Go to Source
Since the university is considered one of the most pivotal hubs for developing science and knowledge, it is expected to take e-services development more seriously in comparison with other organizations and agencies. Such a strategy helps universities deliver online services with higher quality based on users’ (such as students, professors, staff) requirements. As websites are seen as the preliminary and fundamental infrastructure of e-services, regular assessment of websites is so crucial for leveraging websites’ quality. Different studies have been conducted for assessing e-services of university websites but each study has assessed limited dimensions of websites in a specific territory. In this paper, an extended model is proposed for assessing readiness of e-services of Iranian university websites which is able to evaluate wider dimensions of websites by considering various and wider indexes and indicators in comparison with previous studies. Firstly, the most effective indexes and indicators for assessing e-services of university websites are extracted from previous studies such as security, trust, content and information quality, responsiveness quality, website design, participation, support and maintenance, services and usability. As assessing readiness of e-services websites is a Multi Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) problem, Hybrid MCDM methods are proposed to determine the importance of indexes and indicators. The indexes and indicators are assigned weight and ranked by Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and PROMETHEE methods respectively. A pairwise comparison questionnaire was distributed between 80 experts selected based on a purposive sampling technique to collect quantitative data. The model was applied for assessing the readiness of 21 top-leading Iranian university websites aimed at recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of e-services. The readiness of university websites is obtained by calculating the readiness values of indexes and indicators. Findings show that Tarbiat Modares University and Amirkabir University received the highest and lowest readiness values respectively. Finally, some useful recommendations are proposed to enhance the websites’ quality. The practical implication of the research is providing some useful guidance for website designer and university decision makers for further development of e-services websites in accordance with user’s requirements and demands.