Theories in ITM/IS Research: Technology Acceptance Model and Task-Technology Fit
Theories in ITM/IS 1Theories in ITM/IS Research: Technology Acceptance Model and Task-Technology Fit Edgardo Donovan ITM 603 – Dr. Wenli Wang Module 2 – Case Analysis Monday, May 9, 2011
Theories in ITM/IS 2 Theories in ITM/IS Research: Technology Acceptance Model and Task-Technology Fit Organizations that desire to gain the best return on investment from their informationtechnology investment must continue to strive to align their overall strategies that reference paststudies concerning both the Technology Acceptance Model and Task Technology Fit. Boththeoretical frameworks are not mutually exclusive and can be used synergistically together.Task-Technology Fit is useful in attempting to measure technologies that best fit the usabilitypotential of information workers whereas the Technology Acceptance Model is useful inmeasuring use according to its overall organizational impact. Computer systems cannot improve organizational performance if they are not used.Unfortunately, resistance to end-user systems by managers and professional is a widespreadproblem. To better predict, explain, and increase user acceptance, we need to better understandwhy people accept or reject information technology and the ability to predict peoples computeracceptance from a measure of their intentions, and the ability to explain their intentions in termsof their attitudes, subjective norms, perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and relatedvariables (Bagozzi 1989, p. 982). Information technology adoption and use in the workplaceremains a central concern of information systems research and practice. Despite impressiveadvances in hardware and software capabilities, the troubling problem of underutilized systemshas been identified as a major factor underlying the "productivity paradox" (Venkatesh 2000, p.186). User satisfaction literature explicitly enumerates system and information design attributes(e.g. information accuracy and system reliability), making it a potential useful diagnostic forsystem design. By contrast, the technology acceptance literature (i.e., the technology acceptance
Theories in ITM/IS 3model or TAM) provides sound predictions of usage by linking behaviors to attitudes and beliefs(ease of use, usefulness) that are consistent in time, target, and context with the behavior of theinterest: system usage (Wixon 2005, 85). The Technology Acceptance Model theorizes that an individual’s behavioral intention touse a system is determined by two beliefs: perceived usefulness, defines as the extent to which asperson believes that using the system will enhance his or her job performance, and perceivedease of use, defined as the extent to which a person believes that using the system will be free ofeffort (Venkatesh 2000, 187). Figure 1. Technology Acceptance Model (Venkatesh 188, 2000)
Theories in ITM/IS 4 Through the Technology Acceptance Model companies can align a portion of theirprocesses with technologies they feel will render their operations more efficient. There is alwaysthe potential that new aligned practices will synchronize with traditional operations therebycarving out a niche as one of the multiple operational tools. The potential for ultimateconvergence with standard practices is the goal. IS literature repeatedly outlines the fundamentalimportance of alignment for organizational effectiveness. Strategic alignment provides a logicalframework for analyzing strategic choices in enough detail to ensure successful implementationof business, technology, and infrastructure direction (Luftman 2000, p. 205). Studies have also demonstrated that greater technology acceptance gained through ISalignment and performance are correlated. Two well received views are that technologyacceptance IS alignment is “the degree to which the information technology mission, objectives,and plans support and are supported by the business mission, objectives, and plans,” and that ISalignment involves “fit” and “integration” among business strategy, IT strategy, businessinfrastructure, and IT infrastructure (Chan 2002, p. 98). At one end of the spectrum is theperspective that organizations are rigid corporate entities devoid of personality that can beengineered. At the other end of the spectrum is the view that organizations are primarily socialsystems of interrelated elements where a change in one element affects all others. Oneprecondition for successful alignment of the informal structure may be a positive companyculture (Chan 2002, p. 98). Therefore, studies involving IT alignment should center onorganizational culture dynamics and whether an organization has the ability to foster a dynamicsymbiosis between IT processes and evolving organizational strategy.
