Adoption of Cloud Computing in Emerging Countries: The Role of the Absorptive Capacity


  • Adel BEN YOUSSEF University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis
  • Walid HADHRI University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis
  • Téja MAHARZI University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis



Innovation, information and communication technologies, cloud computing, Heckman selection method, probit model, technology adoption, Tunisia, intellectual prop- erty rights, absorptive capacity.


This paper aims to develop a theoretical framework that explains the cloud computing (CC) adoption decision in emerging countries. It emphasizes the specific role of technolog- ical absorptive capacity especially if CC is adopted to boost innovation. Our examination of absorptive capacity is in line with Todorova and Durisin (2007) who propose a frame- work linking the contributions of Cohen and Levinthal (1989) and Zahra and George (2002). To test our theoretical claims, we estimate two models predicting the probabilities of adopting CC, and of adopting CC for innovative aims. We include in our model variables for the firm’s competitive pressure and external environment, perceived technological im- pacts, and technological absorptive capacity. We also include control variables such as firm age and size, and sector of activity. We employ a bivariate probit model to explain the de- terminants of the decision to adopt CC, and an ordered probit model with sample selection in order to understand the determinant of adoption for innovation. Our data are from a questionnaire administered face-to-face to a random sample of 350 Tunisian firms. Our empirical findings confirm our theoretical claims and show that perception of the technol- ogy is a key factor in CC adoption (for general purposes), and that absorptive capacity is fundamental for adoption of CC for innovation. We show also that competitive pressure is an important explanatory factor: the more competitors that adopt a technology, the more likely the firm will adopt it. 

Author Biographies

Adel BEN YOUSSEF, University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis

Dr. Adel Ben Youssef is a professor of eco- nomics at the University of Nice Sophia- Antipolis (France). Dr Ben Youssef has coor- dinated several research projects in the multilingual and multicultural setting for UNDP, the European Commission, French minis- tries, the Economic Research Forum Cairo, FEMISE and the African Development Bank. In this framework, he has developed intellec- tual but also practical skills in the organization of international events. Dr. Ben Youssef has published more than 50 academic papers in different fields such as education econom- ics, environmental economics, industrial eco- nomics, and digital economics. His publica- tions are in English, French, Italian and Arabic journals like Environmental and Resources Economics, Journal of Agriculture and Food Industrial Organization, Energy Policy, Energy and Development Economics, International Strategic Management, L’Industria, Middle East Development Journal, Economics Bul- letin, International Journal of Computer and Information Technology, Education and Infor- mation Technology, and European Journal of Industrial Economics and Policy. He worked for AfDB as a consultant for the Human Capi- tal Development Strategy (2013–2017), the Pan African University Project (Cameroon, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Kenya) and the New Education Model for Africa (Mauritius). 

Walid HADHRI, University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis

Maître Assistant à l'Université du KEF

Téja MAHARZI, University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis

Doctorante en dernière année de thèse.


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