Electronic commerce adoption
: a study of business-to-business practice in Saudi Arabia

  • Sabah A. Al-Somali

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Electronic commerce (e-commerce) has become an increasingly important initiative among organisations. The factors affecting adoption decisions have been well-documented, but there is a paucity of empirical studies that examine the adoption of e-commerce in developing economies in the Arab world. The aim of this study is to provide insights into the salient e-commerce adoption issues by focusing on Saudi Arabian businesses. Based on the Technology-Organisational-Environmental framework, an integrated research model was developed that explains the relative influence of 19 known determinants. A measurement scale was developed from prior empirical studies and revised based on feedback from the pilot study. Non-interactive adoption, interactive adoption and stabilisation of e-commerce adoption were empirically investigated using survey data collected from Saudi manufacturing and service companies. Multiple discriminant function analysis (MDFA) was used to analyse the data and research hypotheses. The analysis demonstrates that (1) regarding the non-interactive adoption of e-commerce, IT readiness, management team support, learning orientation, strategic orientation, pressure from business partner, regulatory and legal environment, technology consultants‘ participation and economic downturn are the most important factors, (2) when e-commerce interactive adoption is investigated, IT readiness, management team support, regulatory environment and technology consultants‘ participation emerge as the strongest drivers, (3) pressure from customers may not have much effect on the non-interactive adoption of e-commerce by companies, but does significantly influence the stabilisation of e-commerce use by firms, and (4) Saudi Arabia has a strong ICT infrastructure for supporting e-commerce practices. Taken together, these findings on the multi-dimensionality of e-commerce adoption show that non-interactive adoption, interactive adoption and stabilisation of e-commerce are not only different measures of e-commerce adoption, but also have different determinants. Findings from this study may be valuable for both policy and practice as it can offer a substantial understanding of the factors that enhance the widespread use of B2B e-commerce. Also, the integrated model provides a more comprehensive explanation of e-commerce adoption in organisations and could serve as a foundation for future research on information systems.
Date of Award2012
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorBen Clegg (Supervisor) & Roghieh Gholami (Supervisor)


  • E-commerce adoption
  • Saudi Arabia
  • developing Arab nations
  • technology organisation-environmental framework
  • innovation adoption

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