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Industrial Management & Data Systems

Mobile Applications in Tourism: The Future of the Tourism Industry?


Garry Wei-Han Tan Voon Hsien Lee Binshan Lin Keng-Boon Ooi
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Garry Wei-Han Tan Voon Hsien Lee Binshan Lin Keng-Boon Ooi , (2017)," Mobile Applications in Tourism: The Future of the
Tourism Industry? ", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 117 Iss 3 pp. -
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Mobile Applications in Tourism: The Future of the Tourism Industry?
Abstract
Purpose – The unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) was extended with
psychological constructs namely perceived playfulness (PP), mobile innovativeness in
information technology (MIIT) and perceived expressiveness (PEX) to examine on the
consumers’ intention to adopt mobile applications (m-apps) as another mean in purchasing
tourism related product and services via their mobile devices. The study also included gender as
moderating variable.
Design/methodology/approach – Partial Least Square-Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-
SEM) approach was adopted to test the research framework using 474 valid respondents.
Findings –The results revealed that only performance expectancy (PE) and PEX are non-
significant with the intention to adopt. In addition, gender moderates the effect between social
influence (SI) and intention.
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Practical Implications – The study has several useful implications for researchers, m-apps
developers, travel related organizations and even government agencies when rendering m-apps
services and disseminating information to their potential consumers.
Originality/value –The study contributes to the growing literature on m-apps in tourism from a
developing country’s perspective.

Keywords: Mobile Tourism; Malaysia; Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use Technology
(UTAUT); Mobile Commerce, Partial Least Square-Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM);
Behavioral Intention (BI); Travel; Mobile Applications (M-apps)

Article Classification: Research paper

1. Introduction
The functionality of traditional mobile phone over the last decade has been used primarily for
calling and text features due to its limited technology capabilities. Since the emergence of smart
phones and the advancement of third-generation and now fourth-generation long-term evolution
wireless data networks, this has rendered the development of new software possible. Consumers
can now connect to the World Wide Web on their mobile devices (m-devices) through a stand-
alone software commonly known as mobile applications (m-apps) (Hoehle and Venkatesh 2015).
Purcell et al. (2010, p. 2), defines mobile apps as an “end-user software applications that are
designed for a mobile device operating system and which extend the device’s capabilities by
enabling users to perform particular tasks”. M-apps enable consumers to access to a variety of
services and resources without the need of a web browser. Among the available domains which
could be accessed using m-apps include social networking, news, email, weather, sports and
podcasts (Yang,2013).Kim et al., (2013; 2015), pointed out that m-apps can also be adopted as
another source of purchasing channel. According to Research and Markets (2012), the revenue
from the apps market is predicted to surge to $36.7 billion by 2015. The number indicates that
m-apps have a very prosperous future.
There are several benefits which favors m-apps as a preferred choice for shopping when
compared to the conventional mobile browser (m-browser). First, m-apps overcome the barrier
associated with navigating web sites which are not optimized for mobile usage since m-apps can
be personalized for usage (Wang and Wang 2010). Second, the benefits of ‘always on’, ‘always

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on you’, and place flexibility helps to promote efficiency in consumers' daily tasks (Kim et al.,
2013). Third, m-apps leads to greater level of convenience, as consumers can use the software to
compare prices, obtain discounts, conduct specialized research on products and services, locate
stores, access to timeline information, restaurant, transportation, local activities and share
information on social networks (Wang and Wang, 2010).From the business-oriented approach,
m-apps lead to customer loyalty, enhance the effectiveness of promotions, and serves as an
opportunity to interact closer with mobile shoppers anytime and anywhere (Cameron et al.,
2012).
While m-apps present huge potentials for consumers and are important to organization’s
success, the study on the tourism industry remains limited. Most past studies tend to focus either
on the applicability of m-apps to enhance touristic experience (Kang and Gretzel, 2012;
Emmanouiliidis, Koutsiamanis and Tasidou, 2013; Tom Dieck and Jung, 2015) or the
development of m-apps for tourism (Noguera et al., 2012; Yang and Hwang, 2013; Rodriguez-
Sanchez et al, 2013; Anacleto et al., 2014; Gavalas et al., 2014). Interestingly the study on the
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motivation of consumers to adopt m-apps to purchase for tourism related products and services
remains a neglected research area (Kim et al., 2015). So far, attentions were mainly concentrated
on specific themes such as hotel bookings, timeshare and airline tickets (Lubbe and Louw, 2010;
Rivera, Gregory and Cobos, 2015; Morosan and DeFranco, 2015; Morosan and DeFranco, 2016;
Murphy, Chen and Cossutta, 2016; Wang et al., 2016). As purchasing tourism related products
and services could also include food and beverage, transportation, accommodation, travel
agencies, tours, festivals and events, theme parks, recreation activities, other reservation service
activities (Ooi, Hooi and Mat Som, 2015; Kim et al., 2015) the study on tourism product seems
to be incomplete. While more recent past studies have taken a broader perspective of purchasing
tourism products via m-apps to provide a more holistic view (Kim et al., 2015; Kim et al., 2016),
the research however were of limited quantity and conducted from the perspective of established
markets. Interestingly the study in the Malaysian tourism industry remains unnoticed. As there
are a varieties of apps in Apple App Store and Google Android Market (renamed to Google Play
Store) (Roth 2013) and the large cost in developing m-apps which can range from £5,000 to
£250,000 (Management Today 2013), understanding the motivation for consumers to adopt m-
apps as a mean to purchase products and services related to tourism remains crucial and warrant
further investigation.
There are several reasons why the study’s focuses on the emerging market perspective like
Malaysia. M-devices have become a part of Malaysian society for communication purposes
(Balachandran and Tan, 2015). Pan et al., (2015) explained that Malaysians preferred m-devices
compared to wired line. Statistics also revealed that Malaysia has 140 percent mobile penetration
rate and ranked second highest in South East Asia (Forest Interactive, 2013; Wong et al., 2016).
However according to Wong et al., (2015a), many Malaysians are hesitant to adopt m-devices to
shop virtually. Teo et al., (2015b) also shared the similar sentiment whereby the authors stressed
on the rise of abandonment rate of shopping cart in Malaysia. Chong et al., (2012), explained
that developing markets like Malaysia provides a huge market opportunity for mobile commerce
(m-commerce) practitioners. Based on a recent study by 'Malaysia Communications and
Multimedia Commission' (MCMC) (2012), 27.4 percent of Malaysian smart phone owners own
less than 10 apps. The study continues that only 21.2 percent Malaysian used m-apps daily. The
study indicates that m-apps would have a greater chance to remain if the software is well
designed from the consumers’ perspective.

