HOW TO INCREASE THE
USE OF E-GOVERNMENT
PEOPLEA quantitative study in the Netherlands
Name: Sin Yan Tsang Student number: 1012614
Master Public Administration – International and European governance
I would like to express my gratitude to my supervisor Dr. Sarah Giest for the useful comments, remarks and engagement through the learning process of this master thesis. Furthermore I would like to thank my colleagues from Digitaal 2017 and the entire
Chapter 1: Introduction ...6
1.1 Societal and the academic relevance ...9
1.2 Research question ... 10
Chapter 2: Literature review ... 12
2.1 Technology Acceptance Model ... 12
2.2 Trustworthiness ... 13
2.3 Trust in Internet & Trust in government ... 13
2.4 Traditional literacy ... 15
2.5 Internet skills ... 15
Chapter 3: Hypotheses ... 20
3.1 Technology Acceptance Model ... 20
3.2 Traditional literacy and internet skills ... 20
3.3 Traditional literacy and internet skills & perceived ease of use ... 21
3.4 Traditional literacy, internet skills, perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness and intention to use e-government ... 21
3.5 Trustworthiness ... 22
3.6 Research model ... 22
Chapter 4: Research Design ... 23
4.1 Instrument development ... 23
4.1.1 Perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness ... 25
4.1.2 Intention of use ... 25
4.1.3 Trust in Internet and trust in government... 25
4.1.4 Traditional literacy... 25
4.1.5 Formal internet skills, information internet skills and strategic internet skills ... 26
4.2 Field study ... 26
4.2.1 Buddhist temple “He Hua”... 26
4.2.2 Evangelical Mission and Seminary International (EMSI) ... 27
4.2.3. Chinese elderly association “Chun Pah” ... 27
4.2.4 Distribution... 27
Chapter 5: Research context ... 28
5.2 Dutch language ... 29
5.3 Community ... 30
5.4 The Dutch tax authority: Belastingdienst ... 30
Chapter 6: Data collection and Case description ... 31
6.1. Assumptions ... 31
6.1.1 Testing normality ... 31
6.1.2 Testing for homogeneity of variance ... 31
6.2 Testing Correlation... 32
Chapter 7: Analysis ... 39
7.1 Internet skills ... 41
7.2 Use of services ... 42
7.3 Summary ... 44
Chapter 8: Conclusion and discussion ... 46
8.1 Limitations and future work ... 48
8.2 Theoretical contributions ... 50
References ... 52
Appendix Appendix A. ... 59
Appendix table 6. ... 62
Appendix table 7. ... 63
Appendix table 8. ... 64
Appendix P-P Plots ... 65
Chapter 1: Introduction
Every citizen has rights and obligations in relation to the Dutch government (Overheid, n.d.). A tax return is a good example of a civic duty. Every year, citizens should fill out required tax return (Belastingdienst, n.d.). Technology innovation has these obligations digitized. This means that citizens must fulfil their obligation online. The Dutch government is working on digitalization, which could create problems for some people. Especially, the elderly people from minority groups, who speak little or no Dutch. It is certainly difficult for minority groups who are isolated and not visible in the Dutch society. A good example is the Chinese elderly people. The Chinese elderly people are not visible for the Dutch government, because they often live isolated and cannot speak Dutch (Gijsberts, Huijnk & Vogels, 2011). The
digitalization may involve the risk that these Chinese elderly people are left behind. They may have not the ability to fulfil their civic duty. This study contributed new knowledge how to help citizens (especially in minority groups), to fulfill their civic duty by using e-government service.
The internet has the potential to facilitate the membership and participation of individuals within the society. For the Dutch government, it is important that citizens can participate in digital citizenship (Gillebaard & Vakaan, 2013). Digital citizenship is the ability to participate in society online (Mossberger, 2009). Participating in digital citizenship has positive effect on social inclusion. Citizens can easily get in touch with the government by using online government information and services.
After the industrial revolution, we are now living in an age which is called the digital age. The Internet, smartphones, tablets, laptops and PC’s have become an essential part of our lives. As a result of increasing development and the use of the Internet, almost all public authorities of the European countries have waged efforts to offer electronic services (Van Deursen, Van Dijk & Ebbers, 2006). Technological development and innovation on ICT can provide opportunities to transform organizations into a more efficient, productive and service oriented organization (United Nations, 2014). Furthermore, digitalization is an important instrument to help citizens and businesses get information about the government in order to create an open and accessible government (Deloitte, 2013).
7 Internet, and mobile computing) that have the ability to transform relations with citizens,
businesses, and other arms of government. These technologies can serve a variety of different
ends: better delivery of government services to citizens, improved interactions with business
and industry, citizen empowerment through access to information, or more efficient
government management. The resulting benefits can be less corruption, increased
transparency, greater convenience, revenue growth, and/or cost reductions”. According to the European Commission (2003), e-government can be defined as “the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in public administrations combined with
organisational changes and new skills. The objective is to improve public services,
democratic processes and public policies.” According to United Nations (2014), e-government is “the use of ICT and its application by the government for the provision of information and the public services to the people.” According to Organization for Economic Cooperation and the Development (OECD) (2002), e-government provides “an opportunity to develop a new relationship between governments, citizens, service users and businesses, by
using new ICTs which enable the dissemination and collection of information and services
both within and outside of government (government to citizens; government to business;
government to government) for the purposes of service delivery, decision making and
accountability.” (as cited in OECD, 2002). The definition of e-government varies by resources. However, they have one thing in common. E-government involves in using information technology, for example the internet, to improve the delivery of government services to citizens, businesses and other governments. E-government has its benefits: it enables citizens and businesses to receive government services 24 hours and seven days a week. The Dutch government uses the definition of e-government that is introduced by OECD (2002). For this reason, I use the interpretation of OECD in my study.
8 - Improvement in quality of digital public sector information and services. They still
focus on individuals, who have not the required digital skills.
- Minimizing administrative burdens for the citizens and businesses.
- Achieving efficiencies.
According to Gillebaard and Vakaan (2013), in order to achieve these three objectives, citizens must have sufficient knowledge about ICT and the e-government services to do businesses with the government. This is a precondition to build an e-government (Gillebaard & Vakaan, 2013).
