Management Information Systems Quarterly


Theoretical and empirical research in technology acceptance, while acknowledging the importance of individual beliefs about the compatibility of a technology, has produced equivocal results. This study focuses on further conceptual development of this important belief in technology acceptance. Unlike much prior research that has focused on only a limited aspect of compatibility, we provide a more comprehensive conceptual definition that disaggregates the content of compatibility into four distinct and separable constructs: compatibility with preferred work style, compatibility with existing work practices, compatibility with prior experience, and compatibility with values. We suggest that the form of the multidimensional compatibility construct is best modeled as a multivariate structural model. Based on their conceptual definitions, we develop operational measures for the four compatibility variables. We assess the nomological validity of our conceptualization by situating it within the technology acceptance model. In contrast to prior research, which has regarded beliefs of compatibility as an independent antecedent of technology acceptance outcomes, we posit causal linkages not only among the four compatibility beliefs, but also between compatibility beliefs and usefulness, and ease of use. We test our theoretical model with a field sample of 278 users of a customer relationship management system in the context of a large bank. Scale validation indicates that the operational measures of compatibility developed in this study have acceptable psychometric properties, which support the existence of four distinct constructs. Results largely support the theorized relationships.