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Title: Cultural models in HCI : Hofstede, affordance and technology acceptance
Author: Oshlyansky, Lidia
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2007
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There are many models of culture available to Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) researchers and industry sector practitioners that could potentially help in tackling the challenge of designing across cultures. Models by Hall and Hofstede (investigated in this thesis) among others, are used by the HCI community to shape research, frame research findings and inform design. However, very limited information is available that proves the applicability of these models to the field. There is currently no large scale, multi-country study that addresses the suitability and applicability of cultural models to the topical areas covered by HCI. The consequence of this lack of validated applicability is that the community, due to a lack of tools or knowledge, have to rely on guesswork or rules of thumb when tackling cross-cultural research and design. The research described here sets out to investigate when cultural models can be applied and to which HCI topics. This thesis explores the relationship and applicability of Hofstede's cultural model to two HCI topics which span Ito and Nakakoji's (1996) model of cultural impact on interaction. These two topics are cross-cultural affordance and cross-cultural technology acceptance. The thesis contingently also looks at the viability of doing cross-cultural research by using standardised tools and measures. The first study described here was a research project exploring the differences in affordances between two cultures and how or if Hofstede's cultural model could be applied to explain the findings of this study. The results from the affordance study showed that cultural differences do exist at the affordance level of interaction. However, Hofstede's cultural model could not help explain HCI at the lower end of Ito and Nakakoji's cultural influence model, at the level of affordance. The affordance study also provided useful insight into the questionnaire method used for gathering data in the second, larger scale project on technology acceptance. The second study which focused on cross-cultural technology acceptance, at the high end of Ito and Nakakoji's model, was a large scale, multinational, exploratory study. It investigated how Hofstede's cultural model could assist in understanding cross-cultural differences in technology acceptance as expressed when using websites. The research sought to understand how and if Hofstede's cultural model as measured by the Value Survey Module (VSM) would correlate with website acceptance as measured by the Unified Theory Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT). Both models were measured using questionnaires in 11 countries and 6 different languages. Results of this second study showed that Hofstede's model was not helpful at the higher end of Ito and Nakakoji's cultural influence model. Indeed the results cast doubt as to the validity of Hofstede's model as measured by the VSM while validating the use of the UTAUT cross-culturally.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available