The Netherlands performs high in offering e-government services (Rijksoverheid, 2012). However, the adaption of e-government among Dutch is more difficult than commercial business to consumer e-services (for example online shopping and online banking) (Deloitte, 2013). According to a survey, conducted by the National Ombudsman (2013), the actual use of these services by the Dutch elderly people is low. The same survey points out that one of the reasons is that they prefer personal contact with the government. Another possible reason is their level of internet skills (de Nationale Ombudsman, 2013). According to studies, not all Dutch elderly people have the basic internet skills to use the e-government service (Gillebaard & Vakaan, 2013; De Nationale Ombudsman, 2013). Based on statistics of Centraal Bureau Statistiek (CBS), the National Ombudsman (2013) states 75 percent of the Dutch population (between age 65 and 75 years old) have a low level of internet skills. Additionally, traditional literacy is also a barrier. A lot of Dutch people, who cannot read and write, experience difficulties in using e-government services (Ecbo, 2015). They need extra help from outside, for example family members and volunteers.
To illustrate this problem: recently the Dutch tax authority (Belastingdienst) announced that tax office letters are to gradually disappear from communication. All communication between citizens and the tax authority occurs online (Vis, 2015). After the announcement, the Belastingdienst and the National Ombudsman have received many complaints from citizens. Especially elderly people are worried about the online
9 1.1 Societal and the academic relevance
The developments towards e-government service is generally seen as positive. The
government gains efficiency benefits and the citizen experience the ease of use. However, the case about the disappearance of tax letters from Belastingdienst shows that digitalization has its drawbacks: the demand for the digital skills is increasing. Citizens will require some level of digital skills to interact with the government (ECBO, 2015). Familiarity with using
computer and internet become more important to access digital information and e-government services. Information on internet consists largely of textual information and citizens must be able to read, understand and use these information. Reading, understanding and using information from internet is important precondition for the development of digital skills (Mossberger, 2009; Van Deursen & Van Dijk, 2014; ECBO, 2015).
Due to ongoing digitalization, the National ombudsman (2013) indicates people in a vulnerable group will leave behind. Because of allowance and benefit, many of these people are dependent on government. It is difficult for them to access the services, if people do not have sufficient skills to read and understand texts and/or use the internet. Everyone should be able to participate the society and can fulfill their civic duty. The government will and should be accessible to all its citizens. Therefore the National ombudsman draws attention to those citizens who are difficult or impossible to keep up with the development of e-government service. The National ombudsman (2013) did an investigation about the experience with e-government services among Dutch citizens in the past. However, there is little or no attention for elderly people minority groups in the Netherlands.
The Dutch ministry of the Interior and Kingdom relations has conducted several studies about the use of e-government and digital skills among the Dutch population. However, no studies were conducted that focus non-western minority groups in the
Netherlands. The ministry is interested in non-western immigrants, in how they experience the use of e-government service. The ministry has no information about them, especially concerning Chinese immigrants. The Dutch government and researchers experience
difficulties in accessing this group because of the language barrier. Furthermore, the Chinese immigrants are an invisible and closed community in the Dutch society, which makes it challenging to find this group. As far as I know, there is only one study conducted in Asia that targets this minority group (Phang et al., 2006). Looking at the lack of information, the
10 face the same challenges in using e-government services. The Dutch ministry is interested if there are more similarities between the Dutch and Chinese elderly people. My findings could help the Dutch government in the development and implementation of policies by providing practical and scientific recommendations.
Societal relevance of this study is the possibility that the results could provide the ministry with new insights on factors why Chinese elderly people use or do not use e-government services. My findings could also provide new information, which is relevant to Dutch elderly people and other minority groups (for example Turkish and Moroccan
community). It is also important to know how to help citizens and increase the use of digital service based on the findings. The results might be a valuable contribution that could lead to the successful implementation of e-government service. If the Dutch government’s aim is to provide e-government services that serves all sections of the public, it requires understanding of the behavior of the Chinese elderly people as well as the factors that influence their use of e-government services.
1.2 Research question
The aim of this study to identify the determinants that will increase the use of e-government service. The Dutch ministry of the Interior and Kingdom relations has a strong need of new insight in mechanisms that influence citizens’ and businesses’ actual usage of e-government service. They want to know which determinants influence the usage and how they can positively affect them. Furthermore, they want to know how can they use the determinants.
Previous empirical studies (Davis, 1989; Van Deursen & Van Dijk, 2014; Phang et al, 2006; Carter & Bélanger, 2005; Fakhoury & Aubert, 2015 have found significant support for “traditional literacy”, “internet skills”, “perceived ease of use”, “perceived usefulness” and “trustworthiness” (trust in the internet and trust in government). Based on literature, it can be assumed that these factors affect the intention to use e-government services. I am aware there are no theoretical models that combine “traditional literacy”, “internet skills”, “perceived ease of use”, “perceived usefulness” and “trustworthiness” in one model. Furthermore, there has never been concretely examined or among such a large number of respondents, as in this study.
11 perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness and trustworthiness explains the intention of use
of e-government among Chinese elderly in the Netherlands?”Hypotheses have been used to answer this research question. A description of the hypotheses will be presented later on.
1.3 Structure of the thesis
Chapter 2: Literature review
This chapter introduces relevant concepts that are essential in order to help answering the research question. These concepts provide the basis of my theoretical framework. First, I start by elaborating on the concepts “TAM”, trustworthiness, “traditional literacy” and “internet skills”. Second, I show the interrelated connection between these concepts by presenting the hypotheses.
2.1 Technology Acceptance Model
Many studies (Legris, Ingham & Collerette, 2003; Gilbert, Balestrini & Littleboy, 2004; Carter & Bélanger, 2005; Horst, Kuttschschreuter and Gutteling, 2007) applied the technology acceptance model (TAM). This model was proposed by Davis (1989). Davis (1989) states that TAM has impact on user behavior (Carter & Bélanger, 2005; Liu, Cheng, Sun, Wible & Kuo, 2010). TAM is composed of “perceived ease of use” and “perceived usefulness” (Davis, 1989). “Perceived ease of use” and “perceived usefulness” influence one’s attitude towards system usage, which influences one’s behavioral intention to use a system (Gilbert, Balestrini & Littleboy, 2004; Carter & Bélanger, 2005). As a consequence, this determines actual system usage. Davis (1989) defines “perceived ease of use” as “the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would be free of effort”(p. 320). Next, Davis (1989) defines “perceived usefulness” as “the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would enhance his or her job performance”(p. 320).
“Perceived ease of use” is predicted to influence “perceived usefulness”. The
expectation is the easier a system is to use, the more useful it can be. System acceptance will not occur if users do not perceive a system as useful and easy to use (Davis, 1989). Horst, Kuttschreuter and Gutteling (2007) examined the adoption of e-government services in the Netherlands. According to their findings, three out of four respondents have the intention to adopt government e-services. In addition, respondents “perceive the usefulness of
e-government” as positive and the level of trust in e-government is high (Horst, Kuttschreuter & Gutteling, 2007).
