Academic journal article Journal of International Technology and Information Management

Technological-Personal-Environmental (TPE) Framework: A Conceptual Model for Technology Acceptance at the Individual Level

Academic journal article Journal of International Technology and Information Management

Technological-Personal-Environmental (TPE) Framework: A Conceptual Model for Technology Acceptance at the Individual Level

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

In the literature, there are several theories and models proposed for technology acceptance. In general, there are two streams of those theories and models; one is with assumption of rational decision and utility maximization and another one is irrational decision due to social pressure and imitation behaviors. Some theories and models integrate elements from both streams. On the other hand, the theories and models can also be classified into the firm level and individual level, which were proposed to examine technology acceptance of organizations and of individuals, respectively.

Technological-Organizational-Environmental (TOE) framework is a widely used model for examining technology acceptance at the firm level. This model is comprehensive, consisting factors related to three aspects--technological, organizational, and environmental. Although there are several technology acceptance models and theories for technology acceptance at the individual level, those models are not comprehensive as TOE. However, TOE in nature was designed for technology acceptance at the firm level. Therefore, this paper aims to propose an overarching model, which on one hand inherits the comprehensiveness of TOE and on the other hand is adapted for technology acceptance at the individual level.

In the following sections, we first review the related theories and models of technology acceptance, followed by the newly proposed model with detailed discussions on the potential variables in the model. Then a discussion is presented.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Technology Acceptance Theories

In the literature, there are several technology acceptance theories. The Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA), proposed by Fishbein and Ajzen (1975), posits that behavioral intentions are determined by an individual's attitude toward the behavior and subjective norms. TRA has two extensions--Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). TPB, proposed by Ajzen (1991), posits that behavioral intentions are influenced by an individual's attitude toward the behavior, the subjective norms, and the individual's perception of behavioral control. TAM is an adaptation of TRA in the information systems (IS) field. The model posits that technology acceptance is influenced by perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and subjective norm (Davis, 1989). In Roger's (1962) and Moore and Benbasat's (1991) Innovation Diffusion Theory (IDT), relative advantage, ease of use, and image are postulated to influence individual technology acceptance. Technology Readiness Index (TRI), proposed by Parasuraman (2000), posits that an individual's technology acceptance is "an interplay between drivers (optimism, innovativeness) and inhibitors (discomfort, insecurity) of technology readiness" (p.317). However, only personal factors, rather than any social factors, are considered in this model.

All of these models can be categorized as rational choice models, which emphasize self-interest, conscious decision making, and economic optimization. They assume that technology acceptance processes are choice procedures which are systematically conducted and follow a rational path based upon perfect information (Abrahamson, 1991). However, House and Singh (1987) argued that "most assumptions of rational choice theory of decision making are frequently violated in practice" (p.702), and that "much of the empirical work on decision making suggests that decisions are made in much less rational ways than specified by rational choice theory" (p.707). Furthermore, in the real world it is impossible to obtain perfect information, thus bringing forth uncertainty and jeopardizing the anticipation of the decision consequences.

Social Factors

Although most of the models discussed heretofore consider various social factors, they are generally fragmented and there is a lack of specific focus on such issue (McCarthy et al. …

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