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Antecedents of trust in e-government services: An empirical test in Jordan

Article  in  Transforming Government People Process and Policy · October 2014


DOI: 10.1108/TG-08-2013-0027

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TG
8,4
Antecedents of trust in
e-government services: an
empirical test in Jordan
480 Emad Abu-Shanab
Management Information Systems Department,
Received 11 August 2013 Yarmouk University, Irbid, Jordan
Revised 12 November 2013
8 February 2014
29 April 2014
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Accepted 8 May 2014 Abstract


Purpose – This study aims to explore technology adoption research and propose a trust antecedents
model, where trust in government, trust in technology, information quality, Internet familiarity and privacy
and security concerns are hypothesized to predict Jordanians trust in e-government. Also, trust in
e-government extended the Theory of Reasoned Action in predicting the intention to use e-government.
Design/methodology/approach – Proposed a model and tried to empirically test it using a sample
of 759 Jordanians who filled a survey consisting of items measuring the previously mentioned
constructs. A structural equation modeling technique was used to test the model.
Findings – Results supported the proposed research model, where all proposed variables significantly
predicted intention to use e-government services. Also, a partial least squares estimate of the model
indicated a significant prediction of trust in e-government by all proposed variables except the Internet
familiarity construct. The coefficient of determination for intention to use was 0.465, and for trust in
e-government 0.415.
Research limitations/implications – The study utilized a newly developed instrument in Arabic,
and diverse categories of subjects, where some of them were considering a public e-learning system
when responding to items.
Practical implications – This research is important to public officials and the Jordanian
e-government project, as it emphasized the importance of trust constructs (TiT and TiG) as major
influencers on the trust propensity related to e-government. Also, other constructs like information
quality showed significant influence; where the type and characteristics of information posted on
e-government Web sites influence the adoption decision on the long run. Jordanians’ perceptions
regarding information posted on e-government Web site were all at moderate levels. More emphasis on
making information more accurate, recent, comprehensive and original is needed.
Social implications – This study showed a relative deficiency in Jordanians perceptions towards
trusting the Internet. It seems that they reflected a moderate trust in its legal, technical and security
levels. Finally, this study emphasized the role of privacy and security issues in influencing the level of
trust in e-government systems. Similarly, transparency and knowledge equity are important
dimensions that need to be addressed.
Originality/value – This study is one of the largest studies with respect to the size of its sample that
explores trust in e-government in Jordan. The focus on trust antecedents and the empirical test of the
model is a first attempt in the literature, where a structural model was explored raising the level of
accuracy of estimation to its required potential. The number of constructs to be explored at the same
time is an addition to the area of e-government technology adoption.
Transforming Government: People,
Process and Policy Keywords E-government, Trust antecedents model, TRA, Internet familiarity, Information quality,
Vol. 8 No. 4, 2014
pp. 480-499 Privacy and security concerns, Social influence, Perceived ease of use, Perceived usefulness,
© Emerald Group Publishing Limited Intention to use, Jordan, Empirical study
1750-6166
DOI 10.1108/TG-08-2013-0027 Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction Antecedents of
Research in the area of e-government focused on the behavioral attitude towards
adopting e-government services or technology. Also, the adoption process focused on
trust in
the end construct which is “technology use” or “intention to use technology”. Such e-government
pragmatic argument cannot be neglected because of the importance of using the services
technology. E-government is a crucial e-service that touches citizens’ lives and
influences their future interactions with their governments. Research strived to search 481
for constructs that would influence the decision to adopt this technology. Many
technology adoption theories explored such issue and proposed a huge set of constructs
that have significant influence on the use or intention to use (ITU) the technology. Trust
was one of the robust constructs that significantly influenced the ITU e-government
(Warkentin et al., 2002; Gefen et al., 2005; Al-Gahtani, 2011; Abu-Shanab et al., 2010;
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Beldad et al., 2012).


