Academic journal article Journal of Information, Information Technology, and Organizations

The Role of Intrinsic Motivation in System Adoption: A Cross-Cultural Perspective

Academic journal article Journal of Information, Information Technology, and Organizations

The Role of Intrinsic Motivation in System Adoption: A Cross-Cultural Perspective

Article excerpt

Introduction

Gaining knowledge is the primary focus of all stakeholders in higher educational institutions because it is fundamental to the learning process of students. Maximizing the ability to gain knowledge implies that continued efforts should be kept to progressively enhance the learning process. This is one of the major challenges facing contemporary universities today, especially today with more and more universities offering web-based distance courses: a learning environment which many find unfamiliar and very different from the traditional face-to-face classroom. It is accepted today, however, that some of the more important advantages of web-based learning are that it gives students more study flexibility and broader accessibility, improves students' performance, enhances their learning experiences, and increases their computer self-efficacy (M. K. O. Lee, Cheung, & Chen, 2005; Piccoli, Ahmad, & Ives, 2001; Saade, Tan, & Nebebe, 2008). Academic institutions also benefit by reducing costs and increasing revenues.

Researchers have noted that designers can successfully enhance the learning process by directly incorporating strategies to change learner's attitudes and behaviors. Additionally, perceptions of learners about their learning experiences are shaped through their learning activities and formal and informal interaction with their fellow learners. Their mind sets are strong and embedded in their cultural context, which influences the outcomes of their efforts for an enhanced learning experience. To that effect and especially in the context of web-based learning systems (WLSs), designers (and institutions) must find ways to encourage learners to be active participants. According to expectancy theory (Vroom, 1964), the more positive outcomes are perceived to be associated with a given action, the more inclined individuals will be to perform that action. From the perspective of WLSs, extrinsic motivation has been shown to significantly affect student participation (Fenwick & Olson, 1986; Saade & Bahli, 2005). Furthermore, previous studies have reported that increased intrinsic motivation has been associated with learners' willingness to create positive attitudes, resulting in increased learning and inclination to participate voluntarily (Saade & Bahli, 2005). However, although several studies argue that motivation factors are crucial determinants of learners' behavioral intentions, there is no significant body of empirical research that assesses the different roles of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation in influencing behavioral intentions to use WLSs and as experienced within a social context.

There has been a large number of research studies published on WLSs. These studies however are all descriptive in nature and purely qualitative, presenting general accounts of students' experiences while taking an online course. An important number of these works were done using the technology acceptance model (TAM) to understand individuals' acceptance/adoption/intentions-to-use various technologies (mobile, web-based, software, etc.). Considering the large body of publications using the TAM, relatively few are in the domain of web-based learning (M. K. O. Lee et al., 2005; Saade, 2007; Saade & Kira, in press; Straub, Keil, & Brenner, 1997; Taylor & Todd, 1995). The viability of TAM to explain acceptance behavior of WLS has been confirmed in Saade, Nabebe, and Tan (2007).

Most literature on TAM studies indicate that the technology acceptance model has a dominant emphasis on notions of instrumentality, focusing mainly on functional or extrinsic motivational drivers, which is not necessarily a dominant construct in the context of WLSs (Agarwal & Karahanna, 2000). Some recent studies have included intrinsic motivation constructs, representing a student's subjective feelings of joy, elation, pleasure, and positive holistic experience, as an important construct that may play a critical role in explaining user acceptance and usage behavior in WLSs (M. …

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