Sustainable technology readiness of apparel professionals in Bangladesh

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Md Arif Iqbal (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Jin Su

Abstract: Because of the increased awareness of sustainability and its impact on a company's performance and competitiveness, sustainability-related technology adoption has become an important topic in modern technology and business literature. The global apparel industry is one of the focal industries that consider sustainability a core element to protect the environment and ensure a better work environment for employees. Sustainable technologies can provide excellent opportunities for apparel firms to foster their operational performance and, at the same time, assist the firms in addressing sustainability requirements, especially in developing countries. It is imperative to investigate individual managers’ readiness toward sustainable technology. Previous studies paid little attention to the factors influencing apparel managers’ adoption of sustainable technology. Furthermore, existing literature has not addressed the factors impacting apparel managers’ sustainable technology readiness. Given the research gaps, this dissertation has three specific objectives: (1) to investigate the relationships between apparel managers’ knowledge and involvement in technology and their readiness toward sustainable technology; (2) to examine the moderating role of education and experience of the managers in the relationships between managers’ knowledge and involvement and their sustainable technology readiness; and (3) to investigate how apparel managers’ sustainable technology readiness, their perceptions of social influences, facilitating conditions, and relative advantage of sustainable technology impact their intention to adopt sustainable technology. To address the objectives, a conceptual model was developed based on a comprehensive literature review. The conceptual model is grounded on an integrated theoretical framework combining the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT), the diffusion of innovation theory (DOI), and the technology readiness index (TRI). A Qualtrics-designed online survey was used to collect data from Bangladeshi apparel managers to test the hypothesized relationships among latent constructs in the model. A total of 4315 surveys were distributed. 376 responses were received (8.71% response rate), and 221 valid responses were utilized for statistical analysis. The hypothesized relationships were tested using a two-step structural equation modeling. The measurement model was first evaluated using confirmatory factor analysis, and then the structural model was assessed to test the hypothesized relationships. The results of the hypotheses testing indicated significant relationships between apparel technology knowledge and sustainable technology readiness, between knowledge about the environmental impact of apparel production and sustainable technology readiness, and between social influences and adoption intention. The results did not support the hypothesized relationships between sustainable technology readiness and adoption intention or between facilitating conditions and adoption intention. The hypothesized relationship between personal involvement and sustainable technology readiness was not supported either. The moderating roles of education and experience were found insignificant in the relationships between knowledge and involvement and sustainable technology readiness. The dissertation provides several important contributions. First, the study focuses on sustainable technology readiness and adoption intention by apparel professionals, which previous researchers have not addressed. Second, this dissertation expands our understanding of the causal flow among cognitive variables of apparel managers, including their knowledge, personal involvement, technology readiness, and adoption intention toward sustainable technology. The study provides empirical evidence on the role of apparel professionals’ characteristics (e.g., knowledge and involvement) in their sustainable technology readiness. Third, the findings of this study provide valuable guidance for the government and other policymakers in increasing the use of sustainable technologies in the apparel industry. Utilizing the findings of this study, the government may develop strategies to support and train apparel managers to adopt sustainability related technologies. The apparel industry is the primary industry in Bangladesh. When the majority of apparel firms in Bangladesh start adopting sustainable technologies, it will be easier for Bangladesh to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), especially goal number 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and 13 (Climate Action).

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2023
Apparel, Bangladesh, Fashion, Sustainability, Technology adoption, Technology readiness
Clothing trade $x Sustainable methods
Clothing trade $x Technological innovations $z Bangladesh
Sustainable development $z Bangladesh

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