Abu-Shanab and Al-Azzam (2012) argued that the gate to e-government adoption is
trust. If citizens and businesses trusted e-government, then they will use it. Based on the
previous argument, and the importance of e-government adoption, it is vital to
understand the process of adopting a technology, and whether specific trust dimensions
are more important in the case of e-government technology. Research indicated that
trust in e-government (TiEG) is defined by two major factors: trust in government (TiG)
and trust in technology (TiT) or the Internet (Abu-Shanab and Al-Azzam, 2012; Peppa
et al., 2012; Shajari and Ismail, 2012). This study will focus on the antecedents of trust
and explore the factors influencing citizens’ trust propensity.
This study is vital to Jordanian environment, as it is the first to explore such issue and
this large number of constructs. Also, the utilization of a partial least squares (PLS) test
(structural equation modeling [SEM]settings) will make possible measuring the
relationships of the proposed model at the same time. Finally, using a well-validated
Arabic instrument will open doors for researchers to investigate the technology
adoption of a new technology in the Arab world. Based on that, the following section
reviews the literature related to the topic. Section 3 describes the research model and the
proposed questions, with their associated hypotheses, followed by Section 5 which
depicts the research methodology followed in this empirical study. Section 5 depicts
data analysis and the discussion of results. The last three sections describe research
conclusions, implications for research and practice, limitations and future research.

2. Literature review
Research disputed the definition of e-government, where some considered it as simple as
providing public service via the Internet (Sharma and Qian, 2012) and others embedded
other complex functions under such concept (Abu-Shanab, 2013a). E-government is
considered by many researchers as a tool for providing electronic information and
services to citizens instead of the traditional channels (Alshehri et al., 2012).
E-government is classified into three major categories:
(1) the relationship between governments and citizens (G2C);
(2) the relationship between governments and businesses (G2B); and
(3) the relationship between governments and their employees (G2E) (Al-Naimat
et al., 2012).
TG It is important when defining e-government to make sure that we fully understand its
stakeholders to understand more their needs, expectations and better plan e-services
8,4 provided to them (Axelsson and Lindgren, 2013). E-government can be classified into
two major directions: the supply side and the demand side. The supply side is related to
the actions taken by governments, where the demand side relates more to citizens’
acceptance (Lim et al., 2012). Abu-Shanab (2013a) indicated in his definition that it
482 includes four major dimensions:
(1) providing e-service to citizens and businesses;
(2) improving public and government performance;
(3) facilitating the democratic process through e-democracy and e-participation;
and
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(4) sustaining the required social development and bridging the digital divide.

2.1 E-government and trust


Trust is an important factor influencing the success of e-government projects.
Governments should build trustworthy relationships with citizens before attempting to
open such e-channel with them (Zeleti, 2011; Warkentin et al., 2002). Similarly,
governments need to build trust within agencies, between agencies, across governments
and with businesses, and non-governmental organizations (Almarabeh and AbuAli,
2010). Finally, trust is becoming a major construct in e-government research, where a
study by Cetin et al. (2011) ranked trust as the sixth construct in e-government research
after ITU, perceived usefulness (PU), perceived ease of use (PEOU), Social Influence (SI)
and perceived behavioral control (PBC).
Trust components were summated by Mcaskill and Brown (2009) as:
• the willingness to be vulnerable;
• positive expectations that one’s interests will be protected;
• the positive intentions, sincerity, motivations, character, reliability and integrity
of others; and
• accepting a long and repeated courses of action.
Similarly, trust was considered as a catalyst to e-government (Warkentin et al., 2002),
but with diverse levels of importance when explored in different cultures (Gefen et al.,
2005).
Previous research tried to focus on predicting e-government adoption by exploring
the factors influencing the decision of adopting a technology included in classical
theories of technology acceptance. The technology acceptance model (TAM, Davis,
1989; Davis et al., 1989) is a famous model that utilized PU and PEOU in predicting ITU.
TAM originated from the theory of reasoned action (TRA, Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975),
where intention is driven by a person’s attitude towards technology and the influence of
important people in his/her life. Later, Ajzen added PBC which emerged as a strong
predictor of intention and outperformed attitudes and subjective norm.
In the e-government literature, trust was explored as an antecedent of ITU
(Abu-Shanab et al., 2010) or as an antecedent of another construct (examples: as an
antecedent of perceived risk in Yaghoubi et al., 2010; and as an antecedent of the DeLone
and McLean’s model, Khayun et al., 2012). Another study depicted a relationship
between trust in federal government and the adoption process of e-government, but Antecedents of
failed to support such relationship (Morgeson et al., 2011). Similarly, TiEG services was
not related to trust in e-government, but related to the e-government investment in a
trust in
context of empirical data related to New Zealand and Australia (Horsburgh et al., 2011). e-government
TiEG services was described as a process, where citizens build the trust in services
governments and their transactions, then disclose information through an
e-government Web site, and finally, have the ITU the services provided (Beldad et al., 483
2012). Similarly, trust in the Internet will influence the attitude towards e-government
projects and lead to the ITU e-government services (Ozkan and Kanat, 2011). Finally, the
process of disposition of trust influencing trust in the Internet, then influencing ITU
e-government was supported in the context of US students (Carter and Campbell, 2011).
Considering the nature of trust, two different phases of trust can be witnessed:
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pre-use trust, and post-use trust. Pre-use trust will witness some resistance because
citizens are not familiar with the potential risks of e-government. Post-use trust is
related to experienced users, where such users can evaluate the technology and build
their trust more accurately (Hernandez-Ortega, 2011). Abu-Shanab and Al-Azzam (2012)
explored Jordanians’ ITU e-government services by extending their model with
perceived risk, but failed to support such new construct. Finally, Rehman et al. (2011)
proposed TiG and trust in the Internet with many variables as determinants of ITU
e-government Web sites. Both constructs were significant in predicting ITU side by side
with information quality (IQ), perceived ease of use, service quality and transaction
security.
In the Jordanian context, a study that qualitatively analyzed results from a set of
semi-structured interviews with e-government officials concluded that trust is an
important factor in the success of m-government initiatives and is considered a major
challenge and barrier to the adoption of such service (Al-Hujran, 2012). Other studies
that relates to the Jordanian context are the following: Almarabeh and AbuAli (2010),
Ciborra and Navarra (2005), Mofleh and Wanus (2013), Abu-Shanab and Abu-Baker
(2011) and Odat and Khzaaleh (2012).

