Technological Acceptance Model (TAM)

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Frame of reference

In this chapter, we have discussed relevant theories and models. These theories and model are used to build a theoretical framework and propose a model to be applied on our empirical data; that will enable us to test the hypotheses and fulfill the desired purpose of the study.


An innovation is « an idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption » (Rogers, 1995, p. 11). An innovation may composed of advancement in existing features, or establishment of new features to an existing product/service, or it might be a totally new/innovative product/service introduced in the (same or new) market (Bagozzi & Kyu-Hyun, 1999)

Technological Innovation

Technological „Innovation‟ is an iterative process started by the perception of a new market and/or new opportunity for an invention (technological) which directs to development/improvement, manufacturing, and then marketing tasks essential for the commercial accomplishment of the invention. This reveals two important perspectives, first, the „innovation‟ process comprises the technological development of an invention with addition to the commercial introduction of that invention to consumers, secondly, the innovation process is iterative and hence, instinctively includes the first opening of a new product and the re-opening of an enhanced and developed innovation (Garcia & Calantone, 2002). The commercialization of new product has been termed as the most critical and also crucial activity that renders its accomplishment (Gourville J. 2006).
The above definition made it important to clarify and distinguish between an invention and innovation. “A discovery/invention that moves from the lab into production, and adds economic value to the firm (even if only cost savings) is considered an innovation” (Garcia & Calantone, 2002). An invention cannot get turned into an innovation unless & until it pass through the manufacturing/production and marketing activities, so and invention/discovery that does not move towards commercialization remains an invention (Connor & Colarelli, 1998)

Types of Innovation

Generally there are two types of innovation; incremental and radical innovation. In this study we deal with radical innovation. A radical innovation is “a product, process or service with either unprecedented performance features or familiar features that offer significant improvements in performance or cost that transform existing markets or create new ones” (Assink, 2006). It can also be defined as an “innovation that breaks with traditions in the field”. They can also be labeled as radical, discontinuous, generational or breakthrough (Dahlin & Behrens, 2005), and also disruptive innovation (Tushman & Anderson, 1986). Radical innovations are essential and eminent for manufacturers/marketers because of their capabilities to bring new means of competitive advantage, on the other hand they are necessary for consumers as they are the main source of social and economic change in everyday lives (Garcia & Calantone, 2002). The adoption of radical innovations require much more commitment and entail higher expenditure and risks (including learning costs and psychological effort) than the adoption of incremental innovations (Heiskanen et al., 2007).


While looking for the definition of smartphones, we realized that there is no agreed-upon definition of Smartphone. Even, the definition of smart phone has changed over time (Jo B., 2006). The literature discusses several and somehow controversial definitions of Smartphone, however some commonalities can be found in the ways it has been defined.
Gartner, a renowned analyst house, defines « Smartphone » as « A large-screen, voice-centric handheld device designed to offer complete phone functions while simultaneously functioning as a personal digital assistant (PDA) » (Jo B., 2006).
Palm (a hand-held device manufacturer)‟ definition on Smartphone is “A portable device that combines a wireless phone, e-mail and Web access and an organizer into a single, integrated piece of hardware”, that represents radical innovation in the mobile phone industry (Mike, 2007). According to Yuan (2006), a smartphone, is any electronic handheld device that integrates the accessibility of a mobile phone, personal digital assistant, also called PDA, or other information device. Chang and Chen (2005) mentioned that smartphone devices have one common baseline characteristics: they all provide cell phone, E-Mail/Internet, and basic PDA functionality.
For this study, we define smartphones as a device that provides cell phone, E-Mail/Internet, PDA (personal digital assistant) functionality with full keyboard and relatively big screen. Considering this, we regard the following phones as Smartphones; the cell phone industry also recognizes these devices as Smartphones (CNET, 2009).

