Effects of Trust and Perceived Risk on User Acceptance of a New Technology Service

Article excerpt

Various theoretical models have been used to explain and predict user acceptance of information and communication technology (ICT). The most representative of these models are the technology acceptance model (TAM; Im, Kim, & Han, 2008; Lee, Kozar, & Larsen, 2003; Lucas & Spitler, 1999; Venkatesh & Davis, 2000), and, most recently, the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT; Venkatesh, Morris, Davis, & Davis, 2003).

UTAUT is an extended TAM in which the eight prominent theoretical models are integrated; namely, theory of reasoned action (TRA; Davis, Bagozzi, & Warshaw, 1989), theory of planned behavior (TPB; Mathieson, 1991), model of PC utilization (MPCU; Thompson, Higgins, & Howell, 1991), motivation model (MM; Davis, Bagozzi, & Warshaw, 1992), combined TAM and TPB (Taylor & Todd, 1995), innovation diffusion theory (IDT; Moore & Benbasat, 1991), and social cognitive theory (SCT; Compeau & Higgins, 1995). Although the TAM has been found to explain approximately 40% of the variance in user acceptance of ICT (Al-Gahtani, Hubona, & Wang, 2007; Lee et al., 2003; Sun & Zhang, 2006), the UTAUT (Venkatesh et al., 2003) has been found to provide an explanation for as much as 70% of intention to use ICT (Anderson, Schwager, & Kerns, 2006; Bandyopadhyay & Fraccastoro, 2007; Venkatesh et al., 2003).

Since the UTAUT was proposed in 2003, the focus in studies about the UTAUT has been on validation, extension through addition of new external variables, and combination with other theoretical models along with respecification of the causal relationships of those other models with key UTAUT variables. The variables trust and perceived risk were overlooked in the original UTAUT (Im et al., 2008) and researchers have paid particular attention to studies that have incorporated these variables.

Researchers have shown that trust and perceived risk are critical factors in explaining users' acceptance of ICT in the e-business environment (Featherman & Pavlou, 2003). However, to date, rather than empirical testing in field studies, attempts to integrate trust and perceived risk into the UTAUT have been limited to proposals related to conceptual frameworks (Cody-Allen & Kishore, 2006; Guo & Barnes, 2007) or validation of certain aspects of their causal relationships (McLeod, Pippin, & Mason, 2008; Schaupp, Carter, & McBride, 2010; Shin, 2009). On the other hand, over the past 20 years, researchers (Lui & Jamieson, 2003; Pavlou, 2003; Thiesse, 2007) have empirically and rigorously explored the impacts of trust and perceived risk on the key constructs of TAM. Therefore, we considered it to be important to conduct an empirical study to explore the relationships among trust, perceived risk, and the key constructs of the UTAUT model.

With the Certified e-Document Authority (CeDA) service in Korea as the application domain in our study, we focused on empirically identifying the precise impacts of trust and perceived risk on the core constructs of the UTAUT model, and thereby validating an extended UTAUT in a novel context. Our research questions were as follows:

a) How do trust and perceived risk act on the UTAUT's core constructs?

b) Can the UTAUT be applied to the service sector?

Research Context

CeDA is the abbreviated term given to corporations the Korean Knowledge Economy Minister appoints to archive and verify electronic documents (including scanned paper documents) and to perform tasks associated with electronic documents. The function of CeDA is the foundation of a legal and technical certified third party to manage electronic documents in an accredited manner. This means that CeDA is a third party with the legal authority to archive and secure electronic documents, to guard against forgery of (and tampering with) information, and to secure certified distribution of the documents stored by the CeDA corporation. …