Academic journal article Journal of Electronic Commerce Research

Critical Factors Predicting the Acceptance of Digital Museums: User and System Perspectives

Academic journal article Journal of Electronic Commerce Research

Critical Factors Predicting the Acceptance of Digital Museums: User and System Perspectives

Article excerpt


Digital museums are replacing traditional museums to inspire individual growth and promote culture exchange and society enrichment. However, the benefits of using the traditional museum to inspire visitors and promote the local economy may be compromised in the digital museum. This study attempts to offer insights on digital museum adoption from user and system perspectives. We extended the technology acceptance model (TAM) by incorporating computer self-efficacy and personal innovativeness as individual variables and media richness as a system characteristic. We launched a full-scale study with 441 users of 3 weather museums in Taiwan. We had 327 valid responses, a 74% response rate, from our target population. We conducted a regression analysis to investigate the potential influence of independent variables on the adoption of digital museums. Our results showed that both user and system characteristics have a positive influence on perceived usefulness (PU). A proper consideration of these three constructs can increase a user's PU and perceived ease of use (PEOU), thereby establishing a more positive attitude regarding the use of digital museums. Academic and practical implications concerning their adoption from user and system perspectives were drawn from these findings.

Keywords: Digital museum; Computer self-efficacy; Personal innovativeness; Media richness; Perceived ease of use

1. Introduction

Museums have many functions including interaction with real objects, cultural memory, inspiration, education, information dissemination, and research [Arvanitis 2007]. The proliferation of information communication technology (ICT) is transforming all aspects of museum operations while enhancing the traditional functions. Digital museums enabled by ICT can turn geophysical, temporal and resource limitations into advantages, such as encouraging more visitors, increasing the accessibility, transparency, the frequency and the duration of each visit, and enriching each visiting experience [Capriotti & PardoKuklinski 2012]. For instance, handheld devices are enabling users to visit museums at will. Family members can play games together to have fun educational experiences. Visitors can enter a digital museum to observe and play with virtual objects or fly/cross over to multiple museums to compare objects. A visitor can also digitally interact with other visitors or museum professionals. Museums can disseminate information via social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) so that visitors can closely follow any updates [Srinivasan et al. 2009a].Interesting objects can be located quickly with an effective search engine. They can also be viewed with different software. As such, digital museums can enable personalized viewing experiences. Lesson plans could be incorporated into the site plan providing educational experiences.

Unlike the traditional museum, digital museums are accessible virtually to visitors anytime, anywhere [Koening 1997]. They have the flexibility of touring museums at their own pace without having the physical constraints of doing so in a predetermined order [Flatley 1998]. The traditional concept of using a museum as a repository to store rare objects is being displaced with the contemporary concept of inspiring individual growth and promoting culture /awareness and societal enrichment.

Technical aspects of virtual museums have been the focus of existing literature. Aron [2011] developed mapping software to help visitors reconstruct digital images of long-lost cities and identify virtual museum exhibits of historical locations. Albanese et al. [2010] used intelligent browsing systems to make recommendations to users touring a museum based on their usage behaviors. Bonis et al. [2009] used a platform to personalize the delivery of semantic content based on the virtual touring history of its users.

As digital museums are becoming a prominent channel to increase the vitality of a society, examining the adoption of digital museums from an individual perspective is growing in importance. …

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