2.2 Antecedents of trust


TiEG projects or Web sites is influenced by many factors, where previous research
yielded significant results from both sides: trust influencing e-government adoption,
and factors influencing trust in e-government. Previous research proclaimed that TiEG
is mainly influenced by two major factors: TiG and trust in technology/Internet
(Abu-Shanab and Al-Azzam, 2012; Peppa et al., 2012; Shajari and Ismail, 2012; Toe et al.,
2008; Ayyash et al., 2012; Nassuora and Al-Mushasha, 2012).
The work of Yaghoubi et al. (2011) incorporated five major antecedents of trust in
e-government:
(1) perception of authentication;
(2) perception of non-repudiation;
(3) perception of confidentiality;
(4) perception of privacy protection; and
(5) perception of data integrity.
TG Their work included incorporation from the TAM, innovation diffusion theory (IDT)
and trust variables. On the other hand, Colesca (2009) proposed 12 factors affecting trust
8,4 with the following significant factors: PU, perceived quality, privacy concerns,
perceived organizational trustworthiness, trust in technology, propensity to trust, years
of experience and age. Her research failed to support the influence of risk perception,
gender, education and income.
484 Other research considered trust as the gate to technology adoption, where factors
included in famous models in technology acceptance were used as antecedents to trust.
Alsaghier et al. (2009) hypothesized that disposition to trust, familiarity, institution
based trust, perceived Web site quality, PEOU, and PU all will influence trust in
e-government. Similarly, lack of security, fear of paying for e-service and the lack of
confidentiality were all major determinants of trust in Jordanian e-government services
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(Odat and Khzaaleh, 2012).


Experience, self-efficacy and the quality of e-government experience were also
proposed as predictors of trust (Parent et al., 2004). Also, transparency and how
governments deal with personal information would improve the levels of trust (Zaimes
et al., 2012). A study by Susanto and Goodwin (2010) concluded to 15 important factors
that are important in adopting SMS e-government services and the ones that relates to
our research are trust in SMS technology, trust in government and perceived quality of
public services. Citizens trust propensity is influenced by many factors like their trust in
their government, trust in technology, the previous experience with e-government, the
Web site quality, the IQ dimensions, risk propensity, trust propensity and privacy and
security perceptions.

2.3 Summary of literature


This study explored the literature to conclude to the following major findings:
• literature focused more on the antecedents of ITU) e-government;
• trust is a major predictor of ITU e-government, where research considered it a
robust predictor in most empirical studies;
• major factors influencing ITU are: PU, trust in e-government, PEOU and SI;
• the importance of trust in the literature raised some requests by researchers to
explore its antecedents, where some factors were related directly to trust in more
than one empirical study. Other factors were hypothesized to be antecedents of
trust or antecedents of ITU; and
• the major factors influencing TiEG reported in the literature are: trust in
government, trust in technology, IQ, privacy, security, system quality, familiarity
with technology and other demographic factors.

