Exploring mobile phone-sharing practices in Ghana

The article “Exploring mobile phone-sharing practices in Ghana” by Araba Sey was published in the journal Info (2009, Vol 11, No 2).  Click here to access full article.

Abstract/Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present research evidence on mobile phone sharing practices in a developing country context.

Design/methodology/approach – The study adopted an exploratory approach, using a combination of in-depth interviews, non-random surveys and field observations of mobile phone users and mobile payphone service providers.

Findings – The paper finds that there are multiple dimensions to mobile phone sharing and that it is an important means of giving respondents the ability to communicate under different circumstances of need. However, most research respondents preferred or were aspiring to personal phone ownership and a reduction of the need to share. This preference was demonstrated in respondents’ attitudes and actual behavior with respect to sharing phones with family and friends, as well as the use of payphones.

Research limitations/implications – Due to the exploratory and largely qualitative research approach, the findings may not be generalizable. The results provide evidence that could feed into the development of hypotheses about mobile phone sharing practices in similar contexts.

Originality/value – The paper investigates ideas about mobile phone sharing using mixed methods. It draws attention to the importance of research-based evidence for a fuller understanding of user behavior.