Entrepreneurs Attitude towards the Computer and its Effect on e-Business Adoption Alastair W Robertson [email_address] Centre for e-Science and e-Management Lancaster University Management School Lancaster LA1 4YX United Kingdom
Lancaster Centre for e-Science Creation of e-collaboration software Deployment potential to SMEs Study focuses on scale of potential demand Related papers: Enterprise Survey, Demand for e-Collaboration Tools
Overview Paper explores idea that decision makers attitude towards computers influences likelihood of adopting computer based technologies e.g. web service, e-business technologies Applies psychology of Technology Adoption Model (TAM) to understand effect Using large scale survey data, measures impact of TAM on adoption of computer based technologies
Need for knowledge E-business adoption slow, despite necessary network infrastructure (e.g. broadband) being in place The question: what are the effects of the ‘ decision makers ’ attitude towards technology on final SME technology adoption? Policy interest: what can be done to increase or speed up technology adoption among SMEs? Policy impact : raise organisational efficiency through enhanced technology
Isolation of Factors Effecting Technology Adoption New-product diffusion (Rogers, 1995) Important question: What drives the speed of adoption?
Key Adoption Factors Organisational Network participation Strategic Adoption e.g. competitive adv. Relative advantage of technology (e.g. efficiency gain) Individual Social Influences e.g. productivity perceptions General technology acceptance, some people like technology, others don’t Question: What are key factors underlying psychology of technology adoption and how are SMEs affected?
Social Psychology, ICTs and Human Behaviour -> Google ‘Technology Acceptance Model (TAM)’ Massive literature on TAM; Usefulness Ease of Use Enjoyment Social psychological factors used to segment consumers . Re-apply this model to understand Influence of TAM on Innovativeness of SMEs Impact on policy????
Influence of TAM on SME Innovativeness Hypothesis: Decision makers attitude towards the computer acts as hurdle to computer based technology adoption generally Use TAM to segment SMEs Usefulness
The data…. Surveyed 655 decision makers of SMEs during Dec 2006 and Jan 2007 (see www.ictresearch.org for Enterprise Survey white paper) Survey frame: North of England , using Dun and Bradstreet Survey focus: Measure current ICT penetration rates within SMEs, and future demand for e-collaborative technology Existing technologies : IP connectivity, Internet, broadband, use of video conferencing Perceived need for e-collaborative technologies: i.e. video conferencing, online whiteboards, online presentations (see http://agora.lancs.ac.uk ) Geographical need for e-collaborative technology (i.e. interspersed offices, need to travel to clients, type of work) Measured TAM perceptions
Testing the hypothesis…. Using measured TAM perceptions only, segment decision makers based on low and high scores Interpretation LIT : Low response to TAM i.e. predicted low adoption of IT HIT : High response to TAM i.e. predicted high adoption of IT Now lets look at past and future adoption of IT for each group 75% 20% Agreed or Strongly Agreed that Enjoy Using Computers 99% 73% Agreed or Strongly Agreed that Computers Useful 97% 24% Agreed or Strongly Agreed that Computers Easy of Use HIT LIT Perception Table 1. The TAM Constructs
Future adoption of internet services 17% 8% Provision of online video 13% 6% Document collaboration software 14% 5% Video conferencing HIT LIT Table 2. Future Adoption of e-Collaborative Technologies
Organisational Characteristics of LIT and HIT 0.25 to 1 Million£ 44% LIT 1 to 2 Million£ 26% HIT Median Turnover Proportion Micro (<10 employees) Table 3. Organisational Size by IT Segment 24% 13% Administration 8% 8% Accounting 29% 33% Managerial 11% 0% IT Management 28% 48% Director/Owner HIT LIT Table 4. Respondent Type by IT Segment
That if decision makers have low perceptions towards computer technology that adoption of computer dependant technology is likely to be low also. That TAM acts as a useful predictor of technology adoption. Ease of use of technology is key driver. This research highlights Interesting to note: Many LIT perceive computers as being useful . Leads to possibility that gap in diffusion speeds may be closed if technology is simplified . Latest web based technologies (e.g. Google spreadsheets of Lancaster Centre for e-Science e-collaborative tools) offer greater simplicity yielding potentially faster diffusion rates.