3. Research model and design


Based on the previous literature review, TiEG is an important predictor of e-government
adoption. As mentioned in the literature summary, many factors influence trust in
e-government; some of them are commonly used as dimensions of trust, and other
factors are closely related to the propensity of trust towards e-government. Figure 1
depicts the research design and the steps done to apply the research method.
Antecedents of
trust in
e-government
services
485

Figure 1.
The research design and
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flow

3.1 The conceptual model


This study based its model construction on major theories of technology adoption like
the TAM, TAM2, TRA, TPB and its extended version, and the unified theory of
acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT). Most theories assumed that the ITU
e-government will be influenced by four major factors: PU (as depicted in TAM, TAM 2,
UTAUT and IDT), PEOU (TAM, TAM 2, UTAUT and IDT), social influence (TRA,
TPB, decomposed theory of planned behavior [DTPB] and UTAUT) and trust.
This study also proposed a set of factors that are hypothesized to influence trust in
e-government. The factors utilized in this study are assimilated from previous research.
The factors assumed to influence TiEG) are:
• trust in technology (TiT);
• trust in government (TiG);
• information quality (IQ);
• familiarity with electronic sites and the Internet; and
• privacy and security concerns. (P&SC).
The assumed relationships and research model are shown in Figure 2. A proposed
operationalized set of definitions of the ten variables is depicted in Appendix.

3.2 The research questions and hypotheses


Based on the previous model, this study will try to answer the following two research
questions:
RQ1. What are the factors influencing the degree of trust in e-government services.
RQ2. What are the factors influencing the adoption of e-government services.
Research indicated a strong relationship between social influence and ITU (Venkatesh
et al., 2003; Abu-Shanab and Pearson, 2007). The influence of others on the decision to
use e-government services is an important factor in the technology acceptance domain
(Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975; Ajzen, 1991). Based on that, the first hypothesis can be
stated as:
TG
8,4

486

Figure 2.
The trust antecedent
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model

H1. Social influence will positively influence the intention to use e-government
services.
PU is a robust construct utilized in most theories with different names (PU [in TAM &
TAM 2]; job fit (Thompson et al., 1991); and relative advantage (Moore and Benbasat,
1991). In the context of e-government, many studies utilized PU as a predictor of ITU
(Abu-Shanab et al., 2010). Based on this, the following hypothesis can be stated:
H2. Perceived usefulness will positively influence the intention to use e-government
services.
The second most common construct in the literature is PEOU. Most previous research that
hypothesized PU to be a predictor to ITU also used PEOU as another predictor. Research in
the e-government research hypothesized that the ease of e-government Web sites can be a
challenge for many categories in societies, especially in developing countries (Abu-Shanab
and Abu-Baker, 2011; Colesca, 2009). The following hypothesis can be stated:
H3. perceived ease of use will positively influence the intention to use e-government
services.
The focus of this study is trust, where literature depicted in Section 2 concentrated on the
conceptualization of trust and its antecedents. Research in the e-government area
hypothesized trust as a major predictor of ITU e-government services or Web sites.
Section 2 of this study revolved around the importance of trust and tried to explore its
antecedents. Based on that, the following hypothesis can be sated:
H4. Trust in e-government will positively influence the intention to use
e-government services.
The literature review in this study focused on the antecedents of trust (Section 2), where five
constructs are hypothesized to predict TiEG (answering the second research question):
H5. Information quality will positively influence the trust in e-government.
H6. Internet familiarity will positively influence the trust in e-government.
H7. Trust in technology will positively influence the trust in e-government.
H8. Trust in government will positively influence the trust in e-government.
H9. Privacy and security concerns will positively influence the trust in Antecedents of
e-government.
trust in
4. Research methodology e-government
This empirical study is the first to explore the antecedents of trust in e-government. To services
test our conceptualization, an empirical study was designed utilizing a survey
instrument that measures the variables assumed to predict ITU or trust in
e-government. Definitions of these constructs are depicted in Appendix.
487

