Dr. Michael D. Michalisin, professor of management and business program coordinator at Penn State Worthington Scranton, and two co-authors, recently published an article in the Journal of Strategic Innovation and Sustainability.
"Measuring Pre-Adoptive Behaviors Toward Individual Willingness to Use IT Innovations" examined key determinants of an individual's willingness to use new technology prior to acquisition, according to the Diffusion of Innovations (DOI) Theory and the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), in order to identify critical success factors that influence individuals' willingness to use new information technologies.
The study was motivated by the cognitive barriers of individuals that reluctantly use new information technology that cost an organization millions of dollars, in an effort to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the firm, as well as the quality of resulting information underlying management decisions.
Interestingly, despite the importance of understanding what determines the acceptance of new systems, and ultimately the success of their implementation, empirical investigation into this inquiry is still in the developmental stages.
Dr. Michalisin and his co-authors specifically examined the extent to which perceptions of relative advantage, complexity and trialability of a new technology influence preadoptive attitudes, as well as what combination of these factors create the greatest individual willingness to use new technologies.
They predicted that individuals would be more willing to use new technology when they perceive it to be high in relative advantage, low in complexity (and therefore likely high in perceived ease of use), and high in trialability.
They also found that individuals may be more willing to use a new technology when complexity was low, regardless of its relative advantage. However, when complexity was high, the new technology had to offer some distinctive advantage to individuals before they were willing to use it.
They also found that when complexity was high, individuals were more willing to use the new technology when trialability was high. However, when complexity was low, individuals were equally willing to use the technology whether triability was high or low.
The implication is that when using new technology that is highly complex, it may be especially important to allow individuals the opportunity to try-out the technology before implementing it.
From academics, the analysis suggests that synthesizing perceived usefulness with relative advantage and perceived ease of use with complexity allows us to better understand the interplay between the TAM and DOI Theories as to the key factors influencing individual acceptance of new technologies before they are adopted by the firm.
This helps managers better assess the likelihood of employees using new information technology prior to investing large sums of the firm's capital in such technologies. Otherwise the technology is not optimally utilized due to factors deemed unsavory by the end users of the technology.
Organizational change agents can tailor IT demonstrations, training programs, and other interventions that illustrate the positive criteria to end users prior to making adoption decisions, which, in turn, increases the success of implementing critical IT acquisitions.