The use of homemade food selling and delivery applications: investigating the adoption and post-adoption among Saudi female micro-entrepreneurs

Alsultan, Wala Sultan (2023) The use of homemade food selling and delivery applications: investigating the adoption and post-adoption among Saudi female micro-entrepreneurs. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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On a global scale, businesses have effectively utilised intermediary digital marketplaces, such as Amazon and Alibaba by implementing a range of optimal strategies that integrate these platforms into their business models. Various intermediary mobile applications exist to provide support for micro-entrepreneurs engaged in the production of handmade food across diverse contexts, like Curryful and The Chef. The existing body of literature pertaining to female micro-entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia who operate home-based businesses examines the advantages and drawbacks associated with commonly used trading platforms in the country, such as social media and intermediary physical shops. However, this literature fails to address the adoption and post-adoption phenomena of homemade food selling and delivery applications that have emerged in the Saudi homemade food sector in recent times. Furthermore, there is a dearth of scholarly research in the domain of Information Systems that investigates the adoption and usage of this technology, specifically within the context of handmade food businesses in other contexts. In contrast, a considerable body of research exists that examines the adoption and implementation of comparable technologies in diverse business sectors across multiple industries. In addition, most Saudi micro-entrepreneurs have not yet discovered the potential of using these marketplaces to support their homemade food businesses.

This study provides significant and notable theoretical contributions to the current Information Systems literature by examining new business phenomena associated with the transition of micro-entrepreneurs from intermediary physical shops to homemade food selling and delivery applications. This study investigates the reasons behind this transition and explores the impacts of incorporating this technology on micro-entrepreneurs' lives, businesses, and attitudes towards its continued usage.

This research adopts a qualitative interpretive framework and a series of semi-structured interview-based research design. The relevant data is collected from three sources and Gioia's methodology is followed to analyse the data abductively. The data is explained and interpreted through the lens of several theories. The findings suggest that many inhibitors constrain the micro-entrepreneurs' use of intermediary physical shops. Thus, their unmotivated experiences with these shops have pushed them to use homemade food selling and delivery applications. Moreover, other technological, organisational and environmental reasons have pulled them to adopt this new technology in the Saudi homemade food sector. It is also found that the applications provide micro-entrepreneurs with many benefits. However, for some micro-entrepreneurs, registration in this technology is shown to be useless. Consequently, the results of this work show that some micro-entrepreneurs continued with the application while others stopped using it. The results also reveal the different and interesting impacts of Covid-19 and some mooring reasons for future continued use intentions. The results clearly demonstrate that micro-entrepreneurs have a pivotal role in influencing their business.

This study's findings help to construct an integrative conceptual model that illustrates these phenomena, which contributes to explaining the adoption and post-adoption phenomena of this technology among female micro-entrepreneurs. There are no studies on this type of technology or a framework that fully explains these two phenomena (switching reasons, and value of use and continuance use reasons) and how they relate to each other before this study. Thus, this model is seen as a major addition to the Information Systems literature. Additional significant theoretical contributions pertain to the incorporation of the entrepreneurial bricolage theory, which is being utilised for the first time in the Information Systems literature. Furthermore, the expectancy-confirmation model in this domain has been expanded by incorporating compatibility as an additional reason for continued technology use, alongside satisfaction. The third significant theoretical contribution is the introduction of new concepts to the literature regarding two new types of intermediate marketplaces used by micro-entrepreneurs, namely intermediate physical stores and homemade food selling and delivering mobile applications, as well as the description of their business models and the experiences of these entrepreneurs.

Furthermore, this study holds several practical consequences. The findings of this study provide significant consequences for several stakeholders. Specifically, they provide light on the extent to which entrepreneurs have utilised the help offered by the Saudi government, as well as the genuine requirements of these individuals. These findings also help in explaining female micro-entrepreneurs' realistic experiences with these intermediary markets in the Saudi home-made food sector, which can help the owners of these markets improve their services and support. The research findings also shed light on the barriers and challenges faced by female micro-entrepreneurs in accessing or continuing the use of these intermediary markets, such as limited financial resources and lack of marketing skills. By understanding these obstacles, stakeholders can develop targeted interventions and provide tailored support to empower female micro-entrepreneurs in the Saudi home-made food sector. Ultimately, this research aims to foster an environment conducive to growth and sustainability for female micro-entrepreneurs, enabling them to contribute significantly to the local economy and society. These practical implications will positively contribute to enhancing the home-working experience of micro-entrepreneurs and their customers.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Touboulic, Anne
Pasley, Robert
Keywords: Motivations, Inhibitors, Use impacts, Adoption/Switching behaviors, Covid-19 impacts, Owner effects, Intermediary physical marketplaces, Intermediary mobile marketplaces, Home-based businesses, Micro-entrepreneurs, Female micro-entrepreneurs, Gioia methodology, Collaborative economy, Technology Organisation Environment framework, Push Pull Mooring model, Expectation Confirmation Model, Entrepreneurial Bricolage Theory, Work life balance
Subjects: H Social sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social sciences > HF Commerce
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > Nottingham University Business School
Item ID: 76679
Depositing User: Alsultan, Wala
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2024 13:46
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2024 13:46

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