4.1 The questionnaire used


This study utilized a survey consisting of three sections; the first introduced the
research area and objectives of research. Such introduction was important as
respondents were Jordanian citizens selected randomly from schools, businesses and
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students from the researcher’s university. The second section included simple
demographic questions about age, gender and education. The last section included 37
items measuring 10 constructs adopted from previous research.
The items used for the antecedent constructs of ITU where adopted from
previous research in Arabic utilizing previous literature (Abu-Shanab et al., 2010;
Abu-Shanab and Abu-Baker, 2011; Abu-Shanab and Al-Azzam, 2012). Such
adoption supports our premise of content validity of the instrument and improves
the reliability of instrument. Although trust is not part of the famous classical
theories mentioned in Section 2, but was explored extensively in previous research.
This research extended the TRA by adding the trust construct.
The items used for the rest of trust antecedents were adopted from previous work
by Yaghoubi et al. (2011) and the work of Ayyash et al. (2012). Some items were
adopted from Arabic research, which required less effort to adapt such items to the
purpose of research. The rest of items were translated to Arabic using Brislin’s
backward translation method (Brislin, 1976) using ten master students. A check on
language and changes in meaning was done by the researcher to reach a better
version of items. The experience of the author also contributed to the building of
each construct. Research indicated a significant support for the influence of
language on research results (Abu-Shanab and Md Nor, 2013).
The item distribution of the survey and their descriptions are shown in Table II,
which includes an estimate of item means and standard deviations. Such process
improved content validity and the reliability of instrument.

4.2 Sample and sampling process


The population of this study consists of Jordanian citizens using e-government
services. The sampling of such population cannot be fully randomized as the
ordinary citizen in Jordan might not be using such services or being aware of it.
Based on that, the validated survey was distributed to more than one target utilizing
citizens who know e-government in Jordan. The first source included students
studying a higher diploma, where the majority of them work as teachers and
scholars from the Ministry of Education (350 surveys). The second data source was
collected by master students from diverse sources (businesses, schools, shopping
malls and other locations, total surveys 5 400). The third source of data was collected
from bachelor students studying information technology disciplines (200 surveys). Finally,
the survey was posted to a Web site and collected 80 surveys online. The total number of
TG distributed surveys was (1,030). Returned surveys totaled (790). Surveys with large missing
values were removed (total surveys used in preliminary analysis were 772 surveys). The
8,4 sampling process was done in May 2013 and within two weeks of the month. Similarly, the
online survey was posted for two weeks only to guard against any changes in the Jordanian
environment.
The sampling process is suitable for the purposes of this research as previous
488 research suffered from subjects (ordinary Jordanians in the streets) not knowing
e-government, or never used it (Abu-Shanab and Abu-Baker, 2011; Abu-Shanab and
Al-Azzam, 2012). Such situation wastes a large segment of the sample and reports
contradictory views that cannot be reliable for future research. A preliminary
regression analysis was conducted to remove outliers that exceeded limits on
specific measures or were extremely odd. The total number of removed surveys
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based on this step was 13. The final sample size used for final analysis is (759), which
satisfies the generalizability conditions and the adequacy of analysis (Hair et al.,
1998; Nunnally, 1978). The sample demographics are shown in Table I.

5. Results and discussion


The first step is to ensure that items utilized by this study were perceived highly by subjects;
a common typology in social sciences when using a Likert scale from 1-5 considers (1-2.33) as
low, (2.33-3.67) as moderate and (3.67-5) as high. Table II depicts the means and standard
deviations of all items used for all ten variables. Eleven items were perceived highly by
Jordanians, while all other items were moderately perceived. It might be suitable to look at
the percentage of means exceeding three, where six items only where lower than three. It is
obvious that Jordanians are aware of the importance of e-government, but not fully
enthusiastic for it.

Demographic category Frequency (%)

