The factors that influence the adoption or non-adoption of information and communications technologies (ICTs) by recently-arrived immigrants in the Wellington Region : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business Information at Massey University
The purpose of this qualitative study was to better understand recent immigrants' perceptions of ICTs, what causes them to adopt or not adopt ICTs, and the factors that influence such action. A self-selected, volunteer sample of 32 recent immigrants living in 15 households, between the ages of 12 - 65 and who came from developing countries that include Africa (5), the Middle East (4), Central Asia (3) and South East Asia (2) participated in the research. The Refugee and Migrants' Service (RMS), Wellington branch, and ethnic community leaders supported the study and introduced the researcher to potential participants. Two rounds of semi-structured, in-depth audio-taped interviews were held in the immigrants' own homes. The aim of the first round of interviews was to establish trust with the volunteers. The second round of interviews occurred six weeks later. The follow-up interviews provided an opportunity for both the researcher and the participants to validate the transcribed interviews as well as allowing further discussion on their ICT adoption. The majority of participants interviewed had a positive attitude towards ICTs. They viewed the technology as a useful tool because they saw relative- advantage benefits such as accomplishing tasks more easily, saving money on communication and finding employment. A priority on home access was evident for nearly half the interviewees who owned their computers (despite participants being low-waged and some unemployed). The major method of adoption for the immigrants who were new to computing was via friends and family. The personal one-to-one teaching, in a safe, relaxed environment was important to many migrants, as was the timeliness of the teaching. Overall, the results show that young, male participants with a relatively higher educational background were more likely to be adopters. In contrast, older female participants with little or no education were less likely to participate in ICTs. The results also show that the majority of the participants lacked computing experience. This study was exploratory in nature, therefore there is opportunity for researchers interested in understanding ICTs adoption to build on these research findings and explore in greater detail a range of factors that influence recent immigrants' adoption or non adoption of ICTs. The findings have important implication for policy makers and practitioners who wish to create an inclusive society where all members, including recent immigrants, are able to access and use ICTs and hence be able to fully participate in the information society. Recommendations, based on the study's findings, include suggestions to promote ICTs among recently-arrived immigrants community.