The use of information and communication technologies in South African hotels : a self-evaluation by hotel managers.
Mndzebele, Nomsa Margareth.
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It is fair to assume that the level of participation in a world economy depends on the capacity of business organisations to use technology efficiently. Conducting business in the world today is driven by information technology. Internet technology has changed various business activities and transactions. In the Internet age, the development of electronic commerce (EC) is considered a major indicator of the overall competitiveness of organisations. An EC marketing channel can bring customers more benefits such as greater shopping convenience and potentially lower prices. Today, most hotels have been forced by the market to consider adopting EC to carry out business processes more efficiently. Hence, the purpose of the study is to determine the determinants of EC adoption by hotels in South Africa. This study is based on Tornatzky and Fleicher’s (1990) technological, organizational and environmental (TOE) model that includes technological context, organisational context and environmental context. The TOE model has been widely used to examine the factors that influence organisational technology adoption. The research model looked at eight determinants, which are (1) relative advantage, (2) compatibility, (3) complexity, (4) organisational size, (5) technology knowledge, (6) managers’ attitudes towards EC, (7) information intensity and (8) competition. A quantitative research design was used and a questionnaire was used to collect data and answer the research questions in the study. Four hundred hotels were randomly selected from the three groups of hotels suggested by the South African Tourism office, i.e. (1) Tourism Grading council hotel listing, (2) Tshwane accommodation listing and (3) AA travel accommodation. A total of 332 questionnaires were collected for data analysis, which represents a 94.9% response rate. Descriptive statistics, correlational statistics, one way analysis of variance, (ANOVA), regression analysis, cross tabulation tests and multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) were used to analyse the data. The results indicated that all three contexts (TOE) were important in the decision of EC adoption by the hotels in South Africa. The findings indicated that not all the determinants used had a statistically significant relationship with the extent of EC adoption in the hotel industry. The researcher also found out that hotels were more concerned about the benefits of EC than the organisational ability to adopt EC, the hotels that had sufficient resources were more willing to adopt EC. The findings also indicated that managers’ attitude towards EC adoption is influential on the extent of EC adoption. Finally, findings indicated that there is a lot of pressure from suppliers and customers for the hotels to use EC. Even though the mangers that filled in the questionnaire were computer literate, technology knowledge of EC would help managers to realise which systems are most appropriate.