Looking Forward: Toward an Understanding of the Nature and Definition of IT Acceptance



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Journal of the Association for Information Systems


In the past two decades the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) has successfully catalyzed a large number of studies related to IT usage or intentions toward that usage. However, we argue that the focus of these studies has been on a narrow aspect of usage (typically, extent or frequency of use). Moreover, we suggest that, these studies implicitly include the notion that "IT acceptance" be construed as simply the relationship between antecedent factors such as perceived usefulness and ease of use that target or predict that particular type of intention connected to amount of IT usage. Rather than continuing studies for additional antecedents or contexts that moderate this particular mode of use, we suggest a reflexive pause regarding the notion of IT acceptance itself. Specifically, we encourage broadening our understanding of IT acceptance toward a wider constellation of behavioral usage and its psychological counterparts. Other aspects of usage behavior or post hoc usage evaluation such as infusion, routinization, substantive use, exploitive usage, or faithfulness of appropriation have recently emerged and will likely require/involve other psychological notions of acceptance (Sundaram et al, forthcoming; Jones et al. 2002; Jasperson et al. 2005; Burton-Jones and Straub, 2006; Chin, et al. 1997). The call for this expansion is only made more salient by recent studies that indicate that the traditional TAM antecedents do not necessarily relate to these other forms of usage (Jones et al. 2002) and, furthermore, that these alternative notions of usage such as routinization or infusion may have stronger connection to performance outcomes (Sundaram et al., forthcoming). Therefore, this commentary encourages researchers to investigate other psychological notions of IT acceptance (i.e., besides intention or attitude directed primarily at extent of use) that may in turn be more strongly connected to alternative modes of IT use. Such a perspective expands the view of IT acceptance as not only occurring during the initial adoption stage, but throughout the lifecycle of usage where other forms of acceptance may predominate as other goals such as learning, adaptation, and optimization of IT become the central thrust. To highlight our perspective of the complexity and multidimensionality of psychological acceptance, we draw from the field of etymology as a means of exploration and uncover six different notions of acceptance (five being facet-based and one process-based) that may prove fruitful for future studies.



IT Acceptance, IT Usage, Cognition, Etymology


Copyright 2007 Journal of the Association for Information Systems. Recommended citation: Schwarz, Andrew, and Wynn Chin. "Looking forward: Toward an understanding of the nature and definition of IT acceptance." Journal of the association for information systems 8, no. 4 (2007): 4. URL: http://aisel.aisnet.org/jais/vol8/iss4/4. Reproduced in accordance with the original publisher's licensing terms and with permission from the author(s).