Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Doctorate in Business (EDB)



First Advisor

Dr. Karen D. Loch

Second Advisor

Dr. Felix Rioja

Third Advisor

Dr. Wesley Johnston


Fueled by ubiquitous access to mobile phones, and a massive population of nearly 3 billion unbanked people around the globe, mobile commerce is evolving as a disruptive technology. Simultaneously, mobile payments are surfacing as a killer application within the mobile commerce context (Hu et al. 2008). Undeniably, the proliferation of wireless mobile technology provides much-needed access to vital information, and financial services for disenfranchised, unbanked populations. In addition, technological innovations offer first-time opportunities for suppliers of goods and services in a market context to gain competitive advantages while enhancing their economic viability. According to Portio Research, the volume of mobile payments rose significantly from $68.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2009, with predictions of $633.4 billion U.S. dollars by the end of 2014 ( 2012). Despite exponential growth in the number of mobile subscribers globally, and widespread adoption of mobile commerce, acceptance rates for mobile payment applications have lagged (Dahlberg et al. 2007, Ondrus et al 2009, Ondrus and Lyytinen 2011). Yet examinations of factors inhibiting the widespread acceptance of mobile payments are relatively sparse. Using Social Network theory, this research examines factors affecting engagement in mobile payments. The researcher posits that four primary elements influence mobile payment engagement: 1) the relationships between and amongst inter-organizational alliance members; 2) the prevailing regulatory environment; 3) the state of existing banking and technology infrastructures, and 4) an assessment of economic opportunity.

The research outcomes from this exploratory examination led to the development of a comprehensive model for mobile payment engagement, and strongly suggest that ties between and amongst firms in inter-organizational alliances help ensure the success of mobile payment engagement. Support was found for the following suppositions: 1) similarities and relations (continuous ties) help establish a framework and understanding amongst alliance members as to each party’s goals and objectives; and 2) interactions and flows (discrete ties) between and amongst inter-organizational alliance members strengthen the overall ties between alliance members while solidifying a viable working relationship amongst the alliance members. This study employs a qualitative approach to obtain real world insight into the dynamism of the mobile payment arena. A model is then proposed to practically examine mobile payment engagement opportunities. From a theoretical perspective, the research contributes to the extant scholarly knowledgebase pertaining to engagement in mobile payments.