Technology Acceptance Theory (TAM) is a well-known model related to technology acceptance and its’ use, originally proposed by Davis in 1989. According to (Legris et al.,2003), TAM has proven to be a theoretical model in helping to explain and predict user behavior of information technology. TAM is considered an influential extension of theory of reasoned action (TRA), according to Ajzen and Fishbein (1980). The goal of TAM is to explain the general determinants of computer acceptance that lead to explaining users’ behaviour across a broad range of end-user computing technologies and user populations. TAM provides a basis with which one traces how external variables influence belief, attitude, and intention to use.
The model posits that Perceived Usefulness (PU) and Perceived Ease of Use (PEOU) determines an individual’s intention to use a system. Perceived Usefulness is defined as the degree to which a user believes that using a specific system would increase his or her job performance. Perceived Ease of Use, in contrast, refers to the degree to which the potential user expects the target system to be free from effort (Davis, 1989). According to TAM, one’s actual use of a technology system is influenced directly or indirectly by the user’s behavioral intentions, attitude, perceived usefulness of the system, and perceived ease of the system.
TAM also proposes that external factors affect intention and actual use through mediated effects on perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use. External variables may include users’ demographic characteristics, organizational characteristics (e.g. training method) and technology characteristics (e.g. user satisfaction).
Fig 1.1: Technology Acceptance ModelSource: (Davis, 1989)According to Davis (1989), practitioners evaluate systems for two purposes; firstly, to predict acceptability; secondly to diagnose the reasons resulting in lack of acceptance and to take proper measures to improve user acceptance. Technology acceptance model (TAM) has received empirical support for being robust in predicting technology adoption in various contexts and with a variety of technologies (Gao, 2005). This model suggests that when users are presented with a new technology, a number of factors influence their decision about how and when they want use it, namely: Perceived Usefulness (PU) and Perceived Ease of use (PEOU (Legris et al.,2003). The idea of TAM is to give a theoretical basis to explain the impact of external variables (i.e.
, objective system design characteristics, training, computer self-efficacy) on internal beliefs, attitude toward use, behavioral intentions, and actual system use (Ibrahim & Jaafar, 2011).By limiting determinants of use to perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness for predicting user behavior the model fails to recognize other acceptance and use determinants, as illustrated by later models such as Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT). One limitation of TAM is that it does not consider organization and system variables that may negatively impact an individual’s adoption of an information technology. These include variables such as financial cost to the individual, system characteristics, training, support, and management support (Handy et al., 2001). Furthermore, van Biljon (2006) states that TAM does not cover social and cultural factors.
If there is no basic infrastructure or an organizational context for the adoption of new technology, then facilitating conditions becomes an important construct. A key criticism is that TAM fails to acknowledge individual differences such as experience, age, and gender, that may influence an individual’s attitudes about a given technology or system. This in turn can influence the intention to use an innovation (Agarwal & Prasad, 1999). 1.12 Conceptual framework