Gender
Male 306 40.3
Female 447 58.9
Missing 6 0.8
Total 759 100
Education
High school or less 26 3.4
Diploma 58 7.7
Bachelor 551 72.6
Master and PhD 123 16.2
Missing 1 0.1
Total 759 100
Age
17-30 years 422 55.6
31-45 years 287 37.8
Table I. 46-60 years 39 5.1
The demographics of the More than 60 years 11 1.5
sample used Total 759 100%
Item statement (short description in English) N Mean SD
Antecedents of
trust in
Q1: Using e-gov services will be easy to me (PEoU) 758 3.98 0.97
Q2: E-gov services are clear and understandable (PEoU) 754 3.42 1.00 e-government
Q3: It is easy to me to get what I need from e-gov services (PEoU) 750 3.51 1.06 services
Q4: E-gov services help me to finish things faster (PU) 757 3.88 1.07
Q5: E-gov services make my life easier (PU) 752 3.89 1.02
Q6: E-gov services will be beneficial in my life (PU) 744 3.89 0.99
489
Q7: E-gov services increase my efficiency and effectiveness (PU) 752 3.55 1.07
Q8: People who influence me think that I should use E-gov (SI) 752 3.12 1.08
Q9: Important people for me think that I should use E-gov (SI) 750 3.25 1.04
Q10: Important people for me think that using e-gov is useful (SI) 752 3.46 1.06
Q11: It is easy for me to trust e-gov systems (TiEG) 757 3.10 1.08
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Q12: I have a desire to trust e-gov systems (TiEG) 753 3.49 1.11
Q13: I tend to trust e-gov system even if I know little about it (TiEG) 756 3.26 1.10
Q14: I trust in a high degree the e-gov system (TiEG) 756 3.10 1.10
Q15: I trust the security of the Internet (TiT) 757 2.71 1.11
Q16: Legal/technical infrastructure is sufficient in protecting my info. (TiT) 758 2.78 1.07
Q17: In general, the Internet is trusted now a days (TiT) 756 2.87 1.13
Q18: I trust computers when I use them in e-gov transactions (TiT) 754 3.11 1.07
Q19: I trust mobile phones when I use them in e-gov transactions (TiT) 755 2.99 1.10
Q20: I trust public departments and institutions (TiG) 754 3.09 1.17
Q21: I trust government’s capability in providing safe e-services (TiG) 755 3.05 1.09
Q22: I trust that citizens’ interest is government’s first priority (TiG) 753 2.92 1.26
Q23: E-gov website provides comprehensive information about services (IQ) 755 3.39 1.02
Q24: E-gov website provides accurate information about services (IQ) 752 3.28 0.97
Q25: E-gov website provides updated/recent information about services (IQ) 750 3.39 1.02
Q26: Information used by e-gov system is original and real (IQ) 751 3.28 0.96
Q27: Using e-government systems increases transparency levels (IQ) 756 3.36 1.10
Q28: Using e-gov systems achieves knowledge equity between citizens (IQ) 755 3.47 1.12
Q29: I used electronic sites and the Internet for many times (IF) 755 3.92 1.19
Q30: Electronic websites and the Internet are familiar to me (IF) 750 4.06 1.05
Q31: My experience in electronic websites is high (IF) 750 3.76 1.09
Q32: E-gov systems protect my privacy and personal information (P&SC) 756 3.27 1.05
Q33: No one control my personal information in e-gov but me (P&SC) 754 3.76 1.12
Q34: E-gov systems are secured against hacking and tampering (P&SC) 755 2.98 1.10
Q35: I intend to use e-government systems (ITU) 757 3.68 1.09
Q36: I expect to use e-government systems (ITU) 756 3.77 1.05
Q37: I plan to use e-government systems (ITU) 756 3.70 1.11
Table II.
Note: For all responses, the minimum value is 1, and the maximum value is 5; bold data represents The means and standard
high means (Value . 3.666) deviations of survey items

Before answering the two research questions, it might be necessary to check the
correlation matrix that depicts the bivariate associations between each two variables.
Such test is important to indicate how the predictors are correlating with the dependent
variable, and how they are correlating to each other. The matrix is shown in Figure 3.
Results indicate that all correlations are significant at the 0.01 level, which supports our
conceptual adaptation of these variables. Also, another criterion needs to be confirmed,
which is the existence of severely high correlations between predictors (divergent
TG
8,4

490

Figure 3.
The correlation matrix
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validity), where all correlations were between (0.147-0.576). The highest correlation
between ITU and all predictors is the one associated with PU (0.637), and the lowest is
the one with TiG (0.325). Such test also supports the discriminant validity of variables,
where moderate correlations are indicator of the existence of discriminant validity.
To answer the two research questions a SEM analysis utilizing SmartPLS software
and algorithms was conducted. A PLS-SEM does not assume normality but relies on a
non-parametric bootstrap procedure to test the model. In this procedure, many smaller
subsamples are drawn from the study sample and tested to reach the best model fit. The
SmartPLS tool is free for academic purposes and calculates easily the item loadings and
the correlations (path coefficients for the whole model are depicted). The results of the
model estimation are shown in Figure 4.
The sample size necessary for such test should be at least ten times the largest of
formative indicators used to measure a construct (. 6 3 10), or ten times the largest
number of structural paths directed at a particular latent construct (. 5 3 10). The
sample size used in this study is more than both conditions. The tool calculates a (t)
value for each test to show significance of estimates/results for both path
coefficients and factor loadings. A bootstrapping technique is used to calculate the
t values of the model, where values of t equal to 1.96 indicates a significant level with
a p value less than 0.05 (a 5 0.05). Similarly a t value of 2.58 indicates a level of p ,
0.01.
Checking both Figures 4 and 5, we can see that the mean of all item loadings
corresponding to each construct is more than 0.7, which is acceptable in social
sciences research. For any single item loading, it is recommended that it exceeds 0.8,
but a value more than 0.6 (without a high cross loading on other dimensions) is
acceptable. Only one item (Q28, IQ construct) yielded 0.695, which is close to 0.7 and
can be accepted. Some items loaded fairly high on their constructs with a factor
loading more than 0.9. Finally, the internal consistency measures (reliability of
instrument used) using Cronbach’s alphas indicate that all variables exhibited an
acceptable level of reliability (recommended value . 0.8, acceptable . 0.6, shown in
Table III).
The model significantly predicts ITU with an R2 value equal to (0.465). The
predictors of TiEG significantly predicted the variable with R2 equal to (0.415). Also, the
beta values (standardized coefficients of the predictors) are listed in Table III, with their
“t” value and error probabilities.
Antecedents of
trust in
e-government
services
491
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Figure 4.
The measurement model
with path coefficients and
factor loadings
TG
8,4