13 (Warkentin, Gefen, Pavlou & Rose, 2002). According to Warkentin, Gefen, Pavlou and Rose, (2002), “perceived ease of use” means that users believe that using the e-government service is easy, which directly increases the perceived usefulness. In the e-government context means, a web interface is easy to operate and facilitate the services that users have requested. This increases user’s intention to use e-government service.
Besides “perceived ease of use” and “perceived usefulness”, trust is another construct that determines the intention of usage. Trust is a complex construct and has been defined differently in various research studies. According to Rotter (1971), trust is defined as an expectancy that the promise of an individual or group can be relied upon. This definition originally comes from the social learning theory. The social learning theory suggests that experiences of promised negative or positive reinforcements vary for different individuals (Rotter, 1971; Bélanger & Carter, 2005). As a result, Rotter (1971) points out that “people develop different expectancies that such reinforcements would occur when promised by other
people” (as cited in Bélanger & Carter, 2008, p.167). Many studies of trust used Rotter’s definition (Mayer et al., 1995; Gefen et al., 2003; Pavlou, 2003; Bélanger & Carter, 2008). This study focuses on user’s initial trust in an e-government service. According to Mcknight, Choudhury and Kacmar (2002), initial trust means trust in an unfamiliar trustee. Trusting the unfamiliar trustee is a requirement in a relationship in which the citizen does not yet have credible information about the e-government service provider (Mcknight, Choudhury & Kacmar, 2002; Carter & Bélanger, 2005; Fakhoury & Aubert, 2015). In order to assess trustworthiness of the trustee, people use whatever information they have for example
perception of the website or the government agency (Mcknight, Choudhury & Kacmar, 2002; Carter & Bélanger, 2005). According to Carter and Bélanger (2005) and Fakhoury & Aubert (2015), trust can be divided in elements including trust in internet and trust in government.
2.3 Trust in Internet & Trust in government
14 institution-based trust is one of the most important forms of trust in impersonal financial
environments where the sense of a community with shared values is lacking” (as cited in Bélanger & Carter, 2008, p.167). The institutional view of trust has been adopted by e-commerce and e-government (Mcknight, Choudhury & Kacmar, 2002; Carter & Bélanger, 2005; Bélanger & Carter, 2008). In the e-government context, trust in internet refers citizen’s belief in internet that offers a saved environment, which is capable of providing accurate information and secure transactions (Shapiro, 1987).
“Trust in government” refers to “one’s perception regarding the integrity and ability of the agency providing the service” (Mcknight, Choudhury & Kacmar, 2002; Bélanger & Carter, 2008). According to Gefen, Rose, Warkentin and Pavlou (2005), trust in the
government agencies has a strong impact on the adoption of a new technology. Citizens must believe in government agencies having technical resources and the ability to secure the systems. Non-fraudulent interaction with government agencies that provide e-government service will enhance citizen trust, which leads to acceptance of e-government service. Otherwise, trust will decrease because of unfulfilled promises and dishonesty from government officials and employees (Bélanger & Carter, 2008).
In the e-commerce research, “trust in government” is similar to consumer perceptions of a firm’s reputation. According to Jarvenpaa, Knoll and Leidner (1998), reputation refers to the extent to which buyers believe an organization is honest and concerned about its
customers. Smith and Barclay (1997) suggest that firms with a good reputation are perceived to be reluctant to jeopardize their reputational assets by acting in an opportunistic manner. Nowadays technology enables the collection and analysis of data. According to Bélanger and Carter (2008), users of e-government services want to enter into transactions with agencies that will protect and respect their private data. In order to achieve this goal, citizens must believe that government agencies provide e-government services for the purpose of benefiting the society (Bélanger & Carter, 2008).
According to Van Deursen and Van Dijk (2014), their study shows that “traditional literacy” and “internet skills” affect the internet usage. I expect being able to read and write and having internet skills are two important pre-conditions for using e-government services. It is essential to have these skills, for example for navigating or looking for specific information on a website. I suspect that these skills influence “perceived ease of use” and “perceived
15 2.4 Traditional literacy
The OECD’s “Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies”(PIAAC) is designed to measure the current state of the skills of individuals and nations in the new information age. According to PIAAC, literacy is the abilityto identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, corrupt and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts (OECD, 2015). Literacy is way of learning that enables individuals to achieve their goal, to develop their knowledge and potential. Furthermore, it also enables individuals to participate fully in their community and society (OECD, 2015). According to Wallace (2015), literacy is “the ability to read and to write at a standard appropriate both to the individual’s needs and to society’s expectations.”Street (1984) defined literacy as “conceptions of
reading, writing and all types of social practices”(as cited in Van Deursen & Van Dijk, 2014, p. 2). Literacy has evolved with the introduction of the computer, the Internet and other digital media. It is questionable, whether digital media had different characteristics or usage and opportunities requiring other types of literacy. According to Coiro (2003), scholars agree that traditional reading, writing and understanding derived from a long tradition of book and other print media are no longer sufficient. The Internet provides new text formats. According to Coiro (2003), the ways to interact with information that can be confusing to those people who are not familiar with digital media. It is also possible that digital media can overwhelm people who are only taught to extract meaning from printed texts (Coiro, 2003). Speaking of
“traditional literacy”, I used the concept of Van Deursen and Van Dijk (2014). According to Van Deursen and van Dijk (2014), “traditional literacy” is the ability to read, write and understand text in Dutch. These are basic requirements for using the internet.
2.5 Internet skills
According to Van Deursen and Van Dijk (2014), basic skills are needed in order to access and use the internet. Furthermore, these skills are required to understand and use obtained
information on the internet (Van Deursen & Van Dijk, 2014; Gilster, 1997; Steayart, 2002). Similarly, Gilster (1997) suggested these skills are required for navigating the internet and interpreting information from the internet.
16 2002; Van Deursen & Van Dijk, 2010). Steyaert (2002) made a distinction between
“instrumental skills”, “structural skills” and “strategic skills”. “Instrumental skills” is the ability to handle the basic functionality of hardware and software. “Structural skills” is the ability to handle new formats in which information is communicated. For example, this could be the skill to look at information interactively or to make good use of the hyperlink structure.
“Strategic skills” is the attitude to use information for decision making which include looking at information before taking action. “Strategic skills” also include scanning of the
environment for relevant information (Steyeart, 2002). Based on Steyeart (2002) idea, Van Dijk (2005) changed Steyeart ‘s definition to “operational skills”, “information skills” and
“strategic skills” (Van Deursen & Van Dijk, 2010). According to Van Dijk (2005),
“operational skills” are the skills to operate computer and network hardware and software (as cited in Van Deursen & Van Dijk, 2010, p. 893). “Information skills” are the skills that are needed for searching, selecting and processing information on the computer and internet.
