The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM)

Chuttur, M. (2009). Overview of the technology acceptance model: Origins, developments and future directions. Sprouts: Working Paperson Information Systems, 9(37). Retrieved from http://sprouts.aisnet.org/9-37

Description:

This article outlines the development of the Technology acceptance Model (TAM), proposed by Fred Davis in 1985. Initially, the TAM identified two main determinants of technology adoption by users; perceived usefulness (PU) and perceived ease of use (PEOU). Davis used psychometric likert scales that were context focused to assess these two determinants at three stages; pretesting, an empirical field study and a laboratory experiment. Davis and later researchers found that perceived usefulness had the greatest influence on the intention to adopt a technology.

Later changes to the TAM included the consideration of external variables, such as the nature of user training and the implementation process, as further refinements. Antecedent factors were also taken into consideration, such as general belief systems about computers and adjustments that occur from experiences with the technology being introduced.

Criticisms of the TAM include that self-reported use data in controlled environments has been used in most research, therefore is subjective and may not reflect usefulness in real world situations. Other research found contrasting results when the new technology use was mandatory rather than voluntary. Bagozzi (as cited in Chuttur) questioned the theoretical strength of the link between intention to use a technology and the actual behaviour, based predominantly on PU and PEOU. He also questioned the usefulness of theorising about intentions to understand behaviour patterns.

Evaluation:I’m not sure whether the TAM would be very useful in my context, and in fact, I find it quite confusing. While it might be useful to predict behaviour patterns, the focus on perceived use and perceived ease of use may not identify other important factors that influence behaviour. The TAM does not seem to consider the process of innovation adoption and all the factors and concerns that may arise at different stages. From what I have read, there also seems to be limited attention paid to practical strategies that address concerns and behaviours as they occur. So what it does do, is highlight more clearly for me the usefulness of concerns-based models.

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