Understanding acceptance of new technology by field support technicians.
The reliance of organizations on the use of technology to enhance business performance has been rapidly growing since the advent of Information Technology. In current times, it is unthinkable that an organization of any significance can even attempt to survive without the use of technology. Understanding the factors that effect the implementation of new technologies therefore becomes critical for organizations in their quest to survive and prosper. This study looks at acceptance of new technology by field support technicians in a technology support services organisation. This topic is approached by way of using findings from prior studies in the context of field support technicians. This involves verifying external validity of a modified version of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) developed in a prior study (involving healthcare professionals) for the acceptance of new technology in the case of field support technicians. The TAM explores the relationship amongst several variables (Compatibility; Social Influence; Facilitating Conditions; Perceived Usefulness; Perceived Ease of Use; and Attitude) and the influence of their interaction to Usage of a newly implemented system. The study was conducted within an Information and Communications Technology company that provides services to a large number of clients across South Africa. Data collection was approached by way of a census, with a questionnaire administered to field support technicians that were already using the new technology. Data received was then analysed and used in testing validity of the proposed model. Though the findings of the study were largely in support of prior research, a modified model was suggested for acceptance of new technology by field support technicians. The modified model takes into account the inclination of technicians towards experimenting with new technologies, a trait not observed with traditional system users studied in prior research. Since the study accounted for less than 70% variance in usage intention, it is recommended that further research be done to understand the “unexplained” variance, which is also common amongst most prior research. The findings of the study also suggest that continued research into the external validity of existing technology acceptance models for different contexts is justified.