Employees and even customers often feel reticent to engaging in open communications. In order to reduce this reticence and stimulate cooperation, the following actions will be undertaken:
construction of the questionnaire and the interview questions in such a means that they are easy to understand and easy to respond formulation of the questionnaire and the interview questions in a means that their completion does not take more than 10 minutes allowing the respondents to maintain their anonymity by not demanding them to put in their names, unless they want to; however, the respondents will have to state their relationship with the bank -- manager, staff member, current customer or prospective client the interview will be conducted only with the employees of the bank and the customers coming in throughout the five days spent within the bank; nevertheless, it is important to make the questionnaire available to a palette of individuals as wide as possible; it is as such necessary to send the questionnaires to the homes of the Omani citizens and ask them to complete them and then send them back to ensure that the completion of the questionnaire does not represent an unpleasant, time and money consuming task for the respondents, while in the same time protecting the anonymity of the respondents, I will send an envelope containing the efficiently structured questionnaire to the home of the Omani citizens; the envelope will also include a statement reassuring the confidentiality of the information as well as another envelope, already stamped, to be returned to me, free of any charge for the respondents (Harris and Benson, 2006)
The essence of the questionnaires and the interviews will be based on the model used by Sabah Abdullah Al-Somali, Roya Gholami and Ben Clegg, revealed in the following diagram:
Source: Al-Somali, Gholami and Clegg
The explanation for the methodology model:
there are six nods, each representing a category of factors influencing consumer acceptance of internet banking the first nod stands for customer awareness of the online service and its perceived benefits, which generally impact customer acceptance in a positive manner (H1)
the second nod stands for security, which also impacts customer acceptance in a positive direction as it increases the perceived ease of use (H2)
the third nod is given by the quality of the internet connection, which also increases the perceived ease of use and increases customer acceptance (H3)
the fourth nod represents the trust customers have in the bank and the customer acceptance is highly sensitive to trust, evolving in the same direction (H4)
the fifth nod is represented by demographic characteristics and is important due to the following attributes: consumers of younger ages are more likely to accept online banking (H5); consumers with higher levels of annual incomes are also less likely to accept online banking (H6); in terms of gender, males are more likely to adopt internet banking (H7); better educated consumers will adopt online banking, whereas less educated individuals will prefer traditional operations (H8);
the last set of connections brings into discussion the ease of use and links it to other values: the ease of use impacts the perceived usefulness of online banking (H9); perceived usefulness of online banking positively impacts the usage of internet banking (H10); perceived ease of use positively impacts the attitude towards online banking (H11) a favorable attitude has a positive influence on the intention to use and accept internet banking (Al-Somali, Gholami and Clegg).
2. Secondary Research
The second method of gathering sufficient information on the means in which the Omani customers respond to the online banking services is that of assessing the data already collected by other researchers. Over the previously presented method of primary research, this secondary approach has the benefit of implying less tedious work. Nevertheless, it has the limitation of relying entirely on the findings of others, possibly coming to biased conclusions and unoriginal findings. Other disadvantages include a lack of familiarity with the data presented by other authors or an increased complexity of the information (Bryman and Bell, 2007). Given this situation, the most adequate methodological approach is that of a combined analysis through both primary as well as secondary research.
7. Research Layout
Another important step is that of forming the structure of the research report to be completed. This will be organized into eight sections, including the References one. Additionally, at this stage it is also important to organize the resources to be used per each individual section. This approach will ensure greater levels of clarity and uniformity. The layout of the research project and the sources to be used in the construction of each individual section are revealed below:
1. Introduction -- the introductory part of the research will restate the purpose of the report and will offer a brief introduction to the topic of customer acceptance of online banking in the Sultanate of Oman
2. Literature review -- this section will present the most important findings of the previously conducted studies in terms of implementation and customer acceptance of online banking services in the Sultanate of Oman. It will maintain a distant and non-interpretative approach and will generally be based on the three studies presented throughout the previous Theoretical Framework section.
3. Online banking across the globe -- before launching an actual analysis on the customer responses to online banking operations in Oman, it will be necessary to reveal the features of online banking; its advantages and limitations must also be presented. Sources to be used in the completion of this endeavor include:
For the presentation of online banking and its features, the research report will retrieve information from Electronic Banking: The Ultimate Guide to Business and Technology of Online Banking, SCN Education B.V. (2001) and from Security Flaws in Online Banking Sites Found to be Widespread, Newswise (2008)
For the analysis of online banking services and operations in developing countries, a valuable source is offered by Sabah Abdullah Al-Somali, Roya Gholami and Ben Clegg with their article on Internet Banking Acceptance in the Context of Developing Countries: An Extension of the Technology Acceptance Model, Webintec
4. The financial sector in Oman -- also to offer a better understanding of the context and the climate in which an analysis of customer acceptance of online banking will be assessed, it is necessary to reveal some features of the overall financial sector in Oman. Emphasis will be placed on the particular role and importance of banking institutions. Some sources which will be used to meet this desiderate are succinctly revealed below:
For an introduction to Omani economy, I will research the website of the Central Intelligence Agency at www.cia.gov; the country's economy is a middle income one, based primarily on the revenues from oil and with little diversification; it would be interesting to identify if and how this economic structure impacts the banking sector
For the recent developments made in the financial and banking sector in Oman, the article on Oman's Brighter Banking Sector in AME Info (2004) will constitute a valuable source
It would also be interesting to reveal the stand and efforts of the international community in supporting the development of the Omani banking sector; a good starting point in this endeavor would be constituted by the website of the International Monetary Fund, with their articles on Oman
5. Online banking in the Sultanate of Oman -- this section will exclusively focus on the characteristics of online banking in Oman. The following lines present some of the sources to be used at this level of the research report:
Since the topic is a relatively new one, large works have yet to be composed; nevertheless, there are numerous books which refer to the matter on online banking in Oman. One such work is in Lee's Electronic Business: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools and Applications (2009), Nidal Rashid Sabri's Financial Markets and Institutions in the Arab Economy (2008) or the Report Oman, printed in 2009 under the aegis of the Oxford Business Group.
The articles in specialized journals and magazines will be those presented so far in the section of theoretical framework
In terms of online articles to be viewed, these could include Banking in Oman (2008) on the website of World Finance or Electronic Banking in the Sultanate of Oman, eCommerce Banking (2009).
6. Customer acceptance of online banking in Oman -- drawing back on all the research conducted so far, this section will reveal the means in which individual and organizational customers in Oman respond to the offer of banking institutions in terms of online services. While most of the previous sections were based on the analysis of the available resources, this section differs in terms of the means used to gather the necessary data. In this order of ideas, the information to be included at this stage of the research will be drawn from direct communications with staff members in banking institutions in Oman as well as customers. The most important elements to be…