Theories in ITM/IS 5 A large consensus argues that technology alignment for better technology acceptance andtask technology fit are among the best theoretical frameworks for assessing organizationaldynamics of formal IT strategy so far. Since its inception, it has been used within organizationsto examine existing company information systems in terms of the support they provide forbusiness strategy, and to provide a measure of the alignment of IS strategy with business strategy(Chan 2002, p. 126). The need to link business strategies with IT strategies consistently ranksamong the top two objectives of senior executives within the information technology function(Luftman 2000, p. 205). One of the many industries that greatly benefit from being able toscientifically measure the IT strategy alignment dynamics within different organizations areventure capital firms given that they manage portfolios comprised of a diverse array ofinvestment companies. Additionally, large organizations may also find it useful to measurepotential value creating synergistic merger opportunities. Alignment seems to grow inimportance as companies strive to link technology and business in light of dynamic businessstrategies and continuously evolving technologies (Luftman 2000, p. 5). Achieving alignment is evolutionary and dynamic. It requires strong support from seniormanagement, good working relationships, strong leadership, appropriate prioritization, trust, andeffective communication, as well as a thorough understanding of the business and technicalenvironments (Luftman 2000, p. 2). Task-Technology Fir and Individual Performance theory asserts that for an informationtechnology to have a positive impact on individual performance, the technology: must be utilizedand must be a good fit with the task it supports (Goodhue 1995, p. 213). Human ComputerInteraction (HCI) and user centered design studies attempt to create systems to best
Theories in ITM/IS 6accommodate single users not larger communities of practice. There must be analysis whichencompasses the complexity of social organization and the technical state of the art. The analysiscannot be based upon a vague idea of what a generic individual would like sitting at a keyboardin social isolation or in a stereotypic situation that effectively ignores the varieties of concretesocial locations (Kling 2003, p. 3). In this way information technologies may become a means ofconstructing and exploring individual, group, and organizational and community identity (Kling2003, p. 26). Most people who use applications utilize multiple applications in various roles andas part of their efforts to produce goods and services while interacting with a variety of otherpeople and often in multiple social contexts (Lamb 2003, p. 197). Designing workable computer systems for large groups is difficult also because itrequires the support of a strong socio-technical infrastructure. Many key parts of informationsystems are neither immediately visible nor interesting in their novelty. They include technicalinfrastructure, such as reliable electricity (which may be a given in urban America, butproblematic in many Third World countries, in wilderness areas, or in urban areas after a majordevastation.) They also involve a range of skilled-support -- from people to document systemsfeatures and train people to use them to rapid-response consultants who can diagnose and repairsystem failures (Kling 2003, p. 18). Usability studies can shift the emphasis on interrelated groups of people rather thanindividual users and that it can act as a potential cohesive model to understand organizationaldynamics at a localized level. There is a greater probability that certain individual behavioraldynamics ossify in a group setting as the group becomes larger and more valuable. Brown andDuguid (1991) coined the term "communities of practice" to refer to people who are concerned
Theories in ITM/IS 7with a common set of work practices. They are not a team, a task force, and not even necessarilyan authorized or identified group. People in CoPs can perform the same job (but work indifferent places much of the time, such as field service engineers), collaborate on a shared task orwork together on a product. They are peers in the execution of "real work." What holds themtogether is a common sense of purpose and a real need to know what each other knows. Thereare many communities of practice within a single organization and most people belong to morethan one of them (Kling 24). Ideally, because they are difficult to engineer, CoPs will groworganically fueled primarily by the affinity interactions recommended through word-of-mouth. The conceptual weakness of Task-Technology Fit and Individual Performance research isthat it cannot universally define human behavior in group settings and that when not anchored byconstraints, controlled testing environments, and mediating variables its importance can easilybecome over-estimated. For example, some people believe that many of the troubles of the 1990sranging from underperforming IT investments to outright failures could have been avoided if theparticipating IT professionals had much more reliable and critical understanding of theparticipants in different roles and the dynamics of organizational and social change (Kling 2003,p. 394). They surmise that this could have been avoided if IT professionals learned empiricallyanchored analytical approaches towards understanding the relationships between IT applicationsand human life in organizations and larger society (Kling 2003, p. 394). Unfortunately, over-exuberance about the paradigm shifting perceived “New Economy’s” ability to change basiceconomic principles was a primary cause of IT investor overconfidence. This period of irrationalexuberance was supported by similar ideological alignments in the press and academia thereby
