Technology Acceptance Model

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Methodology & Method

In this chapter, the authors describe the philosophical standpoint that was adopted in this thesis, argue for the methodological choices and explain the data collection method. The chapter closes with an description of the used analysis techniques and a discussion regarding the credibility of the findings.

 Research Philosophy

The research onion, which was developed by Saunders, Lewis, and Thornhill (2009) describes important parts of the research methodology. Each layer of the onion covers different stages of the research process. The research philosophy, which describes how the researcher sees the world (Saunders et al., 2009), is the first layer of the research onion. It underpins the research strategy and consequently the methods that are chosen as part of the strategy (Saunders et al., 2009). According to Johnson and Clark (2006), it is necessary for researchers to be aware of the philosophical commitments which are made in the course of a research project, since they impact how the investigated issue is understood as well as approached.
The research philosophy is commonly divided into positivism, realism, interpretivism, and pragmatism (Saunders et al., 2009). According to Blumberg, Cooper, and Schindler (2011), an underlying assumption of positivism is that the social world exists externally and is viewed objectively. No outside values are added to the research and the researcher is taking on the role of an objective analyst. This implies that researchers studying the same topic should define the same variables when explaining a phenomenon. Therefore, the research starts with theorized causalities that are tested and explained, while possible alternative explanations are not taken into consideration (Blumberg et al., 2011). The positivistic approach assumes that the social world consists of simple elements from which objective conclusions can be drawn. This calls for quantitative data that can be measured by following a set of rules in order to reach these conclusions (Blumberg et al., 2011). On the other end of the scale is the interpretivist approach. Since it is most often used in qualitative and explorative studies it will not be discussed here (Saunders et al., 2009).
Realism shares the belief with positivism that natural and social science can apply the same approach to data collection and its interpretation (Bryman & Bell, 2007). It also contains influences from the interpretivist point of view, where realism acknowledges the fact that there are social processes at the macro level that influence human beliefs and behaviours. Realism also postulates that in order to obtain a full understanding, the researchers must take people’s subjective interpretations into account, compared to positivism, which takes an objective stance toward reality. In order to get the full understanding, realism incorporates subjective interpretations while accepting that these are not unique, since they are affected by the same macro environment. Realism then requires an understanding of both the general environment and how people subjectively interpret it (Blumberg et al., 2011).
Various scholars criticized the application of the natural science approach to social phenomena (Saunders et al., 2009). However Bryman & Bell (2007) argue that if the focus of a study is of a positivist nature, the research philosophy underpins the research rather than realism. The researchers wanted to endorse the ideas of realism where understanding of both macro forces in the surrounding environment that affect everyone, and the human’s subjective interpretation is needed. However, the scope of this research study solely focused on the objective point of view, while still agreeing to some extent that it does not provide the full picture. Therefore, the authors argue for a use of a positivistic approach flavoured by critical realism, which is a branch of realism that accepts the gap between the researcher’s perception of reality and the true but still unknown reality (Blumberg et al., 2011).

Research Approach

According to Easterby-Smith, Thorpe & Jacksson, (2008) it is important to adopt the right research approach since it influences the research design as well as the research strategy. The most suitable research approach helps to overcome constraints within the research design. After choosing a suitable research philosophy, it is important to decide how theory will be involved in the research project. Either researchers follow a deductive approach by using existing theory to develop hypotheses which are tested afterwards within the framework of an appropriate research strategy, or an inductive approach, where theory is developed based on the analysis of collected data (Saunders et al., 2009). The research approach then needs to be linked to the previously chosen research philosophy.
Deduction describes what one would mostly think of “scientific research” (Saunders et al., 2009, p. 125), involving the development of theory that is tested subsequently to investigate and explain causal relationships between variables. An important characteristic of the deductive approach is the testing of hypotheses. Gill & Johnson (2002) state that highly structured methodology should be used to facilitate replication in order to ensure reliability. According to Saunders et al., (2009), concepts within the deductive approach need to be operationalized in order to be able to measure facts quantitatively, and a sufficient sample has to be selected in order to generalize the results. Induction is an approach that is widely used in social sciences, including the development and formulation of theory (Saunders et al., 2009). It offers the possibility to examine a link between specific variables without prior knowledge about the way individuals interpret their social surroundings (Saunders et al., 2009). Research that adopted the inductive approach is therefore often concerned with the context in which events take place. Since there is substantial literature about the TPB as well as the TAM from which hypotheses as well as a theoretical framework can be defined, the authors decided to use a deductive approach.

