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Deconstructing the information and technology adoption process for the NGO sector in Saudi Arabia

Al-Thomaly, Abdul Aziz


Abdul Aziz Al-Thomaly


Haseeb Shabbir


Despite the lack of scholarly attention given to the voluntary sector in Saudi Arabia, the need for a deeper understanding of the dynamics of the NGO landscape in KSA has never been greater. Given Saudi Arabia’s global leadership in humanitarian and developmental aid and the growing scrutiny over the management of its non-governmental organizations (NGOs), especially post 9/11, the Saudi voluntary sector finds itself at an important crossroads. Calls for introspection, renewed management, and improved mechanisms for evaluation, control and monitoring have steadily been growing. This study argues that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has a central role to play in harnessing the NGO landscape of KSA. There are many benefits in the integration of ICT within the landscape of the Saudi NGO in providing better coordination and communication within and between stakeholders, knowledge and information transfer and sharing, the education and training for its staff and more rigorous evaluation, and the control and monitoring of initiatives. However, in order to advance the ICT agenda within the voluntary sector in KSA, a knowledge base regarding the sector’s attitude towards ICT adoption is essential. The aim of this study therefore, is to understand the dynamics of the technology adoption process in Saudi NGOs based on the experiences of Saudi NGO managers. Critically, the nature, i.e. whether technology adoption is based on personal, organizational or environmental and external factors, or a combination of these predictors forms the primary aim of this study. Second, the structure of technology adoption, in terms of determining which of these aforementioned factors generate a greater willingness to adopt new technologies forms a secondary objective. A third study objective seeks to
deduce the managerial and public policy implications of a greater understanding of the nature and structure of technology adoption in Saudi NGOs.

Post-positivist critical realist ontology is adopted to guide the mixed methods implementation of the research. An initial series of interviews with 12 Saudi managers is conducted to determine the key factors that influence technology adoption followed by the main element of the study, a survey of 287 NGO managers to test the conceptualization of technology adoption, and accompanying hypotheses, derived from the extant literature review and qualitative phase. Multi-variate, bivariate analysis and moderation analysis were used to test the proposed relationships. The initial interviews identified a modified version of the commonly applied technology acceptance model, the UTAUT framework, accurately reflected technology adoption in the Saudi NGO context and specifically proposed that the key predictors were a combination of personal factors (performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence, perceived risk), external or environmental factors (government support and competitive pressure) and finally organizational factors (facilitating conditions and compatibility). Multi-variate analysis validated this multi-dimensional nature of technology adoption in Saudi NGOs, but did not find statistical support for perceived risk, government support and compatibility, and with the exception of social influence, nor for any moderating role of gender and age on the personal predictive factors. The study contributes to theory since previous studies exploring technology adoption have adopted unitary approaches whereas the current study validates a multi-dimensional perspective as more reflective of technology adoption in Saudi NGOs. The implications of this finding, and for the inclusion and exclusion of predictive factors, are discussed. Specifically, the implications for managers and public policy are also overviewed. Finally, this study concludes with limitations and recommendations for further research.


Al-Thomaly, A. A. (2017). Deconstructing the information and technology adoption process for the NGO sector in Saudi Arabia. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Sep 25, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Business
Public URL
Additional Information Business School, The University of Hull
Award Date Jan 1, 2017


Thesis (2.5 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2017 Al-Thomaly, Abdul Aziz. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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