How to reach everyone? : Factors influencing the use of digital services in the area of public housing by elderly people

Nijland, Kristy (2017) How to reach everyone? : Factors influencing the use of digital services in the area of public housing by elderly people.

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Abstract:The internet is an increasingly important part of our daily lives. Many organizations have digital services. Digital services are online services of an organization. More and more information and services of these organizations are now (only) available through the internet. Even though the Netherlands has a high level of internet penetration, not everyone can perform all the tasks on the internet by themselves. The level of internet skills of certain Dutch people is low, especially the skills of elderly people. Combining the internet skills of elderly and the trend of organizations communicating more digitally, it seems that the elderly are a vulnerable group that could have trouble with the digitalizing world. This study focuses on the factors that influence the use of elderly of digital services in the area of public housing in the Netherlands. A literature review identified the variables that influence the use of digital services. Factors that have been included in this study are demographic factors (e.g. gender, age, level of education and household composition), level of internet experience, internet attitude, channel use, awareness of the digital service, use of the digital service and the attitude towards the digital services. A study is performed in cooperation with a large housing association which is located in the eastern part of the Netherlands. The elderly users and non-users of their digital service were the target group for this study. The sample included the elderly tenants renting a house from the housing association, who are older than 65 years. 5.101 letters, with an offline questionnaire have been distributed under the elderly tenants. In addition, there was the possibility to complete the survey online. In total, 1437 questionnaires were returned, 1360 surveys per post and 77 surveys online. The response rate of this study is 28.2%. Overall, the level of internet experience, internet attitude and the usage of the digital service were very low under this population. Based on this research you could say that elderly people renting a house in the public area are people with a low level of internet experience. Task-related factors did not influence the channel choice of elderly. Their preferred channel in every mode is the telephone. Results shows that age, degree of internet experience, internet attitude and website use influence the use of digital services. When a person is younger with a higher level of internet experience, internet attitude or website use, results show that the use of the digital service is higher. This study indicates that the level of internet experience of this group elderly people is concerning and that the digital divide is still reality. Even though other research discussed that the level of internet experience under elderly people is increasing, this study shows there are some specific groups where this is still not the case.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/71644
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