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Thus, the present study investigates on the factors determining the intention of Malaysian
consumers to adopt m-apps as a mean to purchase products and services related to tourism via
their m-devices. The paper is organized into several parts. First we display the past studies
adopted for theoretical models. The following section proposed on the working hypotheses and
the research framework. The methodology, empirical analyses, discussion are followed
thereafter. In the last section, the conclusions, implications, limitations and suggestions for
potential research derived from our study are included.

2. Theoretical models of information technology acceptance


Over the last 20 years, several theoretical models have been constructed to explain adoption
behavior of new information technology (IT) and information system (IS). They mainly centred
around “Technology Acceptance Model (TAM)”, “Theory of Reason Action (TRA)”, “Theory of
Planned Behaviour (TPB)” and “Diffusion of Innovation (DOI)” (Davis, 1989; Fishbein and
Ajzen, 1975; Rogers, 1995). Some of the models have been criticized in view of their limitations.
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Most of the frameworks fail to explain predictive capabilities and was developed using limited
empirical evidences (Chaudhry et al., 2006; Ooi and Tan et al., 2016).The research therefore
decided to adopt the "Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology" (UTAUT) as the
base model (Venkatesh et al., 2003) as they have found to be more superior than existing
frameworks (Venkatesh and Zhang 2010) (see Figure1).
The model consists of "performance expectancy (PE)", "effort expectancy (EE)", "social
influence (SI)" and "facilitating conditions (FC)" and four moderating variables such as gender,
experience, age and voluntariness. UTAUT was developed by integrating previous models
developed from "TAM, TPB, DOI, TRA, PC Utilization (MPTU), motivational model and Social
Cognitive Theory (SCT) and combination of TAM and TPB" (Venkatesh et al., 2003, p. 428-
432). The model was discovered to surpass each of the individual models using results from 215
respondents from four organizations and can interpret consumers’ behavioral intention as much
as 70 percent and about 50 percent in actual use (Holden and Karsh 2010). Recognizing the high
predictive power, the model has been tested in a bigger spectrum of IT/IS applications such as in
mobile shopping, advertising, banking and payment (Yang 2010; Yu 2012; Teo et al., 2015a;
Teo et al., 2015b; Wong et al., 2015c).
The model however is not sufficient to provide much information to m-commerce
practitioners since they only include four constructs and was developed based on organizational
IS. Specifically if there is any prevailing concerns from consumers in the IT/IS adoption(Chan
and Chong, 2013; Chong, 2013b). For example the consumers’ motivation to shop using their
smart phone is also influenced by their psychological characteristics. This is because the buying
behaviour is often grounded from the characteristics of an individual (Leong et al., 2013b; Tan et
al., 2014a). Zimmerman (2013), indicated that 35 percent of m-devices travellers are unlikely to
complete a mobile booking if the apps’ features are complicated. Thus, comprehending the
aspects of consumers’ psychological characteristics is of great importance so that the tourism
related organizations can develop successful mobile marketing strategies. Pedersen (2002)
echoed the sentiments whereby he emphasized that behavioral aspect is important in order for the
adoption to be widespread.
Hence, the framework was extended with psychological related constructs namely mobile
innovativeness in information technology (MIIT), perceived playfulness (PPP), and perceived
expressiveness (PEX) with intention to use (IU) to better reflect the understanding of consumers’
intention concerning the technology. The model also will exclude age, experience, voluntariness

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degree and to only include gender as part of the moderating variable to keep research framework
simple. Based on past literatures conducted on mobile studies in Malaysia, the moderating effect
of gender was found to be inconclusive (Leong et al., 2013a; Tan et al., 2014a, Wong et al.,
2014) and as such gender was retained. The study considers IU than actual behavior as the
applicability of m-apps in tourism is still at the beginning stage in Malaysia which has yet to
receive the necessary attention. As such consumers’ IU is a better measurement than actual
purchase with the indicator widely adopted in many m-commerce studies (Wong et al., 2015b;
Wong et al., 2015c).The adoption of IU was also supported by Wang and Wang (2010) in their
study on mobile hotel reservation in Taiwan, whereby the authors concluded that IU will allow
scholars to investigate consumer’s acceptance in a more meaningful manner. Similarly Tom,
Dieck and Jung (2015) also stressed that tourists have higher motivation to use the application
when they have a favourable attitude. See Figure 2 for the proposed research framework.

3. Hypotheses development for mobile apps


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3.1. Performance expectancy (PE)


PE is “the degree to which an individual believes that using the system will help him or her to
attain gains in job performance” (Venkatesh et al., 2003, p. 447) and is similar with the
usefulness construct from TAM (Wong et al., 2015a). Mobile hotel reservation (MHR) services
for example can help to identify customers’ preferences, routing information more conveniently
and to assist in locating hotel in the vicinity by relying on global positioning system capabilities
(Wang and Wang, 2010). Besides, travel apps such as Trip Advisor, Expedia Hotels, Flight and
Hotels.com, enables consumers to compare prices on flights, book car rentals and
accommodations, access timely and accurate product information within the convenience of
consumers’ homes, 24/7/365. In m-commerce adoption in Macau, PE was also found to be an
important factor (Lai and Lai 2014). When consumers perceived that there are benefits using m-
apps to book for tourism related products and services as opposed to the traditional channels
such as mobile sites (m-sites), this will lead to higher adoption intention. Thus the following
hypothesis has been formulated:

H1: PE has a significant association with IU.

