Studies conducted in the disciplines of public administration, sociology, psychology and information systems have examined the factors supporting electronic government (e-Government) adoption. Such research is vital because—no matter how technically sophisticated an e-Government system—it will be useless if it is not adopted. For government procurement processes, electronic procurement (e-Procurement) is believed to enhance efficiency and transparency as well as reduce the incidence of corruption in these processes. Unfortunately, however, many developing countries that face the problem of public sector corruption have failed to successfully adopt e-Government systems, including e-Procurement. The lack of success in e-Government adoption has stimulated the interest of scholars to identify the key predictors of e-Government adoption in developing countries. As a contribution to this growing body of knowledge, the present study examines the possible predictors of e-Government adoption by using Indonesia’s e-Procurement system as a case study. Indonesia was chosen as the case study because it is a developing country facing the problem of public sector corruption and because an e-Procurement system was introduced for use in government agencies in 2005.
The literature presents several conceptual models that have been developed to understand the predictors of e-Government use. Generally, these conceptual models apply to pre-adoption settings (e.g. the technology acceptance model (TAM), unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT), and technology-organisation-environment model (TOE)) where they identify the factors relating to the take-up of a new technology, or to continued use settings (e.g. the expectation confirmation model for information technology (ECM-IT)) where they identify the factors relating to the continued use of a technology. The predictors in these models have been validated by prior studies in various settings. However, there is a growing concern about the use of model predictors without adjusting them to take account of different contexts. At least two types of adjustment to context should be considered: first, the models are often developed for business settings, but government procedures and needs are different; second, the models have mostly been developed in the context of developed rich nations, not poorer developing worlds, and with this come different cultural attitudes to technology and educational and infrastructure levels. The present study is significant in that it tests the use of a pre-existing e-Procurement system by government agencies in a developing country. It not only assesses the continued intention to use, but also introduces a new measure of the level of adoption.
In recognition of the need to adjust pre-existing adoption models, this study used a two-stage research design. The first stage used interviews with expert informants to either confirm existing predictors from well-established adoption models or identify new predictors for the e-Procurement and developing country context. The second stage sought to validate the resulting model using statistical analysis of survey data.
In the first stage, qualitative data were gathered from interviews with eight expert informants who were able to present a system or organisational view on the experience and policy of e-Procurement adoption in Indonesia. After using thematic analysis, the data gathered in this stage confirmed that some predictors from the adoption model literature are relevant to the Indonesian context, namely, performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence, facilitating conditions and top management support. The interviews also revealed three new predictors: external organisation strategy, perceived risk of corruption, and trust in e-Procurement. In the second stage, quantitative data were gathered through an online survey of over 500 relevant Indonesian public agencies, with responses received from 144 agencies. A statistical analysis method, namely, structural equation modelling (specifically PLS-SEM), was used to analyse the relationship between the predictors and the outcome variables of level of adoption and continued use. The results indicated that facilitating conditions, top management support and external organisation strategy were significant predictors of the level of adoption, and that facilitating conditions, performance expectancy and trust in e-Procurement were significant predictors of continued use of the e-Procurement system in Indonesia.
The study enriches the existing paradigms in the theory of technology adoption and use in several ways. First, it validates that model predictors developed to study individuals’ use of new technologies are appropriate for use in examining organisations’ use of new technologies. Second, it adds a new dimension to the theory of technology adoption by explaining how risk in non-electronic processing may be a driver of electronic system’s level of adoption.