Date of Award

12-1-2010

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Business Administration

First Advisor

BRUNER II, DR. GORDON

Abstract

A great deal of research has been conducted in the last three decades to find the determinants of technology usage and adoption. Numerous models have been developed in the United States and other developed countries to enhance the understanding of this issue. However, two main questions remain as to what extent these models and conclusions based on their past usage can be applied to other countries, particularly less developed nations, and to what degree social influence affects consumers' decisions across cultures. Recently, Kulviwat et al. (2007) proposed a new model - Consumer Acceptance of Technology (CAT) - that was shown to significantly improve the prediction of intentions to adopt high-tech products compared to the immensely popular Technology Acceptance Model (TAM; Davis 1989) by integrating cognitive and affective factors. This study extends the CAT model by adding social constructs in order to account for the effects from others rather than from one's own thoughts and feelings. Because of the addition of social influences, this modified model was named CATS. The objectives of this dissertation were threefold. The first objective was to investigate the impact of social influence on adoption of technological innovations by including three social constructs: social influence, susceptibility to normative influence, and susceptibility to informational influence. The second objective was to examine cognitive, affective, and social influence in three countries (The United States, State of Kuwait, and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) in order to determine if their relative roles in predicting attitudes and intentions are stable or if they vary in some predictable way. The third objective was to examine the effect of an extremely important cultural dimension, individualism/collectivism, on the relationships in the model. In general, the results provided empirical support for CATS across cultures by using structural equation modeling and path analysis. More specifically, the findings confirm what was found in previous studies about the important roles of cognition (percieved usefulness) and affect (pleasure, arousal, and dominance). Additionally, this research showed that social (social influence) also has a significant, direct, and positive effect on attitude toward adopting technology innovations. Also, as expected from previous studies, attitude had a significant, positive, and direct effect on adoption intention. Finally, the role of a culture's individualism/collectivism on the relationships in the model was surprising. The only factors that were significantly moderated by individualism/collectivism were related to affect: pleasure and dominance. This new finding suggests that consumers in individualistic cultures are more likely than consumers in collectivistic cultures to have their attitudes shaped by how enjoyable an innovation is and how much more "in control" it makes them feel. Overall, the analysis showed that the CATS model fit the data best. This means the incorporation of cognition, affect, and social into a model fit the data better than cognition (TAM) or cognition and affect (CAT) alone. These findings have valuable implications for marketing theory, methodology, and practice.

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