Globalization of the Internet: Convergence or a multicultural community?

Lori Marlene Zalka, Florida International University

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation was to investigate cross-cultural differences in the use of the Internet. Hofstede's model of national culture was employed as the theoretical foundation for the analysis of cross-cultural differences. Davis's technology acceptance model was employed as the theoretical foundation for the analysis of Internet use. ^ Secondary data from an on-line survey of Internet users in 22 countries conducted in April 1997 by the Georgia Tech Research Corporation measured the dependent variables of Internet use and the independent variables of attitudes toward technology. Hofstede's stream of research measured the independent variables of the five dimensions of national culture. ^ Contrary to expectations, regression analyses at the country level of analysis did not detect cultural differences. As expected, regression analyses at the individual level of analysis did detect cultural differences. The results indicated that perceived usefulness was related to the frequency of Internet shopping in the Germanic and Anglo clusters, where masculinity was high. Perceived ease of use was related to the frequency of Internet shopping in the Latin cluster, where uncertainty avoidance was high. Neither perceived usefulness nor perceived ease of use was related to the frequency of Internet shopping in the Nordic cluster, where masculinity and uncertainty avoidance were low. ^ As expected, analysis of variance at the cluster level of analysis indicated that censorship was a greater concern in Germany and Anglo countries, where masculinity was high. Government regulation of the Internet was less preferred in Germany, where power distance was low. Contrary to expectations, concern for transaction security. was lower in the Latin cluster, where uncertainty avoidance was high. Concern for privacy issues was lower in the U.S., where individualism was high. ^ In conclusion, results suggested that Internet users represented a multicultural community, not a standardized virtual community. Based on the findings, specific guidance was provided on how international managers and marketers could develop culturally sensitive strategies for training and promoting Internet services. ^

Subject Area

Business Administration, Marketing|Business Administration, Management|Mass Communications|Information Science

Recommended Citation

Lori Marlene Zalka, "Globalization of the Internet: Convergence or a multicultural community?" (January 1, 1999). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. Paper AAI9924223.
http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI9924223

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