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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

Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
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thanks Eva for your findings.... do you have any further details like on the statistical evidence, or how such factors are correlated? I liked e.g. the model you have on your homepage - this looks like a good checklist of factors to consider during tech-implementations. 


thank you for your interest! We pre-published an early version of the study the findings in our article are cited from: 

The paper is currently under review with an international journal, so we hope it will be published sometime soon! 

Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Hi @EvaGoesswein,

Thanks for pointing out the TAM - really interesting! 
Does the model also include the perceived changes that the new technology brings to the users job? Maybe the fear of the unknown when it comes to how the new technology will impact the users tasks and  responsibilities also plays a role in the acceptance of it. 


Hi @RichardBen,

Thank you for the appreciation and your interest! This certain study doesn't contain the perceived changes brought by the technology. Mainly, because it was a survey with only one data collection.

As  the actual impact of a technology introduction is also super important to us, we conducted another study looking deeper into the topic. In that case, we took a scientific look at a SAP Introduction in a medium-sized company and the attached stress / mental workload. Some results are reported in this blog article (German only):

We found that 

  1. SAP implementation did not increase the workload
  2. there was a positive influence of openness and intrinsic motivation (person variables)
  3. SAP Software was perceived as a relief

As a limitation I have to add that the sample size in this second study was rather small - but we will stick with the topic and hopefully explore it some more with more people and therefore more reliable results in the future!

Do you have any experiences you can share on the fear of the unknown & technology acceptance? 

Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Hi @EvaGoesswein,

Thanks for asking.

I can only share my personal experiences from supporting go lives for over 25 years - so there is no scientific research to back this up. In the early days of my career, I was developing and delivering SAP end user courses myself. I then found that the intrinsic motivation and willingness to learn how to do their job with the new system seemed to be dependant on what they had already heard about it.

The more uncertainty about the changes in roles, responsibilities and tasks, the more the attendees seemed to want to stick to the 'old way of doing things'. Also, unclarity about the goals of the project and not knowing for which part the project success depended on the users' contribution did not seem to help adoption. 

The fear of the unknown almost seems to be used as an excuse to learn how to use the new technology. In my opinion: the clearer you can be about the future situation, including the 'what's in it for me' for the end users, the better you'll find them accepting the new technology. It will also positively influence their intrinsic motivation to learn how to use and operate the new application. 


Thank you for the valuable insight. The "social norm" (what relevant others think about a technology / what you might have heard about it before) definitely is an interesting variable we might also keep in mind in future research!

And from my experience outside of science (as an IT consultant), I completely agree with you. It seems that it is almost as important to have the "bigger picture" planned and communicated, as it is to have qualified support for the first steps with the new technology. And this certainty nurtures a good learning environment - opening the path for intrinsic motivation. 

We really thrive on these insights from practitioners - on the one hand, it shows where our research supports experiences or a certain "feeling", on the other hand we (the scientists) are able to learn and challenge our established models.