The Relative Importance of Monetary and Non-Monetary Drivers for Information and Communication Technology Acceptance in Rural Agribusiness

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-671
Journal / PublicationInformation Technology for Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


Traditionally the information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) literature assessed technology interventions in developing countries from an economic viewpoint, typically measuring income increases or other economic gains. However numerous ICT4D studies revealed that technology adopters only secure a small, single-digit monetary benefit, thus suggesting the importance of other (i.e. non-monetary) drivers of information and communication technology (ICT) acceptance. Seeking to address the issue and to identify the relative importance of monetary vs. non-monetary drivers for the acceptance of ICT in rural agribusiness, this study investigates the key motivational drivers (monetary vs. non-monetary) for the acceptance of a digital procurement (e-purjee) system by sugarcane growers in rural Bangladesh. The e-purjee system is a simple SMS-based purchase order system that replaces a paper-based procurement order system. Treating the acceptance of e-purjee system as sugarcane growers’ decision-problem, and applying a multi-criteria decision-making approach [e.g. Zionts & Wallenius. (1976). An interactive programming method for solving the multiple criteria problem. Management Science, 22(6), 652–663] to that problem, the study identifies the trade-offs growers appear to make between non-monetary and monetary decision criteria. In addition, by analyzing interviews with local growers from the perspective of the human capability approach [Sen. (1999). Development as freedom. New York, NY: Oxford University Press], this study offers new explanations for their preferences and reasoning. The findings indicate that non-monetary incentives, namely procedural fairness and uncertainty reduction, can be more important than positive monetary benefits. Interview responses also suggest that non-monetary benefits affect small-scale growers more than the large-scale growers. Considering growers’ preferences related to non-monetary incentives, the e-purjee system appears to affect three out of five types of instrumental freedoms postulated by Sen [1999. Development as freedom. New York, NY: Oxford University Press]. The study offers several practical and theoretical recommendations about the structuring of incentive systems for rural technology-based development projects, and about decision modeling for a relatively untrained informant group.

Research Area(s)

  • agribusiness, Bangladesh, development, digital procurement, e-purjee, human capability, information and communication technology (ICT), multi-criteria decision-making, technology acceptance

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