Social network influences on technology acceptance

A matter of tie strenght, centrality and density

Edit: this paper has been published and presented during the 23rd Bled eConference. The paper can be downloaded here.

During my master ‘Knowledge and Information Management‘ at the VU University, I attended the course ‘E-business and information management’.  Together with my team members Sophie Haverkamp and Fariha Mahmood, I wrote a scientific conceptual paper of the causal relation between social network characteristics and the technology acceptance. Since I think the developed model and underlying logic can be interesting for various persons, I will describe the papers key findings and propositions. The complete paper can maybe become published, so I cannot offer it completely yet.

Prompted by prior research to augment understanding of the social influence concept with the technology acceptance model (TAM), this study examines the social network influences on the individual technology acceptance. Since it is believed that individuals’ opinions and behavior are influenced by their network, an analysis of that network may help to provide some explanations on the technology acceptance. However, as social network characteristics are group-level characteristics and the TAM model is on the individual level, there is a need for a mediating variable that translates group-level characteristics into individual-level characteristics. This research will explain that this mediating variable is the subjective norm concept. The research proposes three social network characteristics (tie strength, density and centrality) and examines their influence on the subjective norm within a group. As a result, this research deepens the subjective norm antecedent by examining the social network influences on the concept, while eliminating the theoretical tension that can exist between models related to the individual level (TAM) or the group level (social network). Theoretical and managerial implications derived from the developed model are discussed.
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