Academic journal article IUP Journal of Marketing Management

Scrutinizing the Factors Influencing Customer Adoption of App-Based Cab Services: An Application of the Technology Acceptance Model

Academic journal article IUP Journal of Marketing Management

Scrutinizing the Factors Influencing Customer Adoption of App-Based Cab Services: An Application of the Technology Acceptance Model

Article excerpt

Introduction

A plethora of innovations in the ambit of mobile Internet and smartphone technology has triggered unprecedented changes in the behavioral trajectories of Indian consumers, thus reworking archetypal business paradigms and prompting numerous debates and deliberations among corporate hotshots as well as other potential stakeholders. In fact, several policy makers have been mulling over whether these App-Based Cab Services (ABCS) are meant to complement or compete with conventional urban public transportation. By leveraging the advances in technology, these ridesharing services seek to enhance their reliability and reduce wait-times for point-to-point transportation. This intelligent application enables commuters to opportunely access taxi information using their smartphones, including the details about the cab and its driver, thereby moderating the asymmetry between passengers and drivers and ameliorating the efficacy of hailing a cab. According to Das (2015), the collective market share of Ola and TaxiForSure is believed to be pegged at a mammoth 80%, while Meru and Uber have claimed merely 12% and 4% of the organized cab-aggregation market in India.

One of the biggest challenges for academic researchers and corporate analysts is to augment the present level of cognizance of multiple factors that influence the acceptance and adoption of the cab-hailing apps, in the light of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) developed by Davis et al. (1989). The purpose is to find out the underlying motivations, perceptions, attitudes and behavioral intentions of respondents towards these call-taxi apps in the metropolitan setting of Kolkata. Indeed, the TAM is a robust, yet parsimonious theory, which has proven to be constructive in fathoming the facets of user behavior towards information system implementation. We have slightly modified the model to integrate the domain of 'Subjective Norm (SN)', so as to gain a more holistic understanding of the reference groups operating around the commuters. Although many a few researchers have blended various elements of the 'attitude-intention-behavior' paradigm into their researches, we shall focus on the conventional TAM with minor modifications in the present study.

Today's fast-paced consumer lifestyles and consumption trajectories have spawned certain luxuries in the monthly budgets of the Indian bourgeoisie, as accentuated by a vividly discernible upsurge in their disposable incomes over time. The unanticipated surge in the use of app-centric cab services by a large proportion of the middle and upper middle class segments of our society is one such instance, which bears testimony to the fact that individuals seek comfort and convenience in their embellished styles of living and commuting. The study is primarily based in Kolkata, where the quintessential yellow-taxis have a kind of monopoly in the realm of public transportation. The pivotal problem with these yellow-cabs are that commuters are subject to intense amount of harassment from these cabbies in terms of unfounded refusals, faulty meter reading or deplorable behavior. With the emergence of these call-taxi apps such as Uber, Ola, Meru and TaxiForSure among several other names, a major chunk of consumers were instantaneously prepared to pay a premium for expedient and hassle-free commuting. This rudimentary idea is in fact, the essence of our purported endeavor.

Literature Review

The domain of app-based cab services is relatively a contemporaneous one and it is quite evident that very few pieces of literature exist in this regard. Over the decades, a host of theories and models have been pioneered and developed to explain and predict the behavior of consumers towards a technological innovation.

The TAM is in fact an extension of the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA), which was conceived by Fishbein and Ajzen (1975). The TAM was an amelioration over the TRA in the sense that it was pillared on independent variables such as Perceived Usefulness (PU) and Perceived Ease of Use (PEU) as well as dependent variables such as Attitude Towards Usage (ATU). …

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