A study of the adoption of information technology by end-users: Testing an extended Theory of Reasoned Action

Farron, Susan E (1996) A study of the adoption of information technology by end-users: Testing an extended Theory of Reasoned Action. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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The original intention of the study was to replicate Moore & Benbasat's model of information technology adoption (I990a, b,; 1991ab,) which fused two established theories, the Diffusion of Innovations (Rogers, 1962) and the Theory of Reasoned Action (Fishbcin & Ajzcn, 1975), an attitude-behaviour theory. Flaws were found in the construction and application of the model, most notably in relation to the origin of belief statements used on their instrument. Nevertheless, the overall aims of their study were thought to be worthwhile.

A literature survey provided an understanding of the study context, the historical background of the Theory of Reasoned Action and the manner in which the Theory has been applied and adapted. Evidently, volitional control is a pertinent factor in organisational studies yet existing extensions of the Theory of Reasoned Action which attend to volitional control were found to be imperfect for applications in organisations.

A new model was developed by the author for the purpose of predicting and explaining I.T. innovation behaviours in organisations. The model was tested on employees of the University of Central Lancashire, first by qualitatively eliciting and grouping salient beliefs and secondly through a quantitative survey of randomly selected individuals.

Findings from the survey data were variable. The act-specific part of the model had predictive power, and this improved with the addition and substitution of determinants. On the other hand, problems were found with the general organisational constructs; factors contributing to the predictive weakness here have been identified.

An examination of underlying belief structures provides information for implementers. Recommendations arc made for intervention communications relating to I. T. implementations. The development of organisational and control belief structures is proposed to provide a diagnostic tool for supplementary use where organisations wish to qualitatively judge the 'temperature', or alternatively to administer a quantitative study of employee satisfaction - these, without prejudice to the claims for the extended model. The author stands by the theory and recommends a course whereby the model is expected to hold.

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