Technology acceptance, psychological attachment and technostress
MetadataShow full item record
Technology has been an integral part of human life since the 19th century’s Industrial Revolution, and the advancement of technologies has continued into the 21st century. Of all new emerging technologies, the computer has been identified as the most important, most complex and fastest emerging technology. In order for businesses to compete and survive within the business world, they are compelled to adopt new computer technologies. However, computers alone cannot improve organisational performance. Computers need to be accepted, optimally used and utilised by employees in order for an organisation to succeed. One such technology is SAP AG’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system which is a real-time, fully integrated business system used by more than 170 000 organisations in 120 countries. Measuring information system success has been a concern since its inception due to its complexity and difficulty to appraise. Researchers traditionally attempted to measure success by the delivering of a functional information system product within certain monetary and time constraints. Subsequently, evidence suggested that a more accurate measure of success lies within the field of system use. One model of assessing and predicting user acceptance and which has gained popularity in recent years is the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). Apart from accepting the SAP ERP system, users should also be of the intention to continuously use it as a job requirement. The model for measuring user commitment is psychological attachment which determines whether the commitment is insincere and temporary, or long-lasting. Further, not only do users need to accept and continuously use an information technology like SAP ERP; they also need to be able to cope while using it. If not, psychological stress known as techno stress develops and prevents the optimal use of this system. With these three possible explanations for computer technology avoidance as a premise of departure, this study aims to determine the congruence, if any, between the sub-constructs of the TAM (perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, attitude toward using, behavioural intention to use and actual system use), psychological attachment (compliance, identification and internalisation), and techno stress (negative computer thoughts) within a South African SAP ERP user environment. A cross-sectional survey design was used rendering a convenience sample of N = 241 from among the SAP ERP user fraternity at a South African steel manufacturer. The measuring instruments used were the 23-item Technology Acceptance Questionnaire (TAM), the 10-item Psychological Attachment Questionnaire (PAQ) and the 20-item Computer Thoughts Survey (CTS-C). Study 1 which was a literature review confirmed conceptual congruence in that although the technology acceptance model was the most parsimonious, powerful and widely applied theoretical model, it was constrained due to the omission of social influence (psychological attachment) as a contributing factor in the processes of behavioural change towards technology acceptance. Furthermore, it was found that techno stress lowers employee efficiency and creates dissonance in the work environment, resulting in acceptance, hesitance or resistance towards the technology in question. Congruence was established between the system itself (technology acceptance), social relationships (psychological acceptance), and inherent psychological stress (techno stress). The aim of study 2 was to test the technology acceptance model within a South African SAP ERP user environment. Structural equation modelling confirmed that positive inter-construct relationships exist between all TAM constructs. Actual system use, which is the measurement for technology acceptance, was directly affected by behavioural intention to use and indirectly by perceived usefulness. In turn, behavioural intention to use was directly affected by perceived usefulness, attitude toward using and indirectly by perceived ease of use. Attitude toward using was directly affected by perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness. Perceived usefulness was directly affected by perceived ease of use. Study 3 revealed that internalisation had a direct positive effect on behavioural intention to use and an indirect effect on actual system use via behavioural intention to use. Furthermore, in this study identification had direct positive effects on internalisation, perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and actual system use. Indirect effects emerged between identification and behavioural intention to use via internalisation as well as behavioural intention to use via perceived usefulness. Compliance, on the other hand, had negligible, negative direct effects on all TAM constructs of which the most prominent was that on attitude toward using. Results acquired from structural equation modelling in study four confirmed that weak negative relationships existed between techno stress and all TAM constructs. This finding is contrary to other studies and can be attributed to the fact that participants in this study were at large, proficient around SAP ERP and therefore experienced low levels of techno stress. Furthermore, aspects such as effective training, clear deadlines, effective teamwork, recurrent performance evaluations, job security, career development and realistic job load are all antidotes for techno stress which is believed to be current within the participant fraternity. In a concluding chapter the conclusions derived from the literature review, as well as the empirical research were presented and recommendations flowing from this research study were made.
- Humanities