Determinants of adoption and impact of digital technologies by SMEs in Jordan

  • Ra'ed Almashawreh

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

    Abstract

    Today's digital technologies, including artificial intelligence, social media networks, big data, sophisticated manufacturing, cloud computing, cyber solutions, and 3D printing, are utilized in many businesses worldwide. While prior studies have examined the acceptance of digital technologies in Western and other advanced nations, few have focused on the Middle East, especially Jordan. Developing countries like Jordan require assistance with numerous challenges, including poor information systems, limited usage, and low usability. Governments and various business sectors must embrace these rapidly advancing digital technologies to remain competitive in today's business world. While many studies have explored the adoption and impact of digital technologies on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), SMEs in developing countries need to be more aware of the benefits of digital technologies. This research investigates the acceptance and impact of digital technologies on SMEs in Jordan. The study addresses a significant knowledge gap by examining the organizational, technological, socio-cultural, political-environmental, and demographic determinants of digital technology adoption that influence Jordanian SMEs' decision-making process. Specifically, the study focuses on Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a critical digital technology. A comprehensive theoretical framework based on several theories and models, including the theory of reasoned action (TRA), technology acceptance model (TAM), diffusion of innovations (DOI) theory, unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT), and Technology Organization Environment (TOE) framework, is proposed to provide a comprehensive understanding of digital technology adoption determinants by SMEs in developing countries such as Jordan. The study collects and analyzes data using quantitative methods. Online questionnaires were distributed to all 1600 registered SMEs in Jordan and Amman. Data was collected from owners/managers of Jordanian SMEs in Amman about their attitudes towards accepting and using one type of digital technology, such as AI systems. The data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences 27 (SPSS) and included summary statistics, frequency distribution analysis, reliability tests, correlation analysis, factor analysis, and multiple regression analyses. Of the 401 who responded, 364 were deemed usable, resulting in a response rate of 25%. The study's findings provide valuable insights for SME owners, managers, and policymakers in developing countries to adopt digital technologies and achieve economic growth. The key finding is that embracing digital technologies positively impacts SME performance, with significant positive correlations between digital technology usage and productivity and customer satisfaction. The study also identifies several determinants that influence the adoption of digital technologies, including employees' IT knowledge, technology infrastructure, managerial support, training, reward system, government support, social networks, and religious beliefs. This study's significant contribution provides a solid foundation for developing policies and procedures for implementing digital technologies in SMEs in developing countries and improving their market competitiveness. The study recommends that SME owners and managers be educated on the benefits of digital technologies and that government policies focus on providing access to training and financing, increasing awareness of the benefits of digital technologies, and creating an enabling environment for SMEs to adopt digital technologies. These recommendations can help promote the adoption of digital technologies among SMEs in Jordan and enhance their competitiveness in the global market.
    Date of Award2023
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorMajharul Talukder (Supervisor) & Sarvjeet Kaur Chatrath (Supervisor)

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