“Information skills” can be divided in two dimensions: “formal information skills” (the ability to understand and to handle such as file structures, menu structures and hyperlinks) and
17 Table 1
Conceptual definitions of Internet skills (Van Deursen & Van Dijk, 2010)
Operational Internet skills Operating an Internet browser, meaning:
- opening websites by entering the URL in a browser’s location; - navigating forward and backward between pages using
- saving files on a hard disk;
- opening various common file formats (e.g. PDFs); - bookmarking websites;
- changing a browser’s preferences.
Operating Internet-based search engines, meaning: - entering keywords in the proper field;
- executing a search operation;
- opening search results in the search result lists.
Operating Internet-based forms, meaning: - using the different types of fields and buttons; - submitting a form.
Formal Internet skills Navigating the Internet, meaning:
- using hyperlinks (e.g. menu links, textual links and image links) in different menu and website layouts;
18 Information Internet skills Locating required information by:
- choosing a website or search system to seek information; - defining search options or queries;
- selecting information (on websites or in search results); - evaluating information sources.
Strategic Internet skills Taking advantages of the Internet by:
- developing an orientation toward a particular goal; - taking the right actions to reach this goal;
- gaining the benefits that result from this goal.
According to Van Deursen and Van Dijk (2010), “operational internet skills” are required for using the internet. First, it considers operating toolbars, buttons and menus. This skill to use these features is needed. Otherwise one cannot open a website in an internet browser. Second, people must know how to use different types of user input options. This means one must be familiar with online forms in various types of input fields (for example text boxes, pull-down menus and list boxes). And one must also know to fill out these online forms. Finally, Van Deursen and Van Dijk (2010) consider file management or the opening and saving of various file formats that can be found online. Managing websites in bookmarks is a good example. According to Van Deursen and Van Dijk (2010), “formal internet skills” are required if people want to be able to navigate and keep orienting themselves while using the Internet. Navigating is necessary to use a diverse number of websites, platforms and menu layouts. This can be achieved by using hyperlinks (e.g. menu links, textual links and image links) in different menu and website layouts (Van Deursen & Van Dijk, 2010). As mentioned before, orientation is also necessary when using the internet. It means individuals do not become disoriented when navigating within a website, between two websites and opening and browsing through search results (Van Deursen & Van Dijk, 2010).
19 “Strategic internet skills” refer to the skills that include the capacity to use the internet to attain particular goals and the ability to attain the general goal of improving one’s position in society. The process starts with the development an orientation towards a particular goal. The user takes the right actions to reach this goal. Then, he/she makes the right decisions to reach this goal. At the end, the user gains the benefits that result from this goal.
According to Van Deursen and Van Dijk (2014), results have shown there is a
Chapter 3: Hypotheses
3.1 Technology Acceptance Model
TAM is one of the most influential models and represents an important theoretical
contribution towards understanding usage and acceptance of information system (Malhotra & Galletta, 1999). Davis (1989) states that TAM has impact on user behavior (Carter &
Bélanger, 2005; Phang et al., 2006). According to TAM, “perceived ease of use” and
“perceived usefulness” influence one’s attitude towards system usage, which influences one’s behavioral intention to use a system (Gilbert, Balestrini & Littleboy, 2004; Carter & Bélanger, 2005). This determines the actual system usage. Citizens’ intention to use an e-government service will increase if citizens perceive the service to be easy to use and useful (Bélanger & Carter, 2005). The easier a system is to use, the more useful it can be. Based on these
findings, it assumes that “perceived ease of use” and “perceived usefulness” are the most significant predictors. The first hypothesis is:
“Perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness will be positively related to intention to use e-government services among Chinese elderly people.”
3.2 Traditional literacy and internet skills
“Formal internet skills” involve navigating websites and orientation. “Traditional literacy” is an important factor on the “formal internet skills”. According to Van Deursen and Van Dijk (2010), “formal internet skills” are about orientation and navigation and this requires the ability to quickly read and understand pieces of text. Users, who do not have sufficient levels of “traditional literacy”, do not understand the meaning of these texts. Not understanding texts causes confusion, which leads to disorientation. Van Deursen and Van Dijk (2014) have shown that “traditional literacy” has a positive effect on “formal internet skills”. I also expect that there is a positive relationship. The second hypothesize is: “The level of traditional literacy has a positive effect on formal internet skills.”
“Information internet skills” involves searching, selecting, processing and evaluating
information from online websites. “Traditional literacy” is also required to conduct online searches, select and process information. Evaluating information online also requires high levels of “traditional literacy”. According to Summers and Summers (2005), a user “who has low levels of literacy finds it hard to scan texts. The user does not notice any content above or
to the sides of their focus of attention. They also experience difficulties comparing facts from
21 (as cited in Van Deursen & van Dijk, 2014, p.5). The third hypothesis is: “The level of
traditional literacy has a positive effect on information internet skills.”
“Strategic internet skills” can be described as a process. The first step is to be aware the opportunities that the internet offers. Then determine the goal you want to reach by using internet. The second step is engaging in the right decision such as gathering and combining online information to achieve the desired goal. Decisions are then made about how to reach the goal by using retrieved information selectively. Afterwards, evaluation is required. The final step is to obtain the benefits of making the optimal decision. People with low levels of traditional literacy make decisions without the benefit of context. According to (Wallendorf, 2001) in Van Deursen and van Dijk (2014): “the greater the difficulties experienced by those with lower levels of literacy when trying to cognitively process information, the greater the
sense of risk and therefore, the higher the level of anxiety experienced when making complex
decisions.”(p.5). The fourth hypothesis is: “The level of traditional literacy has a positive effect on strategic internet skills.”
3.3 Traditional literacy and internet skills & perceived ease of use
Van Deursen and Van Dijk (2014) have proved that “traditional literacy” is a pre-condition for the employment of internet skills. System acceptance will not occur if users do not perceive a system as useful and easy to use (Davis, 1989). The expectation is that a person, who has high level of literacy and internet skills, experiences the use of e-government websites as easy. The fifth hypothesis is “The level of traditional literacy and internet skills has a positive effect on the perceived ease of use.”