3.2. Effort expectancy (EE)


By using the definition from Venkatesh et al., (2003, p. 450), EE refers to “the degree of ease
associated with the use of the system”. Lu et al. (2009) using 1320 respondents, found that
mobile service is significantly influenced by EE. Chong et al., (2012) argued that mobile
developers sacrifice features and functionalities over simple interface. Mobile scholars in
Malaysia like Leong et al., (2013a) opined that the limited input facilities of m-devices leads to
challenges in payment transactions whereby most m-devices are not optimized for online
payment. Besides, the limited screen size also hinders m-commerce activities (Tan et al., 2012).
M-apps however outperform the use of m-sites since the functions are displayed in one screen
and designed specifically for shopping. When booking can be conducted using a few taps, this
leads to ease of navigation and better customer experience. Consequently this will lead to higher
adoption intention and allows us to propose the following hypothesis:

H2: EE has a significant association with IU.

3.3. Facilitating conditions (FC)


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Venkatesh et al., (2003, p.453) defined FC as the “degree to which an individual believes that an
organizational and technical infrastructure exists to support use of the system”. Lu et al. (2008)
explained that FC comprises of two dimensions namely technology factors (e.g, compatibility
issues) and resources factors (time and money) and must be present to encourage usage based on
their study on wireless mobile data services in China. Escobar-Rodríguez and Carvajal-Trujillo
(2013) access the same relationship on air ticket online purchase in Spain with larger usable
sample size of 1360 and also found that the relationship is significant. Theoretically m-apps may
require some knowledge and ability to operate. While consumers may be willing to adopt m-
apps, the impose limitations such as lack of knowledge, training and technical support may shape
their overall impression and hamper the utilization. The tendency to adopt however will be likely
if the obstacles can be removed and thus this leads us to the next hypothesis:

H3: FC has a significant association with IU.


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3.4. Social influence (SI)


Venkatesh et al., (2003, p.451) described SI as the “degree to which an individual perceives that
important others believe he or she should use the new system”. Taylor and Todd (1995) furthered
composed the construct into the following categories; influence of peers, superiors, interpersonal,
and external influences. The correlation between SI and IU was supported by many empirical
studies conducted on mobile adoption. This includes mobile learning (Tan et al., 2012) and m-
commerce (Chong, 2013a).Tan et al., (2014a) using students as sample found that the decision to
adopt mobile credit card in Malaysia were influenced by family members and friends. Since the
adoption of m-apps to purchase for tourism related products and services is at the emerging stage
of the product life cycle, many will be reluctant to adopt the technology. Hence they will consult
their decisions with the social networks such as family members, friends and even peers when
facing uncertainties. Thus this provides guidance to the following hypothesis being formulated:

H4: SI has a significant association with IU.

3.5. Mobile innovativeness in information technology (MIIT)


According to Yi et al., (2006),innovativeness in IT is an individuals’ personality trait that reflects
the person’s favourable and proactive attitude in experimenting with new technology. As the
traits differs across individuals, this leads to early adopters or laggards in the diffusion of
innovation theory (Rogers, 1995).The likelihood to adopt new IT/IS is greater among individuals
with higher personal innovativeness. Tan et al., (2014a) tested innovativeness in the adoption of
mobile credit card payment, and they found the direct impact of innovativeness and adoption.
Tan et al., (2015) elaborated that the ability to tolerate with the perception of uncertainties is one
reason why consumer with higher innovativeness trait can interact effectively with new
technologies. Individuals with higher innovativeness tend to have a higher understanding of the
subject matter and thus help to reduce the perception of uncertainties (Sim et al., 2014; Tan et
al., 2014b).Since the current research purpose is the adoption of m-apps to purchase tourism
related products and services, we decided to modify the context of innovativeness in IT so as to
be more relevant to the context of mobile studies. Thus, we define MIIT as the attitude and
individual's willingness to experiment with new products and services independently due to the
advancement of m-devices. Hence this provides guidance to the following hypothesis being
formulated:

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H5: MIIT has a significant association with IU.

3.6. Perceived playfulness (PP)


PP refers to the subjective experience of an individual as a result of human-computer interactions
(Moon and Kim 2001).This construct denotes the enjoyment, excitement and pleasure deriving
from utilizing a system and is regarded as an intrinsic motivator. Chong (2013a) in their study on
Chinese consumers explained that the entertainment features is one main reason why m-apps
such as Youku, RenRen and WeiXin were popular in China. Using Taiwanese college students
as sample, Wang et al., (2009) empirically demonstrated that PP has relationship with the
adoption of m-learning. In addition, the findings by Cheong and Park (2005) revealed that when
PP exists, consumers will feel fun interacting with mobile internet and do not realize time elapse.
In this research, we defined PP as a level whereby individuals’ views m-apps as entertaining and
fun. As the adoption of m-apps is used for entertainment and leisure than for work, theoretically,
consumers will have higher intention to adopt as playing with m-apps bring fun filled joy. Thus
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this brings us to the following hypothesis:

H6: PP has a significant association with IU.

3.7. Perceived expressiveness (PEX)


PEX is the expression of a consumer on their identity or emotion (Cassidy et al., 1992). Höflich
and Rössler (2001) commented that m-services can be adopted as a mean to express style,
fashion, personality, image and status. Bhave et al., (2013) in their study on in-app advertising,
explained that m-devices can help to express consumers’ personality due to the personalized and
engaging messages received on their devices. In their study on mobile data services, Pedersen
and Nysveen (2003) argued that PEX is part of the gratification theory and thus should be
considered by mobile developers when designing their marketing services. Thus this brings us to
the following hypothesis:

H7: PEX has a significant association with IU.

3.8. Moderating effect: gender


Past literatures on adoption studies found that men and women shares a different believes about
technology (Clegg and Trayhurn 2000; Chong et al., 2013c) as men are usually risk seeker when
compared to women (Garbarino and Strahilevitz 2004). Drawing from their research,
Venkateshet al.,(2003)suggested than men shows stronger intention for PE whereas EE has
stronger effect among women. The rationale goes to show that men are more task-oriented and
influenced by goal accomplishment when compared to women (Cruzet al., 2010). Venkatesh et
al., (2000) further explained that women are sensitive to others’ perspectives and prefer social
interaction when forming their intention to adopt a new technology. Thus females are reported to
be influenced by subjective norms (Noble et al., 2006).On gender as the moderating effect
between FC and intention, Wong et al., (2014) in their research found support whereby male
consumers rely on FC to help them to achieve their objectives. On another study by Lu et
al.,(2006) on wireless mobile data system, gender moderates the relationship between PIIT and
intention. This could be explained by the set of personalities portrayed by men which is related
to maleness and masculinities such as risk taking and adventurous spirit (Holt and Thompson
2004). Thus they are more receptive to the adoption of new technology. Moreover, the findings
by Odell et al., (2000) revealed that male students prefer to use the World Wide Web frequently
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for leisure activities whereas female students tend to adopt internet for school-related works.
Bhave et al., (2013) also shared the similar sentiments whereby they revealed that male
consumers in India prefer more game-based apps when compared to women. Lastly, men have
difficulties in expressing emotions than women (Notarius and Johnson 1982). This is the result
of gender role expectations whereby expressiveness is viewed as a feminine trait and thus male
should not appear to be expressive (Moore and Haverkamp 1989). Amin (2007) provided
evidences that the intention to adopt SMS banking is stronger for female students for PEX. This
brings us to the following hypothesis:

H8: Gender moderates all relationships among variables in the research framework.

