Mobile Communication and Use Behavior of the Urban Poor in a Developing Country: A Field Study in Malaysia

Vaithilingam, S., Nair, M., Macharia, M., and Venkatesh, V. “Mobile Communication and Use Behavior of the Urban Poor in a Developing Country: A Field Study in Malaysia,” International Journal of Information Management (63), 2022, 102440. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2021.102440

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We developed a contextualized model to predict the use of technology among the urban poor. Based on the core idea that, in developing countries, the urban poor face different challenges from those of the rural poor, we argued that five key facilitating conditions (FC)—namely, infrastructure, technical and support services, legal and regulatory framework, financial factors and affordability, and self-efficacy—are the central drivers of both non-instrumental and instrumental use of mobile devices. Situated in the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT), these FC were found to be important drivers in our study conducted among 396 mobile phone users in a poor urban area in Malaysia. In addition to extending a key UTAUT construct to an important context, our results have important practical implications, in that, to increase non-instrumental and instrumental use, careful attention should be given to co-development of mobile phone friendly policies pertaining to FC in developing countries.
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