Predictive Effect of Gender and Sector Differences on Internet Usage Among Employees
Keywords:Internet, employee, gender, sector, multiple ordinal logistic regression, chi-square test.
AbstractInternet has become the foundation for the world’s new information infrastructure. This impact could be attributed to the Internet’s universal access to information as well as its applications in all walks of life. Various services of the Internet and tools (chat rooms, e-mails, etc.) provide users with a wide range of benefits. In their study, Colley and Maltby (2008) indicated that one important research area over the last decade has been the impact of the Internet upon different social groups in the society. The differences in various aspects of
Internet usage across demographic groups have also become an interesting research area (Yang and Tung, 2007; Jaeger, 2003) because demographic attributes were found to influence individuals’ actions before they engage in a given behaviour (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1980; Zhang, 2005; Jaeger, 2003). Zhang (2005) reported that although studies of computer and Internet attitudes are abundant, the majority of these researches use college students (Zhang, 2005; Hwang et al., 2006; Li and Kirkup, 2007; Chen, 2008) or ordinary citizens (Fisher and Jacob, 2006; Fang and Yen, 2006; Colley and Maltby, 2008) as samples. However, employee populations constitute one of the largest groups and play a very important role in the adoption of new technologies. Additionally, employees’ use of Internet services may show entirely different patterns than other groups in the society (Jin et al., 2007). Furthermore, the basic concepts of the Internet have been developed in the Western World and most of the empirical research focusing on Internet usage is either US/EU or Far East based (Teo and Lim, 2000; Usiner, 2005). Although they cover very valuable territory and provide useful insights that can provide direction in the examination of the issues from a global perspective, the results of these studies may not be applicable to other parts of the world due to the existence of social and economic differences (Bertot, McClure and Owens, 1999; Zhang, 2005). Nowadays, there is a growing divide between Western countries and the developing countries and, comparatively, very little has been researched in the field of ICT in the latter.Keeping these in view, the present study was undertaken to investigate the predictive effect of employees’ gender and sector in their Internet usage and purpose of using the Internet. For the purpose of this study, “public sector” refers to national government departments and “private sector” comprises private corporations (Akman et al., 2005). Here, it is important to note that institutions providing nonprofit public services (e.g. universities, local government, etc.) have been categorized as a public sector. Our study focused on employees from private and public sector organizations. A sample of employees was used for this purpose.The independent (decision) variables were gender and sector of employees. The dependent variables were categorized into two empirical factors: (i) usage profile (average daily use of Internet and reason for using Internet) and (ii) usage pattern (average daily use of Internet for communication services, average daily use of Internet for information services and average daily use of Internet for electronic services). For this purpose, a survey was conducted among employees from public and private sector organizations. Interestingly, the results indicated that gender and sector both have significant impact on average daily use of Internet for communication services. This impact is significant for gender on average daily use of Internet for information services and for sector on average daily use of Internet. Another interesting finding is that there is no significant predictive effect of gender and sector on the reason for using Internet.