3.4 Traditional literacy, internet skills, perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness and intention to use e-government
Based on the previous hypotheses, I assume there is a relationship between “traditional literacy”, “internet skills”, “perceived ease of use”, “perceived usefulness” and intention to use e-government services among Chinese elderly people. The sixth hypothesis is: “The level of traditional literacy, internet skills, perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness have a
22 3.5 Trustworthiness
Studies have shown that trust is an important factor influencing the acceptance and the adoption of e-government service (Mcknight et al. 2002; Carter & Bélanger, 2005; Bélanger & Carter, 2008; Fakhoury & Aubert, 2015). Trust is important when uncertainty or risk is present (Pavlou, 2003). Citizens will only use the services of e-government if they deem it trustworthy (Carter & Bálanger, 2005; Bélanger & Carter, 2008; Fakhoury & Aubert, 2015). Trustworthy means that citizens have trust in internet and trust in government. Trust in internet refers citizen’s belief in internet that offers a saved environment, which is capable of providing accurate information and secure transactions (Shapiro, 1987). Citizens must believe in government agencies having technical resources and the ability to secure the systems. Non-fraudulent interaction with government agencies that provide e-government service will enhance citizen’s trust and acceptance (Carter & Bélanger, 2005). The seventh hypothesis is: “Higher levels of trust in the internet and government will be positively related to higher levels of intention to use a e-government service among Chinese elderly.”
3.6 Research model
The research model presented in figure 1. It shows the hypothesized relationships among “traditional literacy”, “internet skills”, “perceived ease of use”, “perceived usefulness”, “trust in internet”, “trust in government” and intention to use e-government service.
Chapter 4: Research Design
For the purpose of examining intention use of e-government service, I adopted a survey method. A survey method can facilitate reliability and generalization. My target group is the Chinese elderly people in the Netherlands, who are 50 years and older. I give an in-depth description about this target group in the next chapter.
4.1 Instrument development
The questionnaire was written in Dutch. I conducted a pilot study to test the Dutch
questionnaire. The pilot involved ten elderly people. The aim of the pilot is to see if they can understand the questions. I quickly found out most elderly people in this country did not receive Dutch education and only speak or write Mandarin and Cantonese. Therefore, the questionnaire was translated into traditional Chinese character by a Chinese graduate student. The reason I chose traditional Chinese character, is because the majority can read them. After the translation process, I reviewed the questionnaire for clarity of instructions and ensured that the meanings of all items had been preserved. 10 elderly people were involved for the second pilot. The elderly people were asked to fill out the questionnaire in Chinese. Based on the feedback from the second pilot, minor revisions were made. The participant complained about similarly phrased items. They found them tedious and time consuming to respond to. I deleted the similarly phrased items that would not affect the content validity of the scales. Shortly, I deleted items that would not affect the Cronbach’s alpha. More detailed information about the Cronbach’s alpha will follow.
The final questionnaire had 34 questions including 6 questions from respondent’s demographic characteristics and remaining 27 questions on different constructs of the proposed research model. Lastly, the respondents were asked how to improve the
e-government service. It is an open-ended question and answering this question is optional. The questions are close-ended and use a five-point Likert scale (expect the first seven general questions and the last question B5). Likert scales (1-5) with anchors at 1 for “strongly
disagree” and 5 for “strongly agree” are used in this research. At the end of this questionnaire, I ask the respondents how they get help for filling the tax return form. Appendix A lists all the items for the constructs in this research. Items were from prior research from Carter &
Bélanger (2005) and Van Deursen and Van Dijk (2014).
24 a most common measure of scale reliability (Field, 2009, p. 674). According to Spector, a value of .7 is an acceptable value for Cronbach’s alpha (Spector, 1992, p.29). Values lower indicate an unreliable scale. Table 2 represents the Cronbach’s alpha values.
Perceived ease of use
Perceived of usefulness
Intention of use 31 0.78
Trust in internet 31 0.92
Trust in government 21 0.78
Traditional literacy 32 0.95
Formal internet skills
Information internet skills
Strategic internet skills
4.1.1 Perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness
“Perceived ease of use” (a = .95) and “perceived usefulness” (a = .87) had high reliability scores. A lower score on “perceived ease of use” indicates respondents may experience difficulties in using e-government services. Conversely, a higher score on
“perceived ease of use” means respondents think it is easy to use the e-government services. No items were deleted, because it causes decreasing in the alpha value. “Perceived
usefulness” has the same similarity. A lower score on “perceived usefulness” indicates respondents do not think using the e-government is useful, whereas a higher score means the respondents see the usefulness. No items were deleted, because it would cause a decrease in the alpha value.
4.1.2 Intention of use
“Intention of use” had the value of a = .78, which means it is a reliable scale. A lower score on “intention of use means” the respondents have no intention to use the e-government service, for example to gather information or to provide information to the authority. A higher score indicates the respondents are willing to use the e-government service. No items were deleted, because it would cause a decrease in the alpha value.
4.1.3 Trust in Internet and trust in government
“Trust in Internet” (a = .91) had a high reliability score. A lower score on trust in Internet indicates a lower trust in Internet among respondents, whereas a higher score means they trust the internet. No items were deleted, because it would cause a decrease in the alpha value. “Trust of government” had a low reliability (a = .36). To increase the reliability, I deleted the item “In my opinion, Belastingdienst is not trustworthy.” The Cronbach’s alpha value increased to a = .78. A lower score on “trust of government” means the respondents do not trust the government. A higher score means the respondents trust the government.
4.1.4 Traditional literacy
“Traditional literacy” (a = .95) had a high reliability score. A lower score on
4.1.5 Formal internet skills, information internet skills and strategic internet skills
The “formal internet skills” (a = .93), “information internet skills” (a = .90) and “strategic internet skills” (a = .91) all had high reliability scores. A lower score on “formal internet skills”, “information internet skills” and “strategic internet skills” indicates
respondents have a low level of internet skills. A higher score on “formal internet skills”, “information internet skills” and “strategic internet skills” indicates respondents have a high level of internet skills. No items were deleted, because it would cause a decrease in the alpha value.
4.2 Field study
To find the Chinese elderly people, I contacted various organisations. These organisations are activity centres run by foundations in proximity of the Randstad area. Finally, I contacted the three largest organizations in the Chinese community to get support for my study: the
Buddhist temple “He Hua”, Chinese churches of “Evangelical Mission and Seminary
International” (EMSI) and the Chinese elderly federation “Chun Pah”. Many Chinese elderly people go to these communities for social gathering. These three organizations agreed to participate.
4.2.1 Buddhist temple “He Hua”
“He Hua” temple is a Buddhist temple, which was built in 2000. “He Hua” temple is located in the city center of Amsterdam. The organization in the temple is “Fo Guang Shan” (FSG). FSG is a Taiwanese Buddhist organization and is founded by Venerable Master Hsing Yun. Presently FSG has over 200 branch temples throughout the world carrying out the goals of promoting Humanistic Buddhism.