492
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Figure 5.
The t values for
significance estimation of
the model
Cronbach’s Stand. Significance Hypothesis
Antecedents of
Variable Alpha beta t value level H status trust in
Privacy & Security Concerns (P&SC) 0.7224 0.147 3.487 0.01 H9 Supported e-government
Trust in Government (TiG) 0.8641 0.165 4.08 0.01 H8 Supported services
Trust in Technology (TiT) 0.8663 0.221 5.557 0.01 H7 Supported
Internet Familiarity (IF) 0.8568 0.042 1.298 . 0.05 H6 Not supported
Information Quality (IQ) 0.8629 0.245 6.246 0.01 H5 Supported
493
Trust in E-government (TiEG)* 0.8216 0.219 6.261 0.01 H4 Supported
Perceived Ease of Use (PEoU) 0.7292 0.099 2.726 0.01 H3 Supported
Perceived Usefulness (PU) 0.8731 0.428 10.824 0.01 H2 Supported
Social Influence (SI) 0.8309 0.076 2.212 0.05 H1 Supported
Intention to Use (ITU)* 0.8931 – – – Table III.
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Reliability measures and


Note: *dependent variable for this predictor hypotheses testing results

6. Conclusions
This research aimed at improving our understanding of the factors influencing the ITU
e-government services. The proposed model included ten major variables that are
common in technology acceptance domain. The first variable ITU is a well-explored
construct that is used as a surrogate for technology use. ITU was predicted by four
major constructs with a varying degree of significance. PU, PEOU, SI and TiEG were all
significant predictors of ITU. The most influential construct was PU (beta value 5
0.428), where Jordanians emphasized the importance of perceiving e-government
services to be useful as a major determinant of future adoption. The second most
important predictor was TiEG(beta value 5 0.219), which is the focus of our study.
Finally, PEOU and SI did not fail to significantly influence ITU but with a beta less than
PU and TiEG. The proposed model explained 46.5 per cent of the variance in ITU, which
can be considered a substantial level of prediction in social sciences (Cohen, 1988). Such
result is better than the original TAM and close to the prediction of the UTAUT reported
in the literature.
On the other hand, the focus of this study was TiEG, which came as a major predictor
in more than one major study. Five variables were proposed as predictors of TiEG and
all of them were significantly associated with TiEG except Internet familiarity
construct. Table III indicated a full support to all proposed hypotheses except H6. The
total variance explanation of TiEG totaled 41.5 per cent.
It is important to understand each factor explored in this study to better
understand the context of e-government adoption. The results of this research
emphasized previous research findings when predicting ITU e-government
services. The results of previous literature described in Section 2 came in alignment
with our findings and emphasized the role of usefulness and ease of use of any
system. Social influence indicates that Jordanians are a close society and are
influenced by social perceptions. Such argument is critical for governments, as it
emphasizes the social waves of perceptions regarding government services. Finally,
and similar to previous research (Abu-Shanab and Al-Azzam, 2012), trust was
significant predictor of ITU e-government services.
The second set of factors proposed by this work depends on trust as a gateway to
adopting e-government services. The familiarity of the Internet to Jordanians failed
TG to predict trust, but still holds a significant bivariate relationship with it. It might be
ranked lower by Jordanians when compared to IQ or trust in technology, and this is
8,4 why it failed when entering regression estimation. Such conclusion is dependent on
the context of developing countries where technology is not extensively used by
citizens and IQ provided by government can be considered a major predictor of
trusting e-government services.
494
7. Implications for research and practice
The findings of this study imply that governments need to raise public awareness to
the usefulness of e-government services and build TiEG and its services. Such
implication calls for more efforts by Jordanian government to add useful services to
e-government Web sites and improve its credibility and accountability. A call for
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public participation initiative is required to address the needs of citizens and


