the constructs found in the literature, in order to predict people's intention to use ecommerce in Arab countries. The study further validated the proposed model empirically in order to find the weight of each construct and its contribution to predicting intention to use e-commerce in Arab countries. Finally, the study empirically tested the differences between Saudi Arabia, where the use of e-commerce is somewhat limited, and the United Arab Emirates, where the use of e-commerce is thriving, to find if there was a significant difference in intention to use e-commerce. A theoretical model was proposed, and two statistical methods were used to formulate models and test predictive power: Multiple Linear Regression (MLR) and Ordinal Logistic Regression (OLR). It was predicted that gender, attitude towards ICT, SES, CSE, perceived usefulness of e-commerce, and culture would have a significant impact on intention to use e-commerce in the Arab countries. Results showed overall significant models of the six aforementioned factors in predicting intention to use e-commerce in Arab countries. Additionally, results demonstrated that attitude towards ICT, CSE, perceived usefulness of e-commerce, and gender were significant predictors of the use of e-commerce in the Arab countries, while culture was not found to be significant predictors. It was also found that the significant predictors were responsible for 75% of the variance in intentions to use e-commerce. To find the differences in intentions to use e-commerce in Saudi Arabia and the UAE test analysis was used, which found significant differences in intention to use ecommerce within the two countries, with UAE residents having much higher intentions to use e-commerce. The data also revealed that women in Saudi Arabia have a much higher intention to use e-commerce as compared to men in Saudi Arabia. However, in the UAE males have a higher intention to use e-commerce as compared to females.

This study includes two important contributions. First, an investigation of factors that contribute to Internet user's intentions to use an emerging business technology in the Arab countries. This study has been developed specifically to respond to the questions regarding the lack of use of e-commerce in Saudi Arabia, and second, an investigation of key constructs contributing to the intention of the Internet users in the Arab countries to use emerging technologies to conduct business over the Internet.

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