  • Nokia N-series (N70/N73/N78/N79/N80/N81/N82/ N85/N86/N91/N95/N96/N97)
  • Nokia E-series (E50/E51/E60/E61/E62/E63/E65/E66/E70/E71/E75/E90 Communicator)
  • Nokia Xpress-Music Series (5700/5730/5800, etc)
  • Nokia 6300/6500 Classic/ 6600/7610/7650/3250/3620/9290/9300/9500
  • Samsung Omnia/Saga/Epix/BlackJack/SPH-M520/SPH-i325/SGH-i718/SCH-i760
  • Samsung IP-830W/SCH-i830/SCH-i730/SP-i600/SPH-i700/SPH-i500/SPH-i300/I7500
  • Apple iPhone
  • HTC T-Mobile/Touch Diamond/Touch Cruise/S743/Touch Pro/Fuz
  • LG KS20
  • AT&T 2125/ 3125/8100/8125/8525
  • Palm Treo/Centro
  • RIM Blackberry Storm/Curve 8900/Curve 8330/Bold/Pearl Flip 8200, etc…

 Innovation Resistance

Innovation resistance is consumers’ reaction towards an innovation, either because it create potential changes from a satisfactory status quo or because it is in conflict with their belief structure (Ram & Sheth 1989).
One aspect of innovation resistance is; resistance due to changes imposed by innovation (e.g. changes in consumption or product) and is called resistance to change (Gatignon & Robertson, 1989). Zaltman and Duncan (1977 p. 63) defined this as “any conduct that serves to maintain the status quo in the face of pressure to alter the status quo”. Resistance to change is a natural response of a human being to any changes that disturb the balance of living environment or firms’ actions (Watson, 1971; Zaltman & Duncan, 1977). As for innovation resistance, “it is not an innovation per se that people resist but the changes associated with it” (Ellen et al., 1991; Schein, 1985). This creates the postulation of pro-change bias, which means that every innovation is excellent and everyone must implement/adopt it, because success of innovation is inevitable (Dunphy & Herbig, 1995).
Innovation resistance has been called as one of the important critical success factors for the adoption of technological innovation (Leonard, 2004), and adoption has been portrayed as the result of overcoming resistance (Szmigin & Foxall, 1998). In another research, adoption and resistance are called as the two ends of a continuum of reaction towards innovation (Lapointe et al., 2002). Ram and Sheth (1989) discovered that, the causes of innovation resistance stem from one or more of the adoption barriers. These barriers are usage, value, risk, image, and traditional barriers. The usage barrier comes when the innovation is not compatible with consumers’ existing workflow, practices, or habits. The value barrier is based on the economic value of an innovation that the innovation does not offer strong performance-to-price compared to its alternative products. Risk barrier is the degree of potential risks an innovation may entail. Traditional barrier generally involve the changes an innovation may cause in daily routines, also it “a preference for existing, familiar products and behaviors over novel ones” (Arnould et al. 2004, p.722). The image barrier is associated with the innovations identity (from its origin) like the product category, brand, or the country of origin (Ram & Sheth 1989).
Different researchers have found that, even for successful new products, most of the time consumers respond in less than enthusiastic way (Gold, 1981; Brod, 1982; Murdock & Franz, 1983; Blackler & Brown, 1985; Salerno, 1985; O’Connor et al., 1990), this less enthusiasm is often termed as consumers’ resistance (Ellen & Bearden, 1991). Consumers‟ resistance plays an important role in the success of innovation, as it can certainly inhibit or delay the consumer adoption, and has been termed as one of the major causes for market failure of innovations (e.g. Ram 1987, Ram & Sheth 1989, Sheth 1981)
Resistance leads consumers response towards three forms, it may take the form of direct rejection, postponement or opposition (Szmigin & Foxall, 1998, Mirella et al., 2009). Based on the studies of Mirella et al., (2009) and Szmigin & Foxall (1998), we can represent the concept of consumers’ resistance in the figure as Postponement occurs when consumers delay the adoption of an innovation. It simply “refers to pushing the adoption decision to future” (Kuisma et al., 2007). Even though the innovation may be acceptable to them, but usually it is caused by situational factors, like e.g. waiting for the right time, to become capable, or to make sure the product works effectively. Postponement may take the form of acceptance or rejection after a certain time period (Szmigin & Foxall, 1998).
Opposition refers to “protesting the innovation or searching for further information after the trial” (Kuisma et al., 2007, p. 464). It is a kind of rejection, but the consumer is willing to test/check the innovation before finally rejecting it. The causes of opposition vary and can be many, e.g. habit resistance, situational factors, and consumers’ cognitive style might direct them to reject innovations (Mirella et al., 2009). Most importantly, an opposition might lead the consumers to search for adequate information which can direct them to acceptance. On the other hand consumers might reject an innovation on the basis of existing awareness about the innovation when they understand that it is not suitable for them (Szmigin & Foxall, 1998).
Consumers may directly reject an innovation, which is the most extreme form of resistance (Mirella et al., 2009). When a mass of consumers reject an innovation, manufacturers usually change or iterate/modify it appropriately and then re-introduce it in the market. Rejection may occur if the innovation does not offer any valuable advantage, is complex or risky, etc (Szmigin & Foxall, 1998). Rejection can be of two types, passive and active rejection; where passive rejection occur when the innovation is never really adopted or implemented, and active rejection occur when the innovation has been considered but later rejected (Woodside Arch & Biemans Wim, 2005)