businesses and be more effective in such venue. On the other hand, researchers
exploring the adoption of e-government need to incorporate trust as a major
predictor of ITU such service. Trust came second in its influence magnitude on ITU
after PU.
This research is important to public officials and Jordanian e-government project, as it
emphasized the importance of trust constructs (TiT beta value 5 0.221 and TiG beta
value 5 0.165) as major influencers on trust propensity related to e-government. Other
constructs like IQ showed significant influence (beta value 5 0.245); where the type and
characteristics of information posted on e-government Web sites influence the adoption
decision on the long run. Jordanians’ perceptions regarding information posted on
e-government Web site were all at moderate levels. This calls for more emphasis on
making information more accurate, recent, comprehensive and original. Similarly,
transparency and knowledge equity are important dimensions that need to be addressed
by researchers in future research (Abu-Shanab, 2013b). This study showed a relative
deficiency in Jordanians perceptions towards trusting the Internet. It seems that they
reflected a moderate trust in its legal, technical and security levels. Finally, this study
emphasized the role of privacy and security issues in influencing the level of TiEG
systems.

8. Limitations and future work


This research suffered from a newly used instrument, where some of the items used
were translated from their original language (English). Also, the perception of
e-government in the minds of respondents might differ based on the technology in
consideration. When sampling general population (which might be considered an
accurate and representative sample), research slips in the issue of technology
perception. Some respondents filled their survey considering a public e-learning
system, while others took e-government Web site as the technology under
consideration. This study traded the sample size with the type of research; focusing
on a specific service will force research into an experimental setting limiting the
sample size to less than 100 subjects. Using survey method with a large sample size
(759) will yield more generalizable results and utilizes more opinions into this study.
This issue needs further exploration to define a specific Web site or system and
collect responses based on that.
Future research is needed to fill the gaps caused by the limitations of this Antecedents of
research which might improve our understanding of the topic and the accuracy of
results. Also, validation of this instrument is requested to make available a reliable
trust in
instrument in Arabic language. Finally, the proposed model needs some validation e-government
to reach some consensus regarding the factors influencing trust constructs (TiG, services
TiT and TiEG). This study is the first to utilize such large sample in the Jordanian
context (in Jordan and regarding the Jordanian e-government Web site); such study 495
opens doors for more research to understand the Jordanian context for the purpose
of improving e-government services and serving citizens in a better manner.

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Appendix Antecedents of
trust in
No. Variable Definition of variable e-government
1 Intention to Use (ITU) The degree to which citizens intend, plan and expect to services
use e-government services
2 Perceived Usefulness (PU) The degree to which the use of e-government services 499
is useful, more productive and efficient and makes
citizen’s life easier
3 Perceived Ease of Use (PEoU) The degree to which the use of e-government services
is easy, comprehensible and easily accessible
4 Social Influence (SI) The degree to which important people in my life
believe that I should use e-government services
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because it is useful and necessary


5 Trust in e-government (TiEG) The degree to which the results of using e-government
services/systems are predictable and can be trusted
6 Trust in Government (TiG) The degree to which the interactions with government
are predictable and can be trusted
7 Trust in Technology (TiT) The degree to which the interactions with the Internet/
systems are predictable and can be trusted
8 Information Quality (IQ) Information provided on the website is comprehensive,
accurate, recent, original and relevant to the services
provided
9 Internet Familiarity (IF) The level of previous experience and knowledge in
Internet use and e-services
10 Privacy and Security Concerns The degree to which e-government websites can
(P&SC) protect citizen’s information and adheres to privacy Table AI.
requirements Definitions of variables

About the author


Dr Emad Abu-Shanab earned his PhD in business administration, in the MIS area from Southern
Illinois University – Carbondale, USA, his MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada, and
his Bachelor in civil engineering from Yarmouk University (YU) in Jordan. He is an associate
professor in MIS. His research interest in areas like E-government, technology acceptance,
E-marketing, E-CRM, Digital divide and E-learning. Published many articles in journals and
conferences, and authored three books in e-government. Dr Abu-Shanab worked as an assistant
dean for students’ affairs, quality assurance officer in Oman and the director
of Faculty Development Center at YU. Emad Abu-Shanab can be contacted at:
abushanab.emad@gmail.com

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