Date of Award

1-1-2009

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Business Administration

First Advisor

Michalisin, Michael

Second Advisor

Karau, Steven

Abstract

This study explored some of the critical success factors at the individual level for usage of PWS (Personal Web Server) systems. I tested core assumptions from Diffusion of Innovations theory for willingness to use new technology, and use some key concepts from the Technology Acceptance Model to reinforce DOI. I employed concepts of an empirically tested, valid, and reliable scale to measure willingness to use. The literature seems to indicate that information technologies are nearly always crucial to corporate strategy and performance. But there are still great chasms between the recognition of problems and the successful implementation of solutions. Therefore discovering what determines successful attitudes toward usage of such technologies at the individual level is critical to firm performance. There already exists an abundance of literature regarding information technology and various aspects of organizational performance. What was lacking was an analysis of how IT innovations are most productively adopted at the individual level, and how recognition of the critical success factors to usage of these technologies affects attitudes toward using them prior to adoption. In a global and increasingly fast-paced business environment, willingness to use IT innovations and the speed with which they are adopted can significantly affect competitive advantage. This was a theory building and explanatory study with the expressed intent to better understand the individual determinants of the success or failure of an IT innovation at the individual level. I studied PWS systems by employing independent variables of complexity, relative advantage, and trialability from Rogers, and using Davis's behavioral intent to predict willingness to use. The three attributes from Rogers were selected as the most face valid constructs, and Roger's rate of adoption outcome variable was excluded because it was deemed too time sensitive. Rogers's constructs of relative advantage and complexity have been demonstrated to be theoretically the same as Davis's perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use. I believe that the use of these variables effectively explained willingness to use at the individual level in a new way, which in turn is instructive toward organizational attitudes toward innovation. My findings showed that Relative Advantage, Complexity, and Trialability were all predictors of Willingness to Use a new technology. These findings as well as the interesting interactions of some of the independent variables should prove useful to those who seek to understand these phenomena within the crucial context of pre-acquisition of information systems. The intent was to explain Willingness to Use at the individual level in a new way, which in turn is instructive toward organizational attitudes toward innovation. It is my hope that the results of this research will be instructive to researchers, empiricists, and practitioners who are interested in pre-adoptive intents and behaviors.

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