Theories in ITM/IS 8refuting Kling’s hope that IT professionals armed with a greater understanding of empiricalprocesses would through their common sense restrain irrational speculative human instincts. A better understanding of Task-Technology Fit and Individual Performance research canease the implementation of new technologies but can also lead to over engineering and social-informatics myopia. A lot of the determining factors of success or failure in that regard hinge onfinding a common language. Discourses are enacted through language, symbols, and practicesthat have to be intelligible to many participants who have varied local experiences (Kling 2003,p. 400). It is also important that a social informatics-centric approach not get in the way ofaccommodating different portions of a socio-technical system to meet the individualizeddemands of its users. There are important architectural relationships, such as the question ofwhether the basic architecture of the system reflects a realistic relationship between people andmachines. As with the architecture of buildings, the architecture of machines embodies questionsof livability, usability and sustainability (Kling 2003, p. 5). There is no single recipe for successin human centered design. Given that humans are so diverse, by nature human centereddesigning tends to be tailored, rather than mass produced. "One size fits all" seems distinctivelynon human-centered. On the other hand, we dont believe that complete tailorability results inhuman centered systems, because few people have the time or interest to effectively learn how totailor thousands of features in complex computer systems (Kling 2003, p. 6). Human-centeredsystems are designed to complement human skills. The impetus to build such systems is based onhuman needs, for information, assistance, or knowledge. We recognize that the conditions underwhich people use such systems vary considerably. An aircraft navigational system might removesignificant control from a pilot and use a logic that is difficult to explore when a plane is flying at
Theories in ITM/IS 9200 mph near ground and other planes. In contrast, a medical diagnostic system might have to bedesigned so that a doctor can examine how it weighed evidence and a rule-base to make aspecific diagnosis (Kling 2003, p. 9) As networks converge and natural synergies develop phenomena that were once localizedmay become global and possibly universal. An example of this is the social interactive web siteFacebook which has enabled whole new paradigm of social user interaction has spawnedglobally in just a few years just like the Netscape web browser did the same in changing the waypeople linked and accessed documents off the Internet. This has brought about changes in theacademic community as well as in user centered information studies which have relied onindividualistic cognitive models to carefully examine the criteria that influence the selection ofinformation and communication technologies that people make (Lamb 2003, p. 197). Based onthe success of online social interaction it may seem that a shift from the user concept to a conceptof the social actor in IS research is in play. Such a shift may sharpen perceptions of howorganizational contexts shape information communication technology related practices and at thesame time may help researchers more accurately portray the complex and multiple roles thatpeople fulfill while adopting, adapting, and using information systems (Lamb 2003, p. 198). Ashift towards social informatics may also be in play in the healthcare industry. The HealthInsurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and similar Laws and regulationsare motivating development of standardized healthcare systems and are increasing attention paidto privacy and security of electronic data in healthcare. Financial motivations and organizationalacquisitions and mergers are prompting healthcare administrators to implement large-scale ITintegration projects (Wilson 2004, p. 332). Healthcare is a large and growing industry that is
Theories in ITM/IS 10experiencing major transformation in its information technology base. IS confronted similartransformations in other industries and developed theories and methods that proved useful inhealthcare applications. In turn, IS may benefit from incorporating knowledge from healthinformatics, a discipline that studies IT within medical and healthcare contexts (Wilson 2004, p.332). Organizations that desire to gain the best return on investment from their informationtechnology investment must continue to strive to align their overall strategies that reference paststudies concerning both the Technology Acceptance Model and Task Technology Fit. Boththeoretical frameworks are not mutually exclusive and can be used synergistically together.Task-Technology Fit is useful in attempting to measure technologies that best fit the usabilitypotential of information workers whereas the Technology Acceptance Model is useful inmeasuring use according to its overall organizational impact.
Theories in ITM/IS 11 BibliographyBerta Lamb, Rob Kling: Reconceptualizing users as social actors in information systemsresearch. MIS Quarterly 27(2): (2003)Chan, Yolande E., Sid L. Huff, Donald W. Barclay, and Duncan G. Copeland. (1997)Business strategic orientation, information systems strategic orientation, and strategicalignment. Information Systems Research 8, no. 2: 125-150.Chan, Yolande E. (2002) Why haven’t we mastered alignment? The importance of theinformal organization structure. MIS Quarterly Executive 1, no. 2: 97-112.Chan, Yolande E., and Blaize H. Reich. (2007). IT alignment: What have we learned?Journal of Information Technology 22, no. 4: 297-315.Chan, Yolande E., Rajiv Sabherwal, and Jason Thatcher. (2006). Antecedents of strategicIS alignment: an empirical investigation. IEEE Transactions on EngineeringManagement 53, no. 1 (February 2006): 27- 47.Chan, Yolande E., and Blaize H. Reich. (2007). IT alignment: an annotated bibliography.Journal of Information Technology 22, no. 4 (December 2007): 316-396.Davis, F. D., R. P. Bagozzi & P. R. Warshaw (1989). User acceptance of computertechnology: a comparison of two theoretical models. Management Science (35:8), August1989, pp. 982-1003.
Theories in ITM/IS 12Goodhue, D. & R. L. Thompson (1995). Task-technology fit and individual performance.MIS Quarterly (19:2), June 1995, pp. 213-236.Kling, R. (2003). Critical professional education about information and communicationstechnologies and social life. Information Technology and People, 16(4), 394-418.Kling, R., & Star, S. L. (1998). Human centered systems in the perspective oforganizational and social informatics. Computers and Society(March), 24-29.Luftman, J. (2000). Assessing business-it alignment maturity. Communications ofAssociation for Information Systems, 4(14).Luftman, J. N., Lewis, P. R., and Oldach, S. H. (1993). Transforming the enterprise: Thealignment of business and information technology strategies. IBM Systems Journal,32(1), 198-221.Luftman, J., Kempaiah, R. (2007). An update on business-IT alignment: A line has beendrawn. MIS Quarterly Executive, 6(2), 165-177.Venkatesh, V. & F. D. Davis. (2000). A theoretical extension of the technologyacceptance model: four longitudinal field studies. Management Science (46:2), February2000, pp. 186-204.
Theories in ITM/IS 13Wilson, E. V., & Lankton, N. K. (2004). Interdisciplinary research and publicationopportunities in information systems and healthcare. Communications of the Associationfor Information Systems, 14, 332.Wixom, B. & P.Todd (2005). A theoretical integration of user satisfaction and technologyacceptance. Information systems Research, March 2005, pp.85-102.