Waiting to learn a new use of technology: motivation source and its impact on anticipated effect, time pressure and subjective norms
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This research investigated the decision process surrounding the self-regulated learning of new uses of existing technology. With firms investing up to 50% of their capital budgets on information technology (in excess of 1 trillion dollars in aggregate), understanding what factors motivate or inhibit more encompassing use of technology is of practical concern (Bowen 1986; Nambisan et al. 1999; Mahmood et a. 2001). I introduced a dynamic element to the technology adoption/acceptance literature by using a framework based upon deferral option theory. This framework allows for the decision to learn a new use of technology to occur over time. I found that potential users chose to defer learning new uses of technology even when usefulness was evident and ease of learning was not prohibitive. Further, an additional benefit to using the deferral option framework was its inclusion of both rewards and penalties; I found that not only do potential users consider what can be gained by learning, but also what can be lost by trying to learn and failing. In addition to using a framework premised on deferral option theory, I investigated the properties of time pressure and subjective norms on the decision to learn new uses of technology. As time pressure offered a possible alternate explanation for why potential users defer learning, I controlled for it experimentally and determined that time pressure did affect deferral choice. Further, as subjective norms have had limited success as a predictor of intent to use technology in prior literature, I investigated the separate pieces of the theoretical construct, referent group perceptions and the motivation to comply with those perceptions. By manipulating environment between work and play settings, different motivational sources were enacted by the potential users. Specifically, I found that when potential users were externally motivated subjective norms did influence deferral, and when internally motivated, subjective norms did not influence a potential user??s decision to defer learning a new use of technology.
Loraas, Tina Marie (2004). Waiting to learn a new use of technology: motivation source and its impact on anticipated effect, time pressure and subjective norms. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from