Technology Acceptance: An Analysis of the Social and Personal Influences that Affect Human Reaction to Disruptive Technological Change

By Ute Hillmer.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper investigates an individual’s subjective interpretation of a situation of technological change. It shows how various group and role identities operate simultaneously within the individual, influencing reactions through normative or structural bias, and contrastingly, how in parallel personal identity provides choice in the enactment of individual innovative behaviour. It is argued that the component that dominates is dependent on an individual’s degree of embedment in the situationally relevant society and its various groups.
In order to understand an individual’s balance between the two forces in a situation of technological change, normative as well as individualistic forces matter. Firstly, looking at human action in regards to technological change from a social perspective, social ties represent social and organisational bias that guide behaviour but at the same time demand control, thereby influencing action in the context of technological change. Wheras, focusing on the individual, personal identity raises the importance of individual uniqueness. This paper thus offers a conceptualisation of an individual’s meaning system as a dynamic, psycho-social processing system, and it outlines how this system’s ongoing reconstruction of meaning influences action somewhat differently each time.
In the final analysis, this paper links existing pieces of knowledge from various disciplines in a new way, creating a patchwork that explains shared patterns of behaviour in technology acceptance, but it also explains changing individual behaviour in the face of technological change.

Keywords: Technological Change, Technology Acceptance, Meaning System, Self, Identities, Network Society, Embeddedness, Shared Reality, Personal Reality, Subjective Reality, CAPS

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.91-100. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 620.300KB).

Ute Hillmer

University of East London, Waldenbuch, UK

The authors past experience are 16 years of corporate outbound marketing management in large multi-national commercial organizations (Hewlett Packard, CoCreate, Sun Microsystems), managing various marketing teams in the US, Europe and Asia. The product focus centred around state-of-the-art information technology hardware and software. More recent experience includes work as a strategy consultant and management advisor for medium size high tech firms and start-ups. Many years of practical experience dealing with the seemingly unpredictable success or failure of a product as well as its weak relation to a products stated benefits and features, has caused the author to be critical of traditionally one-dimensional perspectives found in management literature; to thinking about organizations from perspectives contained in sociology, social psychology, psychology and some aspects of neuroscience. Researching outside the traditional discipline of management science has caused the author to adopt a broader personal perspective through which individuals’ choice of action and its consequences for technology management can be considered.


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