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Sheth Model

Sheth (1981) researched psychology of innovation resistance and proposed two psychological constructs, which has been termed very useful in understanding the psychology of innovation resistance. These psychological constructs are; habit/behavior towards existing products and perceived risks associated with innovation adoption.
Following this model, Ram (1987) discussed innovation resistance in more details and proposed a detailed model of innovation resistance

Ram’s Model

According to this model, innovation resistance can be viewed as dependent on three sets of factors; Perceived Innovation Characteristics, Consumers‟ Characteristics, and Characteristics of Propagation Mechanisms, where each set consists of detailed factors. Ram‟s model of innovation resistance is a useful tool for studying innovation resistance, and has been used most widely for assessing consumers‟ resistance to different innovations (Gatignon & Robertson 1991; Rogers 1995).
In 1994 two Korean scholars, Yu and Lee modified Ram‟s model of innovation resistance and have excluded the characteristics of propagation mechanisms claiming that “propagation mechanism” is a barrier to diffusion of innovation from a social perspective rather than source of innovation resistance.
Consumers’ characteristics (Im et al. 2003) (Szmigin & Foxall, 1998) (Goldsmith & Hofacker, 1991) and Innovation characteristics (Roger, 1995, Mohr, 2001) (Tornatzky Klein, 1982) have been termed as important in Ram‟s model of innovation resistance, affecting consumers‟ resistance (Yu & Lee 1994, Midgley & Dowling 1993) (Lassar et al., 2005, Lunsford Dale & Burnett Melissa, 1992).
In Ram‟s model of innovation resistance, the factors of innovation characteristics are; relative advantage, compatibility, perceived risk, complexity, and expectations for better products (which are raised by the problem of inhibitory effect on the adoption of other expected Innovations). On the other hand, the factors of consumers‟ characteristics are Perception, Motivation, Personality, Value orientation, Beliefs, Attitude, Previous Innovative Experience, Age, education, and income. All of these factors have different nature of affect on different products and industries, as there is no evidence that these factors are all applicable and have the same affects on different products.

Yu and Lee Model

Yu and Lee (1994) modified Ram‟s model of innovation resistance. They distinguished innovation barriers from innovation resistance. According to Yu and Lee, innovation characteristic and consumer characteristic in Ram‟s model generate consumer resistance to innovation. However, propagation mechanism does not generate consumer resistance to innovation but plays a role as a barrier in diffusion of innovation from a social perspective. They claimed that only innovation characteristics and consumer characteristics in Ram‟s model generate innovation resistance

1 Introduction 
1.1 Background
1.2 Problem discussion
1.3 Research questions
1.4 Purpose
1.5 Delimitations
2 Frame of reference 
2.1 Innovation
2.2 Smartphone
2.3 Innovation Resistance
2.4 Sheth Model
2.5 Ram’s Model
2.6 Yu and Lee Model
2.7 Technological Acceptance Model (TAM)
2.8 Related studies
2.9 Factors Affecting Consumers’ Resistance
2.10 Hypotheses formulation
2.11 Theoretical Model of Consumers Resistance to Smartphones
3 Method 
3.1 Research Philosophy
3.2 Research Approach
3.3 Research Method
3.4 Research Strategy
3.5 Data Collection
3.6 Sampling
3.7 Data Analysis and Tools
3.8 Statistical Methods
3.9 Trustworthiness of the Research
4 Empirical Findings
4.1 Preliminary Analysis
4.2 Descriptive Findings
5 Analysis 
5.1 Testing Hypotheses
5.2 Factors Inter-relationship (Correlation)
6 Conclusion 
6.1 Suggestions for further research
7 References 
8 Appendix

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