4. Methodology
4.1. Sampling procedure and data collection
The study was conducted between March and May 2014, at three major shopping outlets in
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Prior to the fieldwork, the questionnaires were pre-tested with tourism
professionals to improve on the appropriateness of the wording. As a result, some of the
questions which are ambiguous were modified to improve the clarity of statement. Five research
assistants were hired during this period whereby 600 self-administered questionnaires were given
out using convenience sampling technique. Participants were intercepted and asked politely on
their willingness to complete the survey. Furthermore, they were asked if they own a m-device
with internet access and credit card/debit cards before they were eligible to participate. The
requirements were added as purchasing tourism packages via m-devices requires additional
payment channels and thus with this added criterion, the likelihood to purchase is higher. Only
when the participants agreed and indicated that they have the above items, they were asked to
indicate their choices in the questionnaires. In addition, the respondents were also briefed on the
terminology adopted in the questionnaire and we explained that m-apps in tourism refers to the
general concept of using m-apps in m-devices to purchase for any tourism related products and
services such as transportation, accommodation, food and beverage, travel agencies, reservation
service activities, and cultural, sporting and recreational activities (Ooi, Hooi and Mat Som,
2015). Due to incompleteness and double entries, eventually, only 474 questionnaires were
usable for analysis in this study. Thus the effective rate was 79%.

5. Data analyses
5.1. Sample profile
Table 1 summarized the sample's demographic profile. The distribution of gender consists of
56.1% female while 43.9% are male respondents. The respondents age from 21-25 (34.80%),
from 26-30 (19.2%), from 31-35 (11.2%) while below 20 is (10.8%). In terms of education level,
a large portion of the respondents have a bachelor degree/professional qualification at 57.60%.

<<Insert Table 1>>

5.2. Survey instruments


The seven independent and dependent variables in Table 2 were adapted from existing literatures
and measured using seven-point Likert summated scale. Scores from 1 to 7 were adopted to
indicate the degree of satisfaction among respondents whereby 1 anchored "strongly disagree"
and 7 "strongly agree".

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<<Insert Table 2>>

5.3. Statistical analysis


The analysis of "Partial Least Square-Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM)" utilizing the
Smart-PLS 2.0 software was performed to examine the theoretical framework shown in Figure 2,
where the bootstrapping approach was applied with 474 cases, 5000 sub-samples and individual
sign changes to obtain inference statistics (Hair et al., 2011; Okazaki et al., 2012). The sample
size fulfilled the criteria of 1:10 ratio, which enables PLS-SEM analysis to be conducted
(Marcoulides and Saunders, 2006; Hair et al., 2010). The PLS-SEM method enables to uncover
predictive causal relationships between variables in the conceptual model rather than
confirmation of an established theory (Dedeke, 2016). Thus the method is suitable for studies
that focuses on the extension of existing structural theory (Rasoolimanesh et al., 2015; Wang,
Lee and Hua, 2015). In addition, the proposed approach has the ability to be flexible when
examining the multifaceted constructs with numerous indicators (Olalere, 2013; Ooi and Tan,
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2016). Additionally, the technique does not require multivariate normal distribution to be
achieved (Chin, Marcolin, and Newsted, 2003). With fewer restrictions on the distributional
structure of the data, the PLS-SEM is suitable for handling complex model (Ringle, Sarstedt and
Straub, 2012). As the purpose of the research is not on the estimation of the model fitness but in
particular to maximize the explained variance in predicting the IU (Hew and Kadir, 2016), PLS-
SEM was preferred over other covariance-based SEM (Lee, et al., 2014).

5.3.1. Common method bias (CMB)


As it is possible the existence of common method bias as the data were gathered using single
respondents, it is therefore vital to perform the Harman’s single factor test. As regarded strongly
by Delerue and Lejeune (2010) that as a single factor is reported to be less than 50 percent. Since
the results generated based on the extraction method of principal axis factoring that the single
factor is 38.23 percent, of which is below 50%. Thus it can be concluded that the issue pertaining
to CMB is not significant. The study also corroborated the results by examining the correlation
matrix of the constructs in Table 4. In the event that common method bias exists, the correlations
are higher than 0.90 (Kim, Kim and Wachter, 2013). The highest correlation is 0.7883 which
indicates that CMB is not an issue. The study also includes the procedural remedies suggested by
Podsakoff et al., (2003) such as informing participants that there is no correct or incorrect
answers, providing clear instructions and guaranteeing respondent anonymity to minimize the
impact.