Research Purpose

The research purpose can be either exploratory or conclusive in its nature. The purpose of the study influences how it is conducted and what methods are being used (Malhotra, Birks & Wills, 2012). Adams & Schvaneveld (1991) compare exploratory research to activities of the traveller or explorer, with the advantage that it can be adapted and changed, similar to the goal or route of a traveller which often changes along the journey. Saunders et al., (2009) point out the importance to keep this flexibility and willingness to change the direction of the research resulting from new data that appears in the course of a project. Adams & Schvaneveldt (1991) emphasize that this flexibility does not mean that the direction has to be changed, but that the focus, which is initially broad, becomes narrower in the course of the research process. It is desirable to understand a phenomenon as closely as possible. The case of a topic that cannot be measured in a structured way calls for an exploratory study. This is often the first step of research when entering a new field and little is known about the topic. Exploratory studies can then be used to develop hypotheses or define variables as dependent or independent. This can then be followed by descriptive or causal research to explore the problem further (Malhotra et al., 2012).
Conclusive research can take different directions, which are explained in this section. Descriptive studies provide a full and correct picture of a selected issue or social phenomenon (Saunders et al., 2009). Descriptive studies rarely offer a satisfactory explanatory level since questions like “why?“ and “how?“ cannot be answered. Therefore, researchers must adopt an explanatory approach to study an issue in more depth (Blumberg et al., 2011). Explanatory research aims to examine the causal relationships of dependent and independent variables that have been conceptualized based on existing theory (Saunders et al., 2009). This is done by collecting quantitative data and running statistical tests. Causal Research can be similar to explanatory research and is a form of conclusive research. It is commonly used to test hypotheses, often in form of experiments, to understand and obtain evidence about the cause and effect relationship between independent and dependent variables (Malhotra & Birks. 2012).
The models used in this thesis, TPB and TAM, have been used extensively in previous research and a large array of hypotheses have been developed and tested in the past (c.f. chapter 2). The limited amount of studies that have been executed in the case of Uber do not change the fact that clear hypotheses can be theorized and tested. The purpose of this research study, to test and interpret the role that the various factors of the integrated model of TPB and TAM play regarding the intention to use the Uber services, call for a conclusive approach that can either take the direction of a descriptive or explanatory study. In this paper, the authors aimed to go beyond the description of the problem and explain how the underlying factors influence the dependent variable. To test causalities, more sophisticate methods would be required, which would go beyond the scope of this thesis, since outside factors cannot be completely excluded as possible causes for the relationships between the dependent and independent variables. The present research aims to investigate the relationships within the model on an explanatory level.

Research Design

There are two major types of research, quantitative and qualitative (Malhotra et al., 2012). Qualitative research is used to interpret how social actors understand their reality and quantitative research is used to interpret data with numbers rather than words. The collection of qualitative data usually starts with general research questions and aims at an in depth analysis of a social phenomenon. Qualitative data is more commonly associated with inductive or abductive reasoning styles, where changes in theory and well defined research questions can be developed after the empirical data is gathered (Bryman & Bell, 2007). The quantitative research design follows a linear process and is commonly associated with the positivistic research philosophy and the natural sciences (Saunders et al., 2009). It is the most prominent research design within business research where results are favourably presented in numbers with an objective perception of reality (Bryman & Bell, 2007). When conducting quantitative research, it is often desirable to investigate causal relationships to describe issues and investigate the reason behind. It is also crucial for quantitative data to be generalizable and replicable (Bryman & Bell, 2007). Even though quantitative research design has been criticised for not recognizing the difference between natural science and the social world (Bryman & Bell, 2007), the authors of this thesis chose to use this approach in this study. The main reason behind this decision is the ability to obtain a high degree of precision and accuracy in the results, and to fulfill the purpose of investigate the intention of Swedish gen Y consumers to use the Uber services. The TPB and TAM have been used by scholars in numerous quantitative studies for attitude and behavioural research within different industries, in which the credibility of the established constructs have been proven. Examples include internet services (Hsu & Chiu, 2004; Kim, 2010; Mathieson, 1991; Shih & Fang, 2004) and medical services (Giles, Mcclenahan, Cairns, & Mallet, 2004; Godin & Kok, 1996; Kakoko, Åstrøm, Lugoe, & Lie, 2006) among others, leading to the conclusion that the constructs of the two models are applicable within the service industry.


