Universities all over the globe have been amongst the most active Internet adopters. They use it to facilitate their educational and research activities. Yet, such eagerness to adopt has not been observed in Libyan Universities. An investigation of the factors behind the low rate of Internet adoption in Libya is significant for enhancing our understanding of the adoption of new innovations. Hence, this study aims to explore how some dimensions of Libyan culture influence the use of the Internet by academic staff members at the University of Garyounis.
The focus of the study was developed through the findings of an exploratory study based on interviews with eight academics from the University of Garyounis. The results showed a number of factors such as sex segregation, societal and cultural norms and lack of training that seemed to be inhibiting Internet adoption. The study is potentially significant as the Government of Libya has recently launched a nationwide program to encourage use of the Internet for educational purposes.
A review of the related literature reveals that existing technology acceptance theories have mainly been designed in developed western countries. Researchers have criticized the blind adoption of such models in investigations of technology adoption in developing countries such as Libya. Such theories do not pay enough attention to the role of cultural factors in influencing Internet adoption and usage. My research is attempting to fill this gap. To pursue this aim, a theoretical framework has been developed integrating Hofstede’s model of differences among national cultures and Rogers’s Diffusion of Innovation theory. These two models are considered to be the most popular and powerful approaches in cross-culture studies in the information system field. The study adopts a qualitative methodology, employs case study strategy, and uses semi-structured interviews and observations for collecting data.