Abstract A rapidly growing body of research is investigating the role and the adoption of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in alleviating poverty. Many of these studies have focused on ICT with proprietary software, however, careful academic studies have been devoted to the adoption of Free Open Source Software (FOSS), since it is recognized as unique opportunity for less economically developed countries (LEDCs). In fact, a lot of opportunities and challenges have been posed for developing countries by the dramatic growth of open source software. However, the problematic nature of FOSS adoption is readily evidenced in the fairly frequent reports of problems. With issues such as high level of poverty, illiteracy, poor health services and lack of ICT awareness, how can developing country policy makers and other key stakeholders make informed decisions about the benefits and implications of choosing open source solutions. To benefit from this opportunity, it is therefore important for all players to identify and understand the strategic factors and future trends that affect the development of an efficient FOSS industry in LEDCs. To reach this research purpose, we proposed a conceptual framework based on various literature reviews and examined it to find the effect of some of the technological, environmental, organizational, social and individual factors on FOSS adoption and use in SMEs industry in Ghana; then, future trends that are likely to impact the deployment and development of FOSS in the country were assessed. The methodology employed is a two-fold approach involving; quantitative method with structural equation model of partial least squares (SEM-PLS) and qualitative method using a combination of Delphi techniques and SWOT analysis. In the quantitative approach the results of study suggest that power distance cultural dimension and FOSS system compatibility and capabilities have positive influence on perceived usefulness of the software. Conversely, system complexity, government supports and awareness have negative influence on the perceived usefulness. However, perceived usefulness has no effect on users’ intention to adopt. In addition, FOSS quality and power distance cultural dimension have positive influence on perceived ease of use which in turn has significant effect on users’ intention to adopt. While government supports, education and awareness have negative influence on users’ intention to adopt, power distance cultural dimension, social identification and personal innovativeness in IT have positive effect. In summary, the obtained results from SEM-PLS revealed that related factors explained 86% of the variation of influencing factors on intention to adopt, which in turn explained 58% of variance of usage behavior. In the qualitative approach the result was based on the internal and external factors identified through the Delphi techniques iterations. Additionally, SWOT analysis was carried out to foresee an efficient software industry that could help to boost local economic development of the country. In fact, the result reveals significant strengths within Ghanaian SMEs but less opportunity for Ghana as a whole. In regard to this finding there is need for strong collaboration and partnership among government, universities and industry with policy suggestions that should be optimally implemented.

Open source technologies and local economic development: Exploring adoption factors in a Less Developed Country.

PARKOO, KUDZO WOEZO
2019-01-23

Abstract

Abstract A rapidly growing body of research is investigating the role and the adoption of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in alleviating poverty. Many of these studies have focused on ICT with proprietary software, however, careful academic studies have been devoted to the adoption of Free Open Source Software (FOSS), since it is recognized as unique opportunity for less economically developed countries (LEDCs). In fact, a lot of opportunities and challenges have been posed for developing countries by the dramatic growth of open source software. However, the problematic nature of FOSS adoption is readily evidenced in the fairly frequent reports of problems. With issues such as high level of poverty, illiteracy, poor health services and lack of ICT awareness, how can developing country policy makers and other key stakeholders make informed decisions about the benefits and implications of choosing open source solutions. To benefit from this opportunity, it is therefore important for all players to identify and understand the strategic factors and future trends that affect the development of an efficient FOSS industry in LEDCs. To reach this research purpose, we proposed a conceptual framework based on various literature reviews and examined it to find the effect of some of the technological, environmental, organizational, social and individual factors on FOSS adoption and use in SMEs industry in Ghana; then, future trends that are likely to impact the deployment and development of FOSS in the country were assessed. The methodology employed is a two-fold approach involving; quantitative method with structural equation model of partial least squares (SEM-PLS) and qualitative method using a combination of Delphi techniques and SWOT analysis. In the quantitative approach the results of study suggest that power distance cultural dimension and FOSS system compatibility and capabilities have positive influence on perceived usefulness of the software. Conversely, system complexity, government supports and awareness have negative influence on the perceived usefulness. However, perceived usefulness has no effect on users’ intention to adopt. In addition, FOSS quality and power distance cultural dimension have positive influence on perceived ease of use which in turn has significant effect on users’ intention to adopt. While government supports, education and awareness have negative influence on users’ intention to adopt, power distance cultural dimension, social identification and personal innovativeness in IT have positive effect. In summary, the obtained results from SEM-PLS revealed that related factors explained 86% of the variation of influencing factors on intention to adopt, which in turn explained 58% of variance of usage behavior. In the qualitative approach the result was based on the internal and external factors identified through the Delphi techniques iterations. Additionally, SWOT analysis was carried out to foresee an efficient software industry that could help to boost local economic development of the country. In fact, the result reveals significant strengths within Ghanaian SMEs but less opportunity for Ghana as a whole. In regard to this finding there is need for strong collaboration and partnership among government, universities and industry with policy suggestions that should be optimally implemented.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11571/1255886
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