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Abstract

In this paper, we examine how intrinsically motivated competence and autonomy (two basic psychological needs derived from self-determination theory) in concert with personal innovativeness in IT motivate individuals to try new information technologies. In a study with 202 participants we found 1) competence, operationalized as general computer self-efficacy (GCSE), and 2) autonomy, operationalized as desire for control over information technology (DCIT), to positively influence individuals’ intention to use new or unfamiliar technologies. Further, we hypothesize and find evidence of an interaction effect that suggests there may be a tradeoff between these constructs. That is, individuals may be inclined to use new technologies because they perceive themselves as having high levels of ability or because they have high levels of desire; they are either competence-driven or desire-driven users. Therefore, correctly identifying potential users into the appropriate user category and providing the necessary training or control mechanisms will likely increase an individual’s intention to try new and innovative IT products.

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