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The pervasive power of cutting-edge technologies has reshaped industries and revolutionized the way businesses function at their core. The question is: how do we navigate this ever-changing technological landscape? We are a group of researchers at the University of Duisburg-Essen focusing on on "Human Factors & Cognitions" and therefore very happy to join the blogging challenge BeyondAdoption here in the SAP Training and Change Management Community Group. Join us on a journey to understand the secrets behind the acceptance of digital innovations and decipher the factors that drive their adoption and determine the fate of businesses and workers. 

Some Theory on Technology Acceptance

A widely used framework that helps us to understand how and why people accept or reject new technology is the technology acceptance model (TAM). It is based on the idea that when people are introduced to a new technology, their decision to use it depends on two main factors: perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use.

In essence, TAM suggests that the more users perceive a technology as useful and easy to use, the more likely they are to embrace it. The TAM has been used in research, but it’s also a practical tool for companies to assess the acceptance of technologies and effectively capture user’s perspectives. Throughout the years, the TAM has accompanied us in our work, providing the foundation for numerous studies across various technological contexts.

Our Key Findings regarding Technology Acceptance

Within our work, we identified a necessity for TAM revision, specifically proposing the removal of the usability factor (perceived ease of use) and introducing a new variable: trust in technology. These conclusions are corroborated by findings from fellow researchers. One plausible rationale behind this shift is that ease of use has now become a fundamental expectation for technologies in the current market landscape, thus diminishing its significance.

Don’t forget the human factor

Interestingly, our findings also indicate that adaptability as a person’s trait plays a relevant role in the acceptance of technologies. Adaptability is important for making appropriate responses in changing situations – such as a dynamic working environment based on digital technologies. We showed that individuals who are more adaptable tend to show greater trust in technology, leading to a higher intention to use it.

And what about the organization’s culture?

Moreover, working environments are heavily imprinted by organizational culture. From a psychological point of view, this is not our primary focus – nevertheless we found the degree to which people experience their organization’s culture as open to trying and experiment with new technologies to play a role in forming trust in the technology. Organizations that foster an environment for trying out and experimenting with new technologies thus promote trust in these systems.

Main take aways

In conclusion, our findings offer a deeper understanding of the acceptance of new technologies in the workplace.

We need to highlight

  • the central role of trust in technology,
  • the declining importance of perceived ease of use,
  • the significance of adaptability
  • and organizational culture in shaping technology acceptance.

These insights not only contribute to the success of companies adopting digitalization but also provide avenues for supporting employees as they navigate the ever-evolving technological landscape. Ultimately, by focusing on the perceived value and trustworthiness of new technologies, organizations can foster a more positive environment for technology acceptance and improve overall employee satisfaction and efficiency in the workplace.

Who are we?

As a group of researchers at the University of Duisburg-Essen, we aim at gaining a better insight into human behavior and its underlying mechanisms in a world which is becoming increasingly complex ( We engage in multiple areas of human factors, such as highly automated driving, the use of collaborative robotic systems, the automation of ships, as well as new software solutions. Our findings create a better basis for a human-centered development of new technologies. Our work is funded by different national and international research grants as well as various business partners.

written by Eva Gößwein & Magnus Liebherr - contact us via our website and leave your feedback below. We are very interested in discussing our or your findings.

#beyondAdoption! #TAM #Technologyacceptance #SciencemeetsSAP