“He Hua” temple organizes various activities in the temple. The temple organizes services in Chinese Mandarin every Sunday. There is also a Dharma reading group for Chinese speaking people. People can learn more in depth about the Dharma and the FGS organization. Furthermore, charity events, various volunteer tasks (cooking, maintenance of the temple), festivities and courses are examples of activities. A lot of events and activities are run by Chinese volunteers.
4.2.2 Evangelical Mission and Seminary International (EMSI)
The Christian Evangelical Mission Europe (CEME) church is a church for Chinese Christians. The CEME church belongs to the organization “Evangelical Mission and
Seminary International” (EMSI). EMSI is a global Chinese evangelical organization that was established by the founder Rev. Moses Yang. At the present, EMSI has established Gospel ministries in four continents: Europe, Asia, North America and Africa. The Mission headquarter is located in New Jersey. The aim of EMSI is to provide support and help for Chinese Christians. The CEME churches are located in various cities in the Netherlands: Utrecht, Rotterdam, The Hague, Amsterdam, Bergen op Zoom, Duiven, Veenendaal, Amersfoort, Breda, Zwolle, Leeuwarden, Groningen and Enschede. The CEME churches have over three hundred members.
4.2.3. Chinese elderly association “Chun Pah”
“Chun Pah” is an elderly Chinese association organization. It represents the interest of older Chinese people (aged 50+) in the Netherlands and has 3000 members. The majority of Chinese people is poorly educated and is not fluent in the Dutch language. Annually, “Chun Pah” organizes a national elderly day. The average numbers of about 1300 Chinese elderly people participate on this day. “Chun Pah” also publishes a regular column and relevant information in diverse Chinese newspapers, which is distributed every three weeks with a circulation of 15.000 copies across the Netherlands. The topics focus on issues that are important for the Chinese community such as developments related to the WMO and (social) activities in different regions. “Chun Pah” has seven departments, namely Rotterdam, The Hague, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Amersfoort, Arnhem and Eindhoven. The national board consists of representatives from all departments and has the task to establish the union strategy and policy. The departments organize various activities at local and regional level. They are autonomous in determining their activities, such as weekly meetings, day trips, cultural celebrations (such as Chinese New Year, the Moon Festival), visiting the elderly and the sick and providing Dutch language courses.
The data collection session were conducted at three locations. My target was Chinese elderly people above the age of fifty. Most developed countries use the chronical age of 65 years as a definition of elderly (WHO, 2015). It is often associated with the age for occupational
28 Chinese migrants are more widely spread across the country. The biggest Dutch
Chinese community is in Rotterdam, followed by Amsterdam and The Hague (Gijsberts, Huijnk & Vogels, 2011). I distributed the survey by using in-person distribution channels. The Buddhist temple “He Hua” (Amsterdam), Chinese churches of “Evangelical Mission and Seminary International” (EMSI) (Rotterdam, Utrecht, Breda) and the Chinese elderly
association “Chun Pah” (Den Haag, Rotterdam, Amersfoort) were the distribution points. I also went to the cluster housing for Chinese elderly (Den Haag, Rotterdam, Amersfoort), which is run by “Chun Pah”.
I went to special activity days where the Chinese elderly people would come. I distributed the questionnaires and gave instructions on how to fill out the form. I also gave these instructions to the volunteers, so they could help the elderly people with filling out the questionnaires. Due to lack of time and personal assistants, I could not be present at every activity in different locations. Sometimes, the activities overlapped with activities in other cities. I went to the first meeting and gave instructions to volunteers. Afterwards I left a stack of questionnaires behind. These volunteers helped me with filling out the questionnaires. At the end, they sent me the completed questionnaires by post.
Chapter 5: Research context
This study examines what kind of factors determine the use of the e-government services among Chinese elderly. Because the Chinese elderly people are living in the Netherlands, they are legally required to fill out, for example, the tax return every year. In this chapter I will describe the Chinese community in the Netherlands.
According to statistics, on 1 January 2015, 84.320 immigrants and descendants are living in the Netherlands, who are originally come from People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong (CBS, 2015). There are also other large Chinese groups who are originated from
Indonesia and Suriname. But those groups cannot be separated out in the population statistics as being Chinese (Linder, Van Oostrom, Van der Linden & Harmsen, 2011; Gijsberts, Huijnk & Vogels, 2011). For that reason, the Chinese groups from Indonesia and Suriname are not included in this study. The organizations that I have approached for my survey are only visited by Chinese people from People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong. I got this information from a person who is in charge in the organizations.
29 However, it still is the fifth biggest non-Western migrant group in the Netherlands. According to Gijsberts, Huijnk and Vogels (2011), the Chinese have lived in the Netherlands for a hundred years. But the number of people who have lived in the Netherlands for 30 years or longer is small. Historically, the first migrants were the Chinese from Hong Kong and later the People’s Republic. They came to the Netherlands because of work in Chinese restaurants and family migration (Linder, Van Oostrom, Van der Linden & Harmsen, 2011). According to Gijsberts, Huijnk & Vogels (2011), the Chinese population is increasing in the recent years due to immigrations from the People’s Republic. Half of these immigrants come to the
Netherlands to study. Another explanation for the increase of Chinese population in the Netherlands is the number of highly skilled migrants from People’s Republic of China (Gijsberts, Huijnk & Vogels, 2011).
5.1 Migrants categories
Based on the migration history, Linder van Oostrom, Van der Linden and Harmsen (2011) distinguish three migrant categories, which is important to explain and understand the differences within the Chinese community.
The first category is a group who came to the Netherlands before 2000 and lived for 16 years or longer in the Netherlands. This group is formed by mainly labour migrants and migrants for family reunion. The second category forms a group of migrants who has come to the Netherlands after the millennium. This group came to the Netherlands for the following reasons: study migration, work migration (including knowledge migration) and family migration. The third category is the second-generation Chinese migrants. This group is formed by young Chinese people, who are born in the Netherlands. This study focuses on the first category.
5.2 Dutch language
According to Gijsberts, Huijnk and Vogels (2011) and Linder van Oostrom, Van der Linden and Harmsen (2011), the first generation Chinese migrants have to deal with difficulties concerning the Dutch language. An explanation could be that they use it very little in their own family context. Gijsberts, Huijnk and Vogels (2011) also find out the “longer Chinese migrants have lived in the Netherlands and the higher their education level, the better their
30 first generations have made an attempt to learn the Dutch language through a language course or integration course.
