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Reconceptualizing Compatibility Beliefs in Technology Acceptance

Posted: 25 Sep 2008  

Elena Karahanna

University of Georgia - C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry College of Business

Ritu Agarwal

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business

Corey M. Angst

University of Notre Dame

Date Written: February 21, 2006

Abstract

Theoretical and empirical research in technology acceptance, while acknowledging the importance of individual beliefs about the compatibility of a technology, has produced equivocal results. This study focuses on further conceptual development of this important belief in technology acceptance. Unlike much prior research that has focused on only a limited aspect of compatibility, we provide a more comprehensive conceptual definition that disaggregates the content of compatibility into four distinct and separable constructs: compatibility with preferred work style, compatibility with existing work practices, compatibility with prior experience, and compatibility with values. We suggest that the form of the multidimensional compatibility construct is best modeled as a multivariate structural model. Based on their conceptual definitions, we develop operational measures for the four compatibility variables. We assess the nomological validity of our conceptualization by situating it within the technology acceptance model. In contrast to prior research, which has regarded beliefs of compatibility as an independent antecedent of technology acceptance outcomes, we posit causal linkages not only among the four compatibility beliefs, but also between compatibility beliefs and usefulness, and ease of use. We test our theoretical model with a field sample of 278 users of a customer relationship management system in the context of a large bank. Scale validation indicates that the operational measures of compatibility developed in this study have acceptable psychometric properties, which support the existence of four distinct constructs. Results largely support the theorized relationships.

Keywords: compatibility, technology acceptance

Suggested Citation

Karahanna, Elena and Agarwal, Ritu and Angst, Corey M., Reconceptualizing Compatibility Beliefs in Technology Acceptance (February 21, 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1273161

Elena Karahanna

University of Georgia - C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry College of Business ( email )

Brooks Hall
Athens, GA 30602-6254
United States

Ritu Agarwal

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business ( email )

College Park, MD 20742-1815
United States

Corey M. Angst (Contact Author)

University of Notre Dame ( email )

361 Mendoza College of Business
Notre Dame, IN New South Wales 46556-5646
United States

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