5.3.2. Evaluation of measurement model


To examine the measurement model, in which the correlations between the latent variables and
their corresponding indicators are tested, one needs to perform the composite reliability test,
convergent validity test as well as discriminant validity test. According to Jiang et al. (2013, p.
203), convergent validity is “an indication of the extent to which assessment measures correlate
with other measures that it should be related”. To assess the convergent validity of each item
with respect to their related construct, factor loading analysis was carried out, in which the
loading of each item has to be greater than 0.50 (Fornell and Larcker 1981). At the same time, as
determined by Kline (1998), convergent validity can also be assessed using average variance
extracted (AVE), in which the AVE values should also be greater than 0.50. Table 3 reported
that the AVEs for all constructs were above 0.50 (i.e. PE = 0.7142; EE = 0.7514; FC = 0.6381;

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SI = 0.6268; MIIT = 0.7042; PP= 0.6925; PEX = 0.7220; and IU = 0.8302). At the same time,
Table 3 confirms again that reasonable convergent validity was achieved as all items in each
construct achieved a value that exceeds 0.50. From such results, we can safely conclude that
reasonable convergent validity was achieved. In accordance to Gefen et al., (2011), composite
reliability needs to be performed on every construct, in which it needs to exceed the
recommended value of 0.70 and above. The composite reliability values shown in Table3 are as
follows: PE = 0.9090; EE = 0.9236; FC = 0.8757; SI = 0.8702; MIIT = 0.9049; PP = 0.9184;
PEX = 0.9120; and IU = 0.9362, which affirms that the composite reliability of every variableis
above the 0.70 threshold. In addition, Table 3 demonstrates that all Cronbach’s alpha for all
reflective items surpassed the suggested threshold of 0.70 proposed by Nunnally and Bernstein
(1994) indicating that reliability has been achieved for the measurement model.

<<Insert Table 3>>


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On discriminant validity analysis, it is described by Thong (2001, p.152) as “the degree to which
items differentiate between variables” and it can be investigated by “comparing the level of
square root of AVE and the correlation between any two constructs” as described by Deng et al.,
(2014, p. 218). As pre-determined by Deng et al., (2014, p.218), our results shown in Table 4
confirmed that “the square roots of the AVEs of each construct were larger than their
corresponding correlation coefficients with other factors”. Furthermore, as mentioned by Hair et
al. (2010), the discriminant validity test is also to ensure that the correlation values between
independent variables is lesser than 0.90 as set by Hair et al., (2010) in order to avoid multi
collinearity problem. As further proven from Table 4, the highest correlation coefficient value is
between PEX and MIIT, which is0.7883, however this value is still smaller than the 0.90
threshold set. Table 4 solidly affirms that the discriminant validity of the measurement model is
achieved. Additionally, the loadings and cross-loadings show that every item is load highly with
their corresponding latent constructs (see Appendix A) and thus we can conclude that the
discriminant validity has been achieved.

<<Insert Table 4>>

5.3.3. Structural model analysis


Table 5 portrays the findings from the hypotheses testing for Figure 2. Findings have proven that
54.15percent of the variation in IU can be explained by PE, EE, FC, SI, MIIT, PP, and PEX.
Therefore, it has been proven that the modified UTAUT model is applicable in the mobile apps
setting. Additionally, findings from the PLS-SEM established that intention to use m-apps was
significantly affected by EE (β = 0.1823, ρ<0.01), FC (β = 0.1574, ρ<0.01), SI (β = 0.1153,
ρ<0.05), MIIT (β = 0.1874, ρ<0.01), and PP (β = 0.1204, ρ<0.01), in which the strongest
influential factor is MIIT. Therefore, H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6 are supported. However, H1 and
H7 were not supported as findings confirmed both PE (β = 0.1003, ρ>0.05) and PEX (β =
0.0930, ρ>0.05) are insignificantly related with the intention to use m-apps.

<<Insert Table 5>>

To determine gender as the moderator on the seven determinants influencing IU m-apps, PLS-
SEM analysis was performed, in which Table 6 reports the results. Based on the findings, we

9
found that gender has no moderating effect on PE, EE, FC, MIIT, PP and PEX. However, gender
significantly and negatively moderates the relationship between SI and BI (β = -0.1230, ρ < 0.01)
for Malaysian consumers. In this context, social influence predicts that men have a stronger
negative relations with the intention to use of mobile Apps in comparison to women.

<<Insert Table 6>>

6. Discussion
The present study revealed that m-apps intention to adopt is non-significant between PE and
consumers’ intention. The result is similar based on a comparative study conducted by Chong et
al., (2012) between Malaysia and China whereby usefulness was revealed to have no significant
relationship with the intention to adopt m-commerce. The benefits may not necessary translate to
advantages in job performance as travelling is only done occasionally. EE is another important
factor in this study. The result indicates that consumers give emphasis on the ‘easy to use’
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features. The study corroborates with the findings by Chong (2013a) in China, whereby the main
reasons for consumers’ adoption is due to the easiness of the functions. The finding is not
surprising since most m-apps features are user friendly and well-designed. SI on the other hand is
another predictor of m-apps adoption. The result is similar with the findings by a Malaysian
researcher whereby they discovered that young Malaysian users are easily influenced by friends,
colleagues and mass-media in the mobile adoption studies (Teo et al., 2012; Leong et al., 2013a).
FC is also revealed as another factor affecting intention formation. The finding is in line with
that of the study on m-TV in Malaysia (Wong et al., 2014). Similarly, FC was also proven to be
significant with the intention to adopt m-commerce in Macau using 219 sample sizes (Lai and
Lai 2014). The finding is not surprising since most apps available are equipped with FAQ and
technical supports. There is evidence that supports the prediction of intention with MIIT. The
study agrees with the finding by Tan et al., (2014a) in Malaysia whereby they found that the
intention to adopt mobile credit card can be predicted by MIIT. This shows that majority of the
consumers are bold, venturesome and are willing to experiment with new innovations. The study
however does not support the findings of PEX in predicting intention whereby consumers do not
view PEX as a form of an expression to differentiate between individuals. According to a study
on the adoption of mobile phones credit card in Malaysia, it was revealed that consumers are not
influenced by PEX (Amin, 2008). One possible explanation is that the m-apps are designed to
provide convenience and therefore consumers adopt to ease their task performance rather than to
impress their friends or as a mean to express image, personality, fashion or style. PP is another
predictor of m-apps adoption. The outcome is consistent with previous findings by Cheong and
Park (2005) in Korea on the acceptance of mobile internet. The finding is not surprised in view
of the existence of the entertainment and enjoyment elements in some of the tourism apps and
thus leads to the enjoyment experienced among consumers. In terms of moderating variable, PE,
EE, FC, MIIT, PEX and, PP were not significantly moderated by gender. The finding is similar
with the study on m-TV in Malaysia whereby the effect of PE,EE, FC and intention has no
significant differences between genders (Wong et al., 2014). Tan et al., (2014a) in the study on
mobile credit card also revealed that gender is non-significant with MIIT and intention.Similarly,
Terzis and Economides (2011) also found that the intention to adopt computer based assessment
is non-significant among genders. The study however contradicts with the study by Amin (2007)
whereby PEX is moderated by gender in the intention to adopt mobile banking. Interestingly, the
relationship between SI and intention is moderated by gender. The study however contradicts

10
with findings by Borrero et al., (2014) on social network sites and Zhang et al., (2010) on the
study on mobile search technology.