Gijsberts, Huijnk and Vogels (2011) indicate over a third of the first generation who have lived in the Netherlands the longest do not have frequent social contacts with the native Dutch population or with their own group. It shows that older Chinese migrants from the first
generation are in danger to become isolated from the social society. Poor command of Dutch could be a factor (Linder, Van Oostrom, Van der Linden & Harmsen, 2011; Gijsberts, Huijnk & Vogels, 2011). Another factor could be that they do not always have children or relatives living nearby. A final factor might be lack of time, because they spent long hours working in the restaurant sector.
5.4 The Dutch tax authority: Belastingdienst
Chapter 6: Data collection and Case description
There are three assumptions to check before deciding which statistical tests are appropriate (Field, 2009, p.133):
- Normally distributed data: it means that the sampling distribution is normally distributed. If the sample data are approximately normal distributed then the sampling distribution will be also.
- Homogeneity of variance: This assumption means that the variances should be the same throughout the data.
- Interval data: data should be measured at least at the interval level.
It is important to check these assumptions (Field, 2009, p. 132). When assumptions are violated, it changes the conclusion of the research and interpretation of the results. As a consequence, we stop being able to draw accurate conclusions about the study and the forecast yielded by the regression model might be biased and misleading.
6.1.1 Testing normality
I tended to look at the sample data to see if they are normal distributed. The
expectation is: as the sample gets bigger, we can be confident that the sampling distribution is normal distributed (Field, 2009, p.134). The P-P plot (probability-probability plot) can inspect to see if a distribution is normal. I conducted a P-P plot and it showed that my sample data is relatively normal distributed, which means it met the first assumption. The results are
presented in appendix.
6.1.2 Testing for homogeneity of variance
32 6.2 Testing Correlation
This study used the Pearson correlation coefficient. This indicates the strength of the association between the variables. The variables could be related in three ways: positively related, not related and negatively related (Field, 2011, p.167). A coefficient of +1 indicates a perfect positive relationship. A coefficient of -1 indicates a perfect negative relationship. Lastly, a coefficient of 0 indicates no linear relationship at all.
Table 3 represents the correlations between the variables. There is significantly strong positive correlation between “perceived usefulness” and “intention of use” (r=.703, p < .01). The more a person perceives the usefulness of e-government services, the higher intention to use the e-government service will be. Next, “trust in government” was significantly related to “trust in internet”. The greater one’s trust in government, the more trust in Internet (r=.731, p <.01). “Formal internet skills” was significantly correlated with “information internet skills” (r=. 734, p <.01), which means an individual who has “formal internet skills” tends to have an increased ability to seek and process online information. There was a strong positive
significant relationship between “formal internet skills” and “strategic internet skills” (r=.712, p < .01). Lastly, “information internet skills” was significantly related to “strategic internet skills” (r=.873, p < .01). An individual who can seek and process online information tends to have a better ability to take advantage of the internet.
33 Table 3
Correlation between variables
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9)
(1) Perceived ease of use
(2) Perceived usefulness
(3) Intention of use
.637** .703** 1.000
(4) Trust in internet
.418** .471** .484** 1.000
(5) Trust in government
.385** .480** .476** .731** 1.000
(6) Traditional literacy
-.147 -.105 -.104 .047 .094 1.000
(7) Formal internet skills
.584** .509** .415** .378** .284* -.344** 1.000
34 internet skills
(9) Strategic internet skills
.640** .572** .484** .349 .283 -.345** .712** .873 ** 1.000
The target group in this study is the Chinese elderly people in the Netherlands. 350 respondents (N=350) filled out the questionnaire (see appendix). However, not every respondent filled out the questionnaire completely. 47 out of 350 respondents did not filled out correctly or completely. As a consequence, there were too many missing values in the data collection. Because of the large numbers of missing values, the 47 questionnaires could not be used for this study. For this study, I used only 303 questionnaires that were filled out completely and correctly. After removing the unusable questionnaires, the sample size is 303 respondents, which consists of 41.3 percent male and 58.7 percent female participants. Table 4 presents the age distribution of this sample size. The age is between 50 and 85+ years old (M=3.08, SD= 1.83). The questionnaire is divided in two parts. The first part contains
questions about the use of the digital public service. It is meant for persons who use the digital public service independently. The second part contains questions about the level of traditional literacy and internet skills. Only 63 respondents fill out completely, because they use the e-government service independently. 240 respondents filled out only the second part, because they need help for obtaining e-government service.
50 – 54 17.2
55 – 59 28.7
60 – 64 25.4
65 – 69 10.6
70 – 74 5.9
75 – 79 3.6
80 – 84 5.0
Table 5 presents the level of education (M=2.90, SD=1.22). The majority were poorly
36 them had no qualification. Most respondents followed education in China. Only .3 percent received Dutch education.
Level of education
No qualification 11.6
Primary school 28.7
Junior secondary school
Senior secondary school
Vocational senior secondary
The respondents were asked to answer the question: “Do you get help using digital public service Belastingdienst.nl for example applying healthcare allowance or other
applications?”. Table 6 (see Appendix, table 6) shows that 58.5 percent of the Chinese elderly gets help from family members for using digital public service on belastingdienst.nl.
According to the data collection, it seems Chinese elderly between the age of 50 and 74 years old use the help from family members. 16.2 percent gets help from friends. The same age group (50 and 74 years) relies on their friends. These Chinese elderly also get help from external organizations such as volunteers (8.3 percent), public employees (1.9 percent) and others (7.3 percent). Only 7.6 percent do not get help from anyone.
37 50 to 74 years old) often use support or appoint a representative. About 7.3 percent aged 50 to 64 years old do not need help, because they handle all their online application by themselves. According to table 8 (see appendix, table 8), the majority 77.9 percent have not used belastingdienst.nl by themselves before. Only 22.1 percent have experience in using
Table 9 presents the descriptive statistics of all of the variables used in the analysis. “Perceived ease of use” has a mean of 2.69, which means the respondents have no comments on ease of use. “Perceived of usefulness” has a mean of 3.58. Respondents agree that the digital public service is useful for them. “Intention of use” has a mean of 3.55. This means respondents have an intention to use e-government service. The respondents have lower level of trust in internet (m=2.65), trust in government (m=2.67), formal internet skills (m=2.52), information internet skills (m=2.72) and strategic internet skills (m=2.72). “Traditional literacy” (m=3.79) shows that respondents have difficulties in reading and writing. 58.4 percent finds it difficult to read something out loud. It concerns a group of Chinese elderly aged 50 to 85+. Only 9.2 percent do not have any problems in reading. 58.7 percent find it hard to fill out forms about retirement and payment. 8.6 percent find it not hard. 55 percent have difficulties with reading and understanding subtitles in movies, whereas 11.2 percent do not have any difficulties.
