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Title: The adoption of Internet technology among general practitioners in KwaZulu-Natal
Authors: Jones, Joanne 
Keywords: Pharmaceutical industry;Physicians (General practice)--South Africa--KwaZulu-Natal;Internet in medicine--South Africa--KwaZulu-Natal;Internet marketing;Drugs--Internet marketing
Issue Date: 2008
The pharmaceutical industry is in the midst of a fundamental transformation.
Time and cost constraints are forcing marketers to search for new ways to
maintain and grow brand awareness. The amount of time that doctors allow
for representatives to market their products is becoming less and less and as
a result products are not getting the exposure they used to. Organisations
that find innovative ways to maintain exposure of their products may gain a
competitive advantage over those organisations that rely on traditional
marketing methods. The prolific increase in the use of the internet may
provide pharmaceutical organisations with a complementary channel to
market their products.
The objective of this study is to determine the levels of internet technology
adoption among general practitioners. The Technology Acceptance Model
(TAM) is one of the most influential research models in studies of the
determinants of information systems/ information technology (IS/IT)
acceptance. In TAM, perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use are
hypothesised and empirically supported as fundamental determinants of user
acceptance of a given IS/IT.
Using TAM, this study sets out to determine general practitioners’ intention to
use the internet as a source of pharmaceutical information. The literature
review provides an extensive evaluation on the development of TAM and its
application in different technologies. Based on these findings, the researcher
developed this study to investigate internet technology acceptance in the
pharmaceutical industry.
Use is made of the descriptive survey method and data is retrieved from a
sample of 105 general practitioners in Kwazulu-Natal. The observation is
made via the benefit of a questionnaire. The process of sampling is that of
convenient sampling. The analysis is quantitative and makes use of statistical
analysis appropriate for the data.
Analysis of the survey results produces useful insights into the factors
influencing internet technology adoption by general practitioners. When
analysing the independent variables, respondents were not in strong
agreement about the perceived usefulness nor the perceived ease of use of
internet technology as a source of pharmaceutical information. However,
positive results from the relationships between the independent (perceived
usefulness and perceived ease of use) and dependent variables (attitude and
intention to use) provide valuable data with which organisations may develop
internet-based marketing strategies.
Based on the survey findings, recommendations using the Beynon-Davies
(2004) Internet Adoption Model are suggested.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Business Studies Unit, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2008.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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