7. Implications
The study has several useful implications for researchers, mobile apps developers, travel related
organizations and even government departments when rendering m-apps services and
disseminating information to their potential consumers. From the theoretical perspective the
study gathered samples by combining two different models namely UTAUT and psychology
science constructs. We believe the integrated model will enrich our understanding on the factors
crucial to m-apps adoption which is currently limited. Hence this contributes to the scare
academic literatures on m-apps in tourism from an emerging market perspective. In terms of
managerial implications, the results can be used as a benchmark for other emerging and South
East Asian countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei and Philippines
which also have a m-device penetration rate of above 100 percent (SKMM, 2015). Firstly
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practitioners should consider EE especially when designing their advertising campaigns. The
navigation system and menu should be crafted such that the easiness when browsing and
accessing the apps could prevail. Considering that SI is equally important, opinion of friends,
family members, mass-medias’ matters, thus SI can be implemented by integrating a sharing
button in the apps software with social network sites. Regarding FC, practitioners must provide
adequate resources and support for consumers. This may include toll free customer care
numbers, SMS and WhatsApp support, active presence in social sites, emails supports,
workshop, when consumers encountered problem. As most m-devices incorporate the capability
to play back video, audio and since PP is an important construct in this study, practitioners
should include the entertainment elements in the apps as part of their marketing campaigns. This
could include background music, flash icons and cartoon animations. Consideration should also
be given to MIIT. When introducing new innovations, specific promotion methods and
incentives should be designed to attract innovators since their purchase behavior is different from
non-innovators. On the moderating effect of gender, since male users based their decision
making on SI, gender customized marketing approach should be adopted for the needs of this
segment market. As PE does not have any significant influence on IU, practitioners should give
less emphasis on the usefulness elements in their integrated marketing communication initiatives.
Similarly, practitioners should also reduce their resources in developing up-to-date and
personalized services according to user identities since PEX has no significant role in motivating
consumers. Yang (2013) further suggested to avoid 'vanity appeals' when crafting any mobile
marking strategies.

8. Limitation and future studies


Although thorough considerations have been taken, there are several limitations that may warrant
future research. The study surveyed at major shopping malls in Klang Valley, Malaysia.
Cautious therefore should be exercised when generalizing the studies. Future scholars are
strongly encouraged to compare the studies using different national subcultures. Another
limitation is that our study only includes gender as a moderating variable. Other social-
demographic variables e.g., occupation, education, income, marital status should be considered
for approaching research whereby this will lead to a more thorough result. The study also only
takes into consideration the general concept of using m-apps to purchase for any tourism related
products and services without taking into consideration the price level. In view of this limitation

11
future scholars can consider conducting a comparative study from the view point of high-
involvement and low-involvement purchases. Lastly the study only combined two different
viewpoints namely IS field and psychology and as such the R2 can only explained about 54.15%
of the model. There are other antecedents e.g., government support, service quality and perceived
value that might be adopted in order to enhance the statistical power of the findings. However
they were neglected to keep the framework simple. Thus, in order to add richness, additional
research can place emphasis on the additional constructs in helping to provide results that can be
generalizable across Malaysia.

9. Conclusion
M-apps have changed the way consumers’ shop, whereby the location and the atmospheric of
bricks-and-mortar stores have become less importance to attract consumers. The study
contributes by providing a better explanation among the consumers in Malaysia BI to adopt m-
apps for purchasing tourism related products and services. Thus, the study will be useful for
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mobile developers, tourism related organizations and even government agencies in helping them
to promote m-apps as the preferred medium to purchasing online and when formulating
appropriate strategies.

Acknowledgement
This is a revised version of a paper presented at the Technology, Innovation, and Industrial
Management (TIIM) conference, Seoul National University of Science and Technology (Seoul
Tech), Seoul, South Korea, 27-31 May 2014 by Garry Wei-Han Tan, Voon-Hsien Lee and Keng-
BoonOoi. In addition, this research is supported by the UTAR Research Fund (UTARRF) grant,
under the project number IPSR/RMC/UTARRF/2013-C2/GO2.

12
Appendix A

Loadings and Cross-Loadings


BI EE FC MIIT PE PEX PP SI
BI1 0.9155 0.5654 0.5391 0.5791 0.5258 0.5596 0.4186 0.5239
BI2 0.9042 0.5561 0.521 0.4926 0.5285 0.4754 0.3848 0.4906
BI3 0.9138 0.5404 0.5349 0.5278 0.5262 0.5295 0.4129 0.5017
EE1 0.5040 0.856 0.5251 0.4188 0.5928 0.4244 0.3663 0.3992
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EE2 0.5474 0.8676 0.5098 0.4254 0.6105 0.4570 0.3882 0.4820


EE3 0.5494 0.8810 0.5667 0.4471 0.6565 0.4689 0.3803 0.5213
EE4 0.5044 0.8625 0.5645 0.4307 0.6222 0.4355 0.3629 0.4715
FC1 0.4657 0.5093 0.8063 0.4290 0.4485 0.4001 0.2443 0.4053
FC2 0.4532 0.5311 0.8358 0.4435 0.4685 0.4430 0.2794 0.3725
FC3 0.4702 0.4527 0.7545 0.4389 0.4510 0.4064 0.2356 0.3741
FC4 0.4732 0.5011 0.7964 0.4598 0.5030 0.4141 0.3528 0.4829
MIIT1 0.4187 0.3904 0.4415 0.8337 0.3780 0.7061 0.1846 0.3878
MIIT2 0.4235 0.3980 0.4215 0.8230 0.3689 0.7011 0.2140 0.4405
MIIT3 0.5109 0.4198 0.4578 0.8750 0.4187 0.6456 0.2903 0.4352
MIIT4 0.5786 0.4475 0.5230 0.8238 0.4391 0.6147 0.3662 0.4698
PE1 0.5064 0.6020 0.5413 0.4311 0.8416 0.4854 0.4339 0.4569
PE2 0.4871 0.5982 0.4790 0.3974 0.8626 0.4297 0.3725 0.4504
PE3 0.4635 0.5886 0.4465 0.3251 0.8345 0.3773 0.3208 0.4249
PE4 0.4950 0.6314 0.5108 0.4718 0.8414 0.4726 0.3715 0.4888
PEX1 0.4855 0.4392 0.4295 0.6421 0.4377 0.8650 0.2690 0.4648
PEX2 0.4529 0.4066 0.4302 0.6747 0.4209 0.8981 0.2781 0.4567
PEX3 0.4790 0.4628 0.4556 0.6686 0.4424 0.8456 0.2600 0.4831
PEX4 0.5198 0.4364 0.4482 0.6841 0.4697 0.7862 0.3175 0.4743
PP1 0.4137 0.3807 0.2864 0.2775 0.4078 0.2962 0.8488 0.4382
PP2 0.3620 0.3517 0.3088 0.2976 0.3569 0.3196 0.8619 0.4255
PP3 0.3676 0.3791 0.3164 0.2633 0.3616 0.2604 0.8346 0.3819
PP4 0.3128 0.2961 0.2177 0.1296 0.3139 0.1177 0.7864 0.3077
PP5 0.3848 0.3805 0.3127 0.3637 0.3987 0.3639 0.8272 0.4022
SI1 0.4771 0.4597 0.4276 0.4759 0.4924 0.4975 0.3366 0.8041
SI2 0.4339 0.4102 0.4695 0.4893 0.4208 0.5341 0.2985 0.7972
SI3 0.4597 0.4155 0.3482 0.3719 0.3994 0.3805 0.4749 0.8247
SI4 0.3784 0.4332 0.3805 0.2945 0.3897 0.3338 0.3939 0.7383
Note: IU = Intention to adopt; EE = Effort expectancy; EJ = Perceived enjoyment; FC = Facilitating conditions; PE = Perceived expectancy; PIIT
= Perceived innovativeness in information technology; SI = Social influence

13
Acknowledgments (if applicable):
This is a revised version of a paper presented at the Technology, Innovation, and Industrial Management (TIIM)
conference, Seoul National University of Science and Technology (Seoul Tech), Seoul, South Korea, 27-31 May
2014 by Garry Wei-Han Tan, Voon-Hsien Lee and Keng- Boon Ooi. In addition, this research is supported by the
UTAR Research Fund (UTARRF) grant, under the project number IPSR/RMC/UTARRF/2013-C2/GO2.

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Biographical Details

Garry Wei-Han Tan is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Business and Finance, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman,
Malaysia. He obtained his Master of Science in Management from University of Edinburgh, UK, in 2008 and in 2005 a
Bachelor degree in Economics (Hons) from University of Malaya, Malaysia. He also holds two insurance diplomas
with Honors from LOMA Society, USA. Currently, he is also the SiRC visiting scholar at Wee Kim Wee School of
Communication and Information, Nanyang Technology University, Singapore. Email: garrytanweihan@gmail.com

Lee Voon Hsien is a Senior Lecturer at University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR). She obtained her Bachelor Degree
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in Business & Commerce from the Monash University, Malaysia in 2005. She continued her scholarly endeavours in
2007 with a Master Degree in Business from the same university, Australia in 2007 and is completing her Doctor of
Philosophy (PhD) from UTAR, Malaysia. She has published numerous papers in international refereed journals of
which some are ranked by Thomson Reuters (ISI). She had received several research awards, which include Best
Paper Award, Highly Cited paper and Most Downloaded paper, to name a few. Email: leevoonhsien@gmail.com

Binshan Lin is the BellSouth Corporation Professor at Louisiana State University in Shreveport. He received his PhD
from the Louisiana State University. He is a nine-time recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award at LSUS. He has
published over 270 papers in refereed journals. Email: Binshan.Lin@lsus.edu

Keng-Boon Ooi is a Professor at the Faculty of Business & Information Science, UCSI University, Malaysia. He has
published over 90 articles in international refereed journals. Email: ooikengboon@gmail.com

Figure 1: UTAUT

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Figure 2: Proposed Research Framework

Table 1: Demographic Profile of Respondents


Item Frequency Percent
Gender Male 208 43.9
Female 266 56.1
Age Below 20 51 10.8
21 – 25 165 34.8
26 – 30 91 19.2
31 – 35 53 11.2
36-40 60 12.7
Above 40 54 11.4
Highest education level No college degree 74 15.6
Diploma/Advanced diploma 71 15.0
Bachelor degree/Professional qualification 273 57.6
Postgraduate qualification 56 11.8
Respondent Industry Banking 53 11.2
Financial Institutions 53 11.2
IT related 46 9.7
Manufacturing 22 4.6
Retail 38 8.0
Telecommunication 22 4.6
Tourism 8 1.7
Education 44 9.3
Others 188 39.7

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Table 2: Questionnaire Source and Number of Items
Constructs Number of Sources
Items
Performance Expectancy (PE) 4 Venkatesh et al. (2003)
Effort Expectancy (EE) 4 Venkatesh et al. (2003)
Facilitating Conditions (FC) 4 Venkatesh et al. (2003)
Social Influence (SI) 4 Venkatesh et al. (2003)
Mobile Innovativeness in Information Technology 4 Tan et al. (2014a)
(MIIT)
Perceived Playfulness (PP) 5 Cheong and Park (2005);
Tan and Chou (2008)
Perceived Expressiveness (PEX) 4 Yang (2013)
Intention to use (IU) 3 Tan et al. (2014a)
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Table 3: Validity & Reliability Tests