I also examined the levels of “formal internet skills”, “information internet skills” and “strategic internet skills” by using various items that measure the constructs. First I present the results of “formal internet skills”. 48 percent of the respondents have difficulties in navigating a website without getting lost, whereas only 18 percent have no problems in
navigating a website. They do not know exactly how to navigate from one webpage to another (43.2 percent). Only 26.0 percent know how to navigate from one page to another. The
38 results of “formal internet skills”, “information internet skills” and “strategic internet skills”, it is visible that many Chinese elderly people have a low level of internet skills.
Descriptive statistics of our variables
N Mean Std. Dev. Min Max
Perceived ease of use 63 2.69 0.99 1 5
Perceived of usefulness
63 3.58 0.72 1 5
Intention of use 63 3.25 0.79 1 5
Trust in internet 63 2.65 0.75 1 5
Trust in government 63 2.67 0.74 1 5
Traditional literacy 303 3.79 0.95 1 5
Formal internet skills 303 2.52 0.97 1 5
Information internet skills
303 2.72 0.95 1 5
Strategic internet skills
303 2.72 0.94 1 5
Chapter 7: Analysis
In order to test the formulated hypotheses for this study (table 10), I conducted a multiple regression analysis in IBM SPSS (version 22). I used “gender” and “education” as control variables. The analysis of data collection will be presented in this chapter. The results show that there is a significant relationship between “traditional literacy”, “internet skills”, and “perceived ease of use” and “perceived usefulness”. The relationship between the variables will be discussed and there is also an explanation how to interpret the results.
Overview of hypotheses
H1: Perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness is positively related to levels of intention to use e-government services among Chinese elderly people.
H2: The level of traditional literacy has positive effect on formal internet skills.
H3: The level of traditional literacy has positive effect on information internet skills.
H4: The level of traditional literacy has a positive effect on strategic internet skills.
H5: The level of traditional literacy and internet skills has positive effect on perceived ease of use.
H6: The level of traditional literacy, internet skills, perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness have a positive effect on intention to use e-government services among Chinese
40 Model 1. Perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness and Intention of use
I tested the first hypothesis: “perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use is positively related to levels of intention to use e-government services among Chinese elderly”. The independent variables “perceived ease of use” and “perceived usefulness” is positively related to the levels of intention to use a e-government services among Chinese elderly (F(4,58)= 22.284, p <.05). The relationship between variable “perceived ease of use” (β = .381, p< .05, adj. R2 = .579) and “perceived usefulness” (β = .546, p< .05, adj. R2 = .579) is significant. The control variables have no effect. People who think using e-government service is easy and useful, will also have the intention to do business with the government digitally. All results are summarized in table 11.
Summary of multi-regression analysis for variables
predicting intention of use
B SE B β
Perceived ease of use .303 .078 .381
Perceived usefulness .598 .110 .546
Gender .150 .132 .096
Education -.061 .056 -.094
7.1 Internet skills
Model 2. Traditional literacy and internet skills
I tested the second, third and fourth hypotheses. Table 12 summarized the testing results of these hypotheses.
The second hypothesis is “the level of traditional literacy has positive effect on formal internet skills”. The relationship between the independent variable “traditional literacy” (β = -.222, p< .05, adj. R2 = .212) and dependent variable “formal internet skills” is significant (F(3,299) = 28.062, p<.05). The control variables have no effect. The results show us that people, who are able to write and read, promote formal internet skills. The third hypothesis is “the level of traditional literacy has positive effect on information internet skills”. The
relationship between independent variable “traditional literacy” (β = -.353, p< .05, adj. R2 = .122) and dependent variable “information internet skills” is significant (F(3,299)= 28.236, p<.05). The control variables have no effect. Traditional literacy promotes information internet skills.
Summary of multi-regression analysis for
variables predicting internet skills
Formal internet skills Information internet
B SE B Β B SE B β B SE B β
-.226 .056 -.222 -.229 .055 -.229 -.201 .054 -.203
Gender -.285 .100 -.145 -.203 .099 -.105 -.199 -.096 -.105
Education .235 .044 .296 .240 .043 .308 .274 .042 .356
Adj.R2 .212 .213 .235
42 (F(3,299)= 31.991, p<.05) and dependent variable “strategic internet skills” is significant (β =
-.203, p< .05, adj. R2 = .235). The control variables have no effect. “Traditional literacy” promotes “strategic internet skills”.
7.2 Use of services
Model 3. Traditional literacy, internet skills and perceived ease of use
I tested the fifth hypothesis: “The level of traditional literacy and internet skills has positive effect on perceived ease of use”. The dependent variable is “perceived ease of use”. The model is partly significant (F(6,56)=9.072, p<.05). The results show that “traditional literacy” (β = -.011, ns), “formal internet skills” (β = .106, ns) and strategic internet skills (β = .306, ns) are not positively related to the dependent variable “perceived ease of use”. Only the relationship between the independent variable “information internet skills” (β = .374, p<.05, adj. R2= .439) and “perceived ease of use” is significant, which means being able to find information on internet promotes the ease of use. The control variables have no effect. Table 13 summarized the testing results.
Summary of multi-regression analysis for variables
predicting perceived ease of use
B SE B β
Traditional literacy -.011 .100 -.011
Formal internet skills .108 .172 .106
Information internet skills
.416 .201 .374
Strategic internet skills .327 .169 .306
Gender .134 .200 .068
Education -.026 .089 -.032
43 Model 4. Traditional literacy, internet skills, perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness and
intention of use
The sixth hypothesis is: “The level of traditional literacy, internet skills, perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness have an positive effect on intention to use e-government services
among Chinese elderly people”. The independent variables “traditional literacy” (β = -.011, ns), “formal internet skills” (β = .054, ns), “information internet skills” (β = -.187, ns) and “strategic internet skills” (β = .069 ns) are not positively related to the dependent variable “intention of use”. The variable “perceived ease of use” (β = .438, p<.05, adj. R2= .558) and “perceived usefulness”(β = .528, p<.05, adj. R2= .558) are exceptions, because they have an positively effect on “intention of use” (F (8,54)= 10.799, p<.05). This means they promote the intention of use of e-government services. The control variables have no effect. All results are summarized in table 14.
Summary of multi-regression analysis for variables
predicting intention of use
B SE B β
Traditional literacy -.009 .070 -.011
Formal internet skills .044 .124 .054
Information internet skills
-.165 .150 -.187
Strategic internet skills .059 .129 .069
Perceived ease of use .348 .098 .438
Perceived usefulness .579 .121 .528
Gender .139 .142 .089
Education -.064 .063 -.098