Digital transformation of higher education in Australia: Understanding affordance dynamics in E-Textbook engagement and use

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Journal of Business Research


This paper addresses digital transformation in higher education by exploring the engagement and use of e-textbooks through an affordance theory lens. Drawing on the insights from in-depth interviews (n = 18), focus group discussions (n = 15), a pilot survey (n = 83) and the main survey (n = 344) in Australia, we developed and validated an affordance actualisation model for the engagement and use of e-textbooks. The partial least squares (PLS) technique was used to validate the dimensions of affordance actualisation and its relationship with e-textbooks engagement and affordance effect. The findings indicate the efficacy of the two affordance constructs, as well as the significant mediating effect of engagement. An important lesson for the e-textbook industry is that firms need to consider affordance actualisation dimensions (i.e., portability, accessibility, searchability, highlighting, copying, browsing, hedonic and utilitarian value) when enhancing digital engagement and use of e-textbooks.

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