The adoption of an electronic booking (E-booking) system for the container booking process in the maritime supply chain

  • F Zeng

    Student thesis: PhD Thesis


    Information systems (IS) have been playing increasingly crucial roles in supporting the smooth running of maritime supply chain operations. Inter-organisational information systems (IOIS) have been suggested for use in this context to increase data visibility and working efficiency. However, the degree of acceptance of such systems within the maritime servicing chain remains varied, and the overall adoption rate is low, which motivated this research. This study aims to understand the adoption of IOIS in the form of container e-booking systems by organisations in the maritime supply chain, from three aspects: the actual container booking process, the factors affecting the adoption intention of organisations in the maritime supply chain, and the different extents of the impact of the factors identified over organisations across multiple tiers in the chain. An inductive, qualitative approach was employed, incorporating multiple research methods. Data collection utilised several sources, including archives, semi-structured interviews, and informal conversations with thirty organisations in the maritime supply chain. Data were analysed with open coding, axial coding and theoretical coding. The results show that the current container booking process is complex, due to the involvement of multiple organisations in the maritime supply chain. Further, the adoption of IOIS is largely affected by factors such as the system’s information confidentiality, supply chain trade partners’ pressure, governmental pressure, and the ownership structure of the organisation. Furthermore, these factors have varying degrees of impact across the organisational tiers of the maritime supply chain. For example, information confidentiality mainly influences the adoption intention of forwarders, whereas shipping lines and shippers pay relatively less attention to it. This study makes several contributions. First, with analysis at the chain level, it contributes to the stream of literature on innovation adoption, which constantly investigates the diffusion of innovations at the individual and/or the organisational level. From this comes the identification of factors with degrees of impact on organisations across multiple tiers in the chain. Second, this research extends the intention-based innovation adoption theories, by unveiling crucial factors affecting the adoption of IOIS in a specific context, eg, information confidentiality. Third, this study contributes to the body of literature on IS adoption in the context of the maritime supply chain, a limited and fragmented body of work. Lastly, this study also shows implications adopting an IOIS, for practitioners including managers from system developers and shipping lines, forwarders, and shippers to better understand the adoption of an e-booking system. More specifically, organisations that might develop and promote IOIS in this context need to consider the diffusion of such innovations at a chain level, with the main stakeholders included.
    Date of Award8 Jul 2021
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Univerisity of Nottingham
    SupervisorHing Kai Chan (Supervisor)


    • Inter-organisational information systems (IOIS)
    • electronic booking (e-booking) system
    • innovation diffusion
    • adoption intention
    • technology-organisation-environment (TOE) framewor

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