Evaluation of the Acceptance of Virtual Worlds in the Tourism Sector: An Extended Technology Acceptance Modelling Approach

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Presentation for Ph.D. Workshop @ ENTER 2009 Conference in Amsterdam, 27th Jan 2009

Presentation for Ph.D. Workshop @ ENTER 2009 Conference in Amsterdam, 27th Jan 2009

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  • 1. Evaluation of the Acceptance of Virtual Worlds in the Tourism Sector: An Extended Technology Acceptance Modelling Approach ENTER 2009, Ph.D. Workshop, Amsterdam, 27th Jan 2009 Ronald Iberl University of Innsbruck, Austria
  • 2. Agenda Problem Definition • Conceptual Development • Proposed Methodology • Anticipated Results • Progress to Date • 2
  • 3. Problem Definition “Anyone who wants to understand the future of the Internet needs to understand virtual worlds.” (Balkin & Noveck, 2006) 3
  • 4. Problem Definition Evolution of the World Wide Web (WWW): 1990s: Web 1.0 (Supplier Generated Content – 2D) • 2000s: Web 2.0 (User Generated Content – 2D or 2.5D) • 2010s: Web 3.0 (Semantic) & Web 3D (3 dimensional) • 4
  • 5. Problem Definition Definition of Virtual Worlds: • computer-generated physical spaces • represented graphically in 3D • that can be experienced by many users (avatars) at once (Castronova, 2005) Focus of Research: Internet • vertical virtual worlds (tourism) • mirror worlds (reflection of the real world) Virtual Worlds • application to support travel phases (no substitutional/armchair tourism) Mirror Worlds 5
  • 6. Problem Definition Map of Virtual Worlds (by age): 6
  • 7. Problem Definition Map of Virtual Worlds (by sector): 7
  • 8. Problem Definition Examples of Mirror Worlds: 8
  • 9. Problem Definition Examples of Mirror Worlds: 9
  • 10. Problem Definition Examples of Mirror Worlds: 10
  • 11. Problem Definition Examples of Mirror Worlds: 11
  • 12. Problem Definition Examples of Mirror Worlds: 12
  • 13. Problem Definition Examples of Mirror Worlds: 13
  • 14. Problem Definition Examples of Mirror Worlds: 14
  • 15. Problem Definition Examples of Mirror Worlds: 15
  • 16. Problem Definition Examples of Mirror Worlds: 16
  • 17. Problem Definition Examples of Mirror Worlds: 17
  • 18. Problem Definition Lack of Research: • in general: on virtual worlds • especially: in the fields of tourism and the behavioural intentions of the users and their acceptance of these virtual worlds Goal of Doctoral Study: • fill this gap • evaluate the acceptance level of various target segments with respect to a specific virtual world and to identify those virtual world dimensions that are mainly responsible for the acceptance of virtual worlds by its potential users 18
  • 19. Conceptual Development 1. Creation of Evaluation Model: • dissolve high dimensionality of the complex virtual world quality construct 2. Evaluation of Virtual Worlds Acceptance • using technology acceptance modelling (TAM) approach (Fishbein & Ajzen, Davis, Venkatesh) to identify those virtual world dimensions which are mainly • responsible for the acceptance of virtual worlds in the fields of tourism Doctoral thesis will consist of several refereed journal articles embraced by a synopsis 19
  • 20. Proposed Methodology 1. Qualitative Survey: • qualitative interviews with experts and founders of tourism focused virtual worlds -> record concepts and criteria of virtual worlds • use results to complement literature-based derivation of dimensions for a framework and measuring model of customer related virtual world dimensions (consisting of criteria and sub- criteria) –> Operationalization by an item-set of several indicators. 2. Quantitative Study: • usability labs in real life or virtual worlds to evaluate virtual mirror worlds by respondents • empirical validation of item-set by using an Explorative Factor Analysis (Hair, Anderson, Tatham & Black) 20
  • 21. Proposed Methodology 2. Quantitative Study (cont.): • derived factors will be embedded into a Technology Acceptance Framework using a Structural Equation Model analysis -> empirically explain the intention to use a certain technology, which depends on: – usefulness: relevance of offered information received by users – ease of use: usability / degree of effort to use a system Examples: – Is three dimensionality improving the usability of a web-based application thus enhancing the intention to use it? – Is the ability to interact with other people (impersonated by their avatars) face to face enhancing the information richness and therefore the usefulness of the exchanged information? compare evaluation results of the different virtual worlds evaluated • undertaking a Performance Analysis 21
  • 22. Anticipated Results detect those user-driven virtual world dimensions that are mainly • responsible for the acceptance of virtual worlds especially if additional criteria (e.g. 3D and interaction) will have a • significant impact on the user’s acceptance of virtual worlds usage of the findings as a detailed insight into the acceptance of • virtual worlds by virtual world companies and by the management of destinations 22
  • 23. Progress to Date - research project has been started in August 2008 - in the process of reviewing literature and drafting the conceptual framework of the thesis - started to identify relevant experts and virtual worlds for the qualitative research 23
  • 24. Literature Balkin, J. M., & Noveck, B. S. (2006). The State of Play: Law, Games, • and Virtual Worlds: NYU Press. Castronova, E. (2005). Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of • Online Games. Chicago and London The University of Chicago Press Davis, F. D. (1989). Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use, and • User Acceptance of Information Technology. MIS Quarterly, 13(3), 319-340. Fishbein, M., & Ajzen, I. (1975). Belief, Attitude, Intention, and • Behavior: An Introduction to Theory and Research. Boston: Addison- Wesley Pub. Co. Hair, J., Anderson, R., Tatham, R., & Black, W. (1995). Multivariate Data • Analysis (4th edition ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall. K Zero (2008). Maps of Virtual Worlds. http://www.kzero.co.uk • Venkatesh, V., Morris, M. G., Davis, G. B., & Davis, F. D. (Cartographer). • (2003). User Acceptance of Information Technology: Toward a Unified View [Article]. 24
  • 25. Thank you! Ronald Iberl Follow my Research: www.virtual-tourism.net