Culturally based User Resistance to New Technologies in the Age of IoT in Developing Countries: Perspectives from Ethiopia

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Abstract

Population growth and urbanization, are threatening to aggravate existing problems like congestion, crime, poverty, and aging public infrastructure especially in cities in developing countries. In an attempt to address these
challenges, many countries are now adopting the implementation of the Smart City concept which refers to a new paradigm for urban planning and management, based on the intensive use of ICT, aimed at achieving better cities from a holistic perspective. The main features of a smart city is a high degree of information technology integration and a comprehensive application of information resources including the Internet of Things (IoT) in order to achieve a system which is instrumented, interconnected and intelligent. The smart city is an important concept for the development of any nation. A successful application of Smart City implementation requires the citizens of the country to embrace technology and hence ready to adopt and use new technologies. However, Information technology transfer is not an easy task and seems to be particularly daunting for developing countries. As most technology is designed and produced in developed countries, it is culturally-biased in favor of those developed countries’ social and cultural systems. This bias creates cultural and
social obstacles for developing countries to transfer technology into practice. Based on a survey of 121 respondents a field study was conducted in a University Community in Ethiopia that comprised of teachers and students. The findings revealed that culture continues to wield a high impact on the uptake and adoption of technology in Ethiopia even at the tertiary level where western education is supposed to moderate cultural factors when it comes to the
technology.
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Population growth and urbanization, are threatening to aggravate existing problems like congestion, crime, poverty, and aging public infrastructure especially in cities in developing countries. In an attempt to address these
challenges, many countries are now adopting the implementation of the Smart City concept which refers to a new paradigm for urban planning and management, based on the intensive use of ICT, aimed at achieving better cities from a holistic perspective. The main features of a smart city is a high degree of information technology integration and a comprehensive application of information resources including the Internet of Things (IoT) in order to achieve a system which is instrumented, interconnected and intelligent. The smart city is an important concept for the development of any nation. A successful application of Smart City implementation requires the citizens of the country to embrace technology and hence ready to adopt and use new technologies. However, Information technology transfer is not an easy task and seems to be particularly daunting for developing countries. As most technology is designed and produced in developed countries, it is culturally-biased in favor of those developed countries’ social and cultural systems. This bias creates cultural and
social obstacles for developing countries to transfer technology into practice. Based on a survey of 121 respondents a field study was conducted in a University Community in Ethiopia that comprised of teachers and students. The findings revealed that culture continues to wield a high impact on the uptake and adoption of technology in Ethiopia even at the tertiary level where western education is supposed to moderate cultural factors when it comes to the
technology.
Original languageEnglish
Article number21
JournalInternational Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering
Volume8
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)96-105
Number of pages10
ISSN2250-2459
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes
ID: 287610400