Research Strategy

After choosing an appropriate research design, it is necessary to employ the most feasible research strategy. According to Yin (2003), all different research strategies can be used for exploratory, descriptive, and explanatory research. Saunders et al., (2009) state that “no research strategy is inherently superior or inferior to any other” (p. 141). According to Saunders et al., (2009), the most important factor is that the research strategy enables the researcher to meet the research objectives as well as answer the research question. Besides the research questions and objectives, the choice of the research strategy depends on factors like existing knowledge and time, and other resources like manpower and money (Saunders et al., 2009). The different types of research strategies are not mutually exclusive and can be combined within a research project. Common research strategies according to Saunders et al., (2009) are: Experiment, Survey, Case Study, Action Research, Grounded Theory, Ethnography, and Archival Research.
In the framework of a deductive approach, the survey strategy is often used among scholars. Surveys are a common and popular method among researchers since they are cost effective as well as easy to conduct and analyse with statistical tools. Furthermore, they offer the possibility to collect a large amount of data which can be compared easily. The survey method enables researchers to draw conclusions which are representative of a whole population by analysing an appropriate sample group, resulting in significant cost and time savings. When conducting a survey, it is important to ensure that the sample is representative and to conduct a pilot test to make sure the respondents understand the questions as intended. An important advantage of the survey method is that once the data is collected, the researcher is independent of others, which is critical in order to stay within the anticipated time frame (Saunders et al., 2009). Besides questionnaires, structured observations as well as structured interviews are also part of the survey strategy. The researchers decided to adopt the survey strategy due to the short time frame in which the thesis is written as well as constraints including limited financial resources and manpower. Furthermore, due to the large population of the research study, the survey strategy offers a suitable basis to gather large amount of data. Another advantage of the survey strategy within this research project is that the collected data can be analysed quickly. Due to the extended existing literature and resulting hypotheses, the survey method was the most suitable strategy for this research project.

Data Collection Method

The following section provides a detailed description of the data collection

Primary Data

Primary data is described as data that is collected specifically to execute a research study (Saunders et al., 2009). Online questionnaires have been used to collect the empirical data for the present research study. Compared to traditional mail questionnaires, there are clear benefits of online questionnaires, like high speed, low cost, and that the data can be easily transferred into data processing softwares such as SPSS (Malhotra et al., 2012). Due to the limited time frame of this research project, speed was an important factor in order to properly analyse and interpret the data. Furthermore, the researchers had a limited budget; therefore, using the free online tool Qualtrics, which was provided by the university, was the most suitable option. The problem of individuals within the sample lacking access to the internet was overlooked, since it could be assumed that the population relevant to the case of Uber are also users of the internet, as it is a requirement for using the services. The high technology affinity of gen Y (Noble et al., 2009), together with that fact that the Uber services are based on a technology themselves (mobile application), supports the use of electronic data collection to a further extent.

Secondary Data

According to Saunders et al., (2009), secondary data consists of journals, books and newspapers as well as dictionaries and encyclopedias. Most of the secondary data for this thesis was collected through a review of relevant literature regarding the theoretical models used. Literature regarding the TPB and TAM as well as gen Y was collected almost exclusively from published journals, while the sharing economy as a complex and new field offered limited existing literature, why additional online sources were used to gain a full understanding of the concept. The information for the background and introductory parts regarding Uber were mainly obtained via web sources and newspaper articles. The authors used dictionaries to increase the understanding of specific factors and concepts for the reader. The secondary data was mainly retrieved from Jönköping University’s own library search engine, Primo (Högskolebiblioteket, 2016), as well as Google Scholar (Google Scholar, 2016), using the following search terms: Theory of Planned Behaviour Ridesharing / Technology Acceptance Model / TPB / TAM / Uber / Mobile taxi / Ride Sharing Service / Diffusion of Innovation / Sharing Economy / Behavioural Intention / Generation Y / Generations / Uber competitors / Millennials / Global Generation / Attitudes / Uber Services / Uber banned / Digital Natives / Theory of Reasoned Action / Information Technology Usage / Technological Innovations / Generation Y car usage / Mobile Application Technology use. In addition, references in academic articles were used to find sources and further expand the various theoretical parts of this thesis.

