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Azza Tawil

DBA Graduate - 2017

Thesis title

What Are the Factors Which Influence Consumers’ Intentions to Buy Ebooks? An Application of an Extended Decomposed Theory of Planned Behavior


Francois Desmoulins-Lebeault
Rana Jisr

After completing her DEA from Saint Joseph University in Lebanon in 2005, with a focus on marketing and management, Azza pursued a long career in the publishing field, where she has served for the past 11.5 years as the publishing and marketing director at All Prints Distributors and Publishers, a leading publishing house in the Arab World. She has recently published a chapter based on her DBA thesis in a book published by Nova Publishers in the US. She lives with her husband and daughter.

Purpose: With the proliferation of ebooks as a potential substitute to print books, it is important for publishers to understand the factors driving readers’ intentions to buy trade ebooks, i.e. non-academic ebooks volitionally used for the purpose of reading. This study aims at providing this understanding through the application of an extended Decomposed Theory of Planned Behavior (DTPB). Design/Methodology/Approach: Using convenience sampling, a quantitative methodology was applied. 493 responses were collected at major Lebanese universities, and analyzed using Partial Least Squares in Structural Equation Modeling as the statistical method. Findings: In addition to confirming the relationships existing in the original DTPB, results revealed a significant relationship between: 1) Self-Identity Expressiveness and attitude; 2) Enjoyment and attitude; 3) Direct Sensory Aesthetics and attitude; 4) Descriptive beliefs of referents (family, relatives, friends and peers) and subjective norms. In contrast with expectations, 5) the relationship between the Level of Monetary Sacrifice and consumers’ attitudes towards buying ebooks was insignificant, as well as 6) the relationship between non-digital sensory aesthetics and attitudes. The moderating effects of gender on all the relationships within the model were also assessed and discussed. Research Limitations/Implications: Applied in a Middle Eastern context (Lebanon), this study is one of the first to systematically apply and extend the DTPB in order to predict the acceptance of ebooks. Additionally, this thesis proposes a reliable and valid scale for Sensory Aesthetics, hence covering an essential gap in the growing aesthetics literature. Practical Implications: This study provides managers with a detailed understanding of the features they should take into consideration while designing ebooks, as well as insights on what to focus on in their promotional and marketing campaigns. Originality/Value: This study reflects on the drivers of ebook adoption through the application of an extended DTPB and accounts for a multitude of factors not tackled in previous ebook studies, while developing a new scale for sensory aesthetics. Keywords: Ebooks, Technological Innovations, Decomposed Theory of Planned Behavior, Sensory Aesthetics, Intention to Use