Composite Cronbach’s
Mean SD Items Loadings AVE Reliability Alpha
Performance
Expectancy (PE) 0.7142 0.9090 0.8666
5.0570 1.2788 PE1 0.8416
5.0042 1.2269 PE2 0.8626
5.0802 1.2980 PE3 0.8345
5.0443 1.3578 PE4 0.8414
Effort Expectancy (EE) 0.7514 0.9236 0.8897
5.0781 1.3039 EE1 0.8560
5.0970 1.2838 EE2 0.8676
5.2257 1.2379 EE3 0.8810
5.2173 1.2343 EE4 0.8625
Facilitating Conditions
(FC) 0.6381 0.8757 0.8103
4.8460 1.4155 FC1 0.8063
4.8734 1.3797 FC2 0.8358
5.0738 1.3751 FC3 0.7545
5.0380 1.3432 FC4 0.7964
Social Influence (SI) 0.6268 0.8702 0.8014
4.5675 1.5085 SI1 0.8041
4.6793 1.5231 SI2 0.7972
4.2637 1.5069 SI3 0.8247
4.5084 1.5364 SI4 0.7383
Mobile Innovativeness
in Information
Technology (MIIT) 0.7042 0.9049 0.8616
4.8165 1.5312 MIIT1 0.8337
4.7722 1.5493 MIIT2 0.8230
4.6793 1.4477 MIIT3 0.8750
4.7004 1.4434 MIIT4 0.8238
Perceived Playfulness
(PP) 0.6925 0.9184 0.8890
4.5127 1.5128 PP1 0.8488
4.4262 1.5263 PP2 0.8619
4.6477 1.5430 PP3 0.8346
4.1371 1.6322 PP4 0.7864
4.1456 1.6418 PP5 0.8272

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Perceived
Expressiveness (PEX) 0.7220 0.9120 0.8707
4.9662 1.5037 PEX1 0.8650
4.9388 1.5063 PEX2 0.8981
4.9641 1.5155 PEX3 0.8456
4.7384 1.4094 PEX4 0.7862
Intention to use (IU) 0.8302 0.9362 0.8978
4.9346 1.2997 IU1 0.9155
4.9156 1.3043 IU2 0.9042
4.9916 1.2508 IU3 0.9138
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Table 4: Discriminant Validity Test/Latent Variable Correlations


Mean SD IU EE FC MIIT PE PEX PP SI
IU 4.9472 1.1709 0.9112
EE 5.1545 1.0964 0.6081 0.8668
FC 4.9578 1.1006 0.5837 0.6244 0.7988
MIIT 4.7421 1.2557 0.5862 0.4968 0.5550 0.8392
PE 5.0464 1.0903 0.5781 0.7163 0.5864 0.4826 0.8451
PEX 4.9019 1.2614 0.5734 0.5157 0.5210 0.7883 0.5237 0.8497
PP 4.3738 1.3068 0.4453 0.4323 0.3487 0.3257 0.4448 0.3329 0.8322
SI 4.5047 1.2020 0.5550 0.5420 0.5128 0.5200 0.5393 0.5550 0.4737 0.7917
Notes: IU = Intention to use; PE = Performance Expectancy; EE = Effort Expectancy; FC = Facilitating Conditions; SI = Social Influence; PEX =
Perceived Expressiveness; PP = Perceived Playfulness; MIIT = Mobile Innovativeness in Information Technology; Diagonal elements (bold) are
the square root of the AVE for each construct. Off-diagonal factors demonstrate the inter-correlations.

Table 5: Hypotheses Testing Results using PLS-SEM


Original Sample Standard Standard T-Statistics
Sample Mean Deviation Error (|O/STERR|)
(O) (M) (STDEV) (STERR) Remarks
PE! IU 0.1003 0.1061 0.0644 0.0644 1.5565 Not Supported
! IU
EE! 0.1823 0.1826 0.0663 0.0663 2.7510** Supported
! IU
FC! 0.1574 0.1578 0.0545 0.0545 2.8886** Supported
! IU
SI! 0.1153 0.1140 0.0470 0.0470 2.4523* Supported
PEX! IU 0.0930 0.0965 0.0545 0.0545 1.7061 Not Supported
! IU
PP! 0.1204 0.1213 0.0452 0.0452 2.6656** Supported
MIIT!! IU 0.1874 0.1870 0.0585 0.0585 3.2022** Supported
Note: **p-value < 0.01; *p-value < 0.05; R2 = 0.5415; PE = Performance Expectancy; EE = Effort Expectancy;
FC = Facilitating Conditions; SI = Social Influence; PEX = Perceived Expressiveness; PP = Perceived Playfulness; MIIT = Mobile
Innovativeness in Information Technology; IU = Intention to use

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Table 6: PLS Results with Moderator (Gender)
Original Sample Standard Standard T-Statistics Remarks
Sample (O) Mean (M) Deviation Error (|O/STERR|)
(STDEV) (STERR)
PE! IU 0.0942 0.0093 0.0601 0.0601 1.5440 Not supported
EE ! IU 0.1723 0.1691 0.0648 0.0648 2.6588** Supported
FC ! IU 0.1552 0.1564 0.0529 0.0529 2.9317** Supported
SI ! IU 0.1097 0.1078 0.0453 0.0453 2.4222* Supported
PEX! IU 0.0754 0.0847 0.0526 0.0526 1.4336 Not supported
PP ! IU 0.1413 0.1367 0.0445 0.0445 3.1752** Supported
MIIT ! IU 0.1138 0.1084 0.0654 0.0654 1.7410 Not Supported
GD ! IU -0.3316 -0.3847 0.2221 0.2221 1.4926 Not supported
PE x GD ! IU -0.0237 -0.0560 0.0402 0.0402 0.5901 Not supported
EE x GD ! IU 0.0016 0.0521 0.0385 0.0385 0.0408 Not supported
FC x GD ! IU -0.0319 -0.0491 0.0358 0.0358 0.8908 Not supported
SI x GD ! IU
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-0.1230 -0.1191 0.0457 0.0457 2.6898** Supported


PEX x GD ! IU -0.0396 -0.0615 0.0436 0.0436 0.9084 Not supported
PP x GD ! IU 0.0739 0.0737 0.0486 0.0486 1.5212 Not supported
MIIT x GD ! IU 0.03641 0.4175 0.02324 0.02324 1.5669 Not supported
Note:**p-value < 0.01; *p-value < 0.05; ns = non-significant; R2 = 0.5552 (Intention); Gender was coded as 0 = Female; 1 = Male; PE =
Performance Expectancy; EE = Effort Expectancy; FC = Facilitating Conditions; SI = Social Influence; PEX = Perceived Expressiveness; PP =
Perceived Playfulness; MIIT = Mobile Innovativeness in Information Technology; IU = Intention to use

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