Investigating the Adoption of Social Commerce: A Case Study of SMEs in Jordan

Ali Ahmad Trawnih, Ahmad Samed Al-Adwan, Anas Amayreh, Tha’er Majali, Hamood Mohammed Al-Hattami
Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management  •  Volume 18  •  2023  •  pp. 031-058

Social commerce is an emergent topic widely used for product and service sourcing. It helps companies to have frequent interaction with their customers and strive to achieve a competitive advantage. Yet there is only little empirical evidence focusing on social commerce and its adoption in SMEs to date. This study investigates the key factors affecting social commerce adoption in SMEs. This research designed a theoretical model using the Technology, Organization, and Environment (TOE) Model

Despite its rapid growth and usage, social commerce is still in its evolution phase and its current conception is vague and restricted. Therefore, considering the benefits of social commerce for consumers and businesses, it is important to explore the concept of social commerce.

The research floated a self-administered questionnaire and surveyed 218 Jordanian SME businesses. The data was analyzed using smart PLS and the results were drawn that covers the detail of the characteristics of respondents, study descriptive, results of regressions assumptions, e.g., data normality, reliability, validity, common method biases, and description of the measurement model, followed by the findings of hypothesis analysis.

This study has many significant contributions to the existing studies on firms’ adoption of social commerce. It indicates that organizational readiness from the organizational perspective and consumer pressure from the environmental dimension of the TOE model are significant influential elements in the adoption of social commerce in business, followed by high-level management support and trading partner pressure, respectively. This shows that organizational readiness to adopt social commerce and consumer pressure has a vital role in Jordanian SMEs’ adopting social commerce.

The results were drawn from a survey of 218 Jordanian SMEs, indicating that organizational readiness from an organizational dimension and consumer pressure environmental perspective, followed by top management’s support and trading partner pressure, significantly predicts the adoption intentions of social commerce. However, perceived usefulness and security concerns from a technological context do not significantly impact behavioral intentions to utilize social commerce.

Lack of awareness about new technology and its potential benefits are not well diffused in the Jordanian context. In short, both organizational and environmental dimensions of the TOE framework significantly influence the behavioral intentions for social commerce adoption in the Jordanian context whereas the third-dimension technological factors do not affect the behavioral intentions of SMEs to adopt social commerce. In the technological context, SMEs need to invest in technology and must spread awareness among Jordanian consumers about the potential benefits of technology and must encourage them to use social commerce platforms to interact because of the high significance of social commerce for businesses as it facilitates the quick completion of tasks, enhances the productivity, and improves the chances of high profitability.

First, the study is limited in scope as it discusses the direct links between the TOE framework, behavioral intentions to use social commerce, and the actual usage of social commerce in the Jordanian context rather than testing the mediation, and moderation. Future research may examine the mediators and moderators in the conceptual model. Second, the research examined the behavioral intentions of SMEs rather than consumers to adopt social commerce. Further research might consider the consumer perspective on social commerce.

This research aims to identify the key factor that impact the behavioral intentions of SME businesses to practice social commerce. The theoretical underpinning of the study lies in the TOE model, as using its basic assumptions the conceptual grounds and hypothesis of the study are developed.

The study findings are not generalizable in different contexts as it was specifically conducted by gathering data from the Jordanian population. However future studies may consider different contexts, sectors, cultures, or countries to examine the model. Lastly, the research collected data using convenience sampling from 218 SMEs in Jordan, which may create difficulty in the generalizability of the research, so needs to examine a larger sample in future studies.

perceived usefulness; security concerns; organizational readiness; consumer pressure; top management support; trading partner pressure; social commerce
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