Questionnaire Design

The quality of the data gathered with a questionnaire depends significantly on the structure of the questionnaire, the design of the questions, as well as the thoroughness of the pilot testing (Saunders et al., 2009). The researchers undertook several steps in order to achieve high qualitative results, including the analysis of relevant literature and established questionnaires, pilot testing, and consultation with handpicked third parties that supported the development process.
Francis et al., (2004) developed a step by step guide about the construction of a TPB questionnaire which was partly adopted by the authors. Since the TPB consists of psychological belief constructs, it offers the opportunity to include individuals in the sample that did not yet use the Uber services, as they still have an attitude or perception toward the use of the Uber services. Firstly, the authors defined the population as all gen Y members in Sweden that are aware of the services of Uber. The TACT principle (Target, Action, Context and Time) by Francis et al., (2004) was then adopted to define the behaviour under consideration. In this case, Target was set to be the the potential users of the Uber services among gen Y in Sweden, the Action was the act of ordering an Uber, the Context was the situation when in need of a mode of transport and Uber is one of the available options, and Time was defined as the next moment when in need of a mode of transport where Uber is one of the available options. The next step was to identify significant factors which represent the constructs, for example “close friends” and “family” have been identified as significant factors within the construct of subjective norm.
According to Francis et al., (2004) measures for TPB can be either direct or indirect, but neither of them can be singularly regarded as sufficient. Therefore, the authors used both direct and indirect questioning within the questionnaire of the present study. The direct approach was designed to transmit immediate and clear results that could be interpreted without delay. The indirect questions aimed to verify the direct questions by asking about detailed and related information to draw conclusions. The combination of the two techniques offered insights in the psychological belief constructs of the research model (Francis et al., 2004). In addition to the framework of Francis et al., (2004), the authors used existing questionnaires containing TPB, (Promtosh & Sajedul, 2011; Jesse, 2015) TAM, (Delikan, 2010) and a combination of both models (Chen et al., 2007) as inspiration for the development of the questionnaire. Furthermore, valuable support was provided by the tutor of the thesis, fellow master students, and experienced university staff. The Swedish and English versions of the questionnaire can be found in Appendix 3, 4.

1. Introduction
1.1 Background
1.2 Research
2. Theoretical Frame of Reference 
2.1 Uber
2.2 Generation Y
2.3 Sharing Economy
2.4 Theory of Planned Behaviour
2.5 Technology Acceptance Model
2.6 Integrated Model of TPB & TAM
2.7 Hypotheses Development
3. Methodology & Method 
3.1 Research Philosophy
3.2 Research Approach
3.3 Research Purpose
3.4 Research Design
3.5 Research Strategy
3.6 Data Collection Method
3.7 Questionnaire Design
3.8 Sampling
3.9 Time Horizon
3.10 Analysis Techniques
3.11 Data Screening and Cleaning
3.12 Credibility of the Research Findings
3.13 Ethics in Research Design
4. Empirical Findings 
4.1 Response Rate
4.2 Reliability of the Instrument
4.3 Descriptive Statistics
4.4 Hypotheses Testing
4.5 Anova
5. Discussion 
5.1 Attitude towards the Behaviour
5.2 Perceived Ease of Use
5.3 Perceived Behavioural Control
5.4 Subjective Norm
5.5 Perceived Usefulness
5.6 Intention to use Uber
6. Conclusion 
6.1 Research Questions
6.2 Contribution
6.3 Implications
6.4 Limitations
6.5 Future Research
6.6 Ethical Considerations
want to take a ride with me ? the intention of generation y to use Uber

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