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International diffusion of digital innovations: mapping the mobile telephony of the Arab States

Shihanah Mohammad AlMutairi (College of Business Arts and Social Sciences, Brunel University , Uxbridge, UK)
Dorothy Yen (College of Business Arts and Social Sciences, Brunel University , Uxbridge, UK)

The Bottom Line

ISSN: 0888-045X

Article publication date: 13 November 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to measure the Arab States? innovation and imitation levels to understand the factors affecting their diffusion processes. The authors argue that sampling Arab States provides the literature on international diffusion with the ability to contrast between developing and developed countries regarding the diffusion process and to represent a different region with different characteristics both economic and cultural. As such, the authors investigated the diffusion patterns of seven Arab States, namely, Kuwait, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Iraq, Libya and Egypt.

Design/methodology/approach

The present study mapped the respective Arab States’ diffusion patterns by applying the Bass model on their mobile cellular subscriptions data.

Findings

The paper’s contributions include estimating the Arab States diffusion patterns and distinguishing them according to their innovation and imitation coefficients. Findings indicate Kuwait and Libya as the most innovative countries, whereas Egypt and Lebanon ranked as laggards. The present study also reviewed each Arab State’s telecommunication sector which provided a theoretical interpretation for the differences found in their diffusion patterns.

Originality/value

The paper extends diffusion theory to encompass a region otherwise excluded from the literature’s generalizable findings. The present study’s sampling of countries from the Middle East and North African region and subsequent findings provide a stronger basis to draw empirical generalizations about international product diffusion process than previously suggested by the literature.

Keywords

Citation

AlMutairi, S.M. and Yen, D. (2017), "International diffusion of digital innovations: mapping the mobile telephony of the Arab States", The Bottom Line, Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 310-329. https://doi.org/10.1108/BL-08-2017-0020

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited