Date of Award
Master of Science
Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Industrial and Agricultural Technology
Information and communication technologies in public administration and social welfare initiatives are increasingly being used by various countries with an intent to augment transparency and provide better services to citizens. However, lack of infrastructure, education, technology literacy, and training keeps a major proportion of target population deprived of the benefits of these initiatives in various developing countries. Hence services of technology intermediaries are utilized to bridge this gap between the benefits of e-government technologies and citizens. The public distribution system (PDS) is the biggest poverty alleviation program in India that aims to provide subsidized food grains and other essential commodities to below poverty line households through a network of fair price shops. Under the centralized online real-time electronic public distribution system, the state of Chhattisgarh implemented various technological and administrative reforms to empower end-beneficiaries of the PDS supply chain. Fair price shop salespersons, who are the users of implemented technologies, face various challenges in making this transition from manual transactions to automated transactions. These intermediaries play a critical role in successful implementation of any technology-based policy change. It is also essential to analyze their technology adoption behavior due to the mandatory nature of technology use in e-governance. This research attempts to analyze and understand the adoption of mandatory e-governance technologies from intermediary users’ perspective.
The first study aimed to identify and prioritize challenges faced by technology users in mandatory technology adoption of point of sale devices that were implemented in fair price shops of Chhattisgarh to replace the paper-based commodity distribution system. Data collected from 170 fair price shops were analyzed using the quality management tools of list reduction,
affinity diagram, and Pareto chart. The result of the list reduction technique established a final set of 33 challenges faced by fair price shop salespersons in adopting the mandated technology. This list of challenges was then organized and categorized into six priority areas that required improvement for easier technology adoption. A Pareto chart was then used to prioritize and identify the areas that required immediate attention. These priority areas, in order of their importance, included “lack of infrastructure,” “design of device hardware,” “process design,” “salespeople’ errors,” “government support,” and “software design”. Results of this study could help the government agencies to channelize their resources on areas that require immediate attention and to take into consideration the technology users’ perspective while expanding technology-based policy implementations.
Improper device design, high maintenance costs, and poor network strength led to replacement of point of sale devices with tablets. Although improvement in the areas identified in previous study would enable an easier transition to technology use, there are various other driving factors that could influence the technology adoption by intermediary users. Therefore, the second study aimed to analyze the effect of technology characteristics and users’ internal traits on the technology adoption behavior of fair price salespersons. The need for this analysis is underscored by mandatory nature of technology adoption in e-governance. Data collected from 176 fair price shops from 167 villages of three districts of state of Chhattisgarh were analyzed using partial least square structural equation modeling. Technology satisfaction, rather than technology acceptance, is a more relevant outcome variable to study in mandatory adoption scenario. Therefore, the effect of various characteristics of implemented technology and users’ internal traits on technology satisfaction was modeled using an extension of the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT). The proposed model established that technology
characteristics of “screen design” and “terminology” and users’ internal traits of “resistance to change,” “technology anxiety,” and “trust in internet” influenced their technology satisfaction either directly or indirectly through UTAUT constructs performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence, and facilitating conditions. However, “technology relevance” and “result demonstrability” had no effect on technology satisfaction in a mandated-use environment.
Chhabra, Varun, "Technology adoption in the public distribution system of Chhattisgarh, India: Analysis of factors that facilitate the transition to technology utilization in food distribution" (2017). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 16114.