اثر آموزش در پذیرش حسابرس از یک سیستم کار الکترونیکی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|22117||2003||24 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Accounting Information Systems, Volume 4, Issue 4, December 2003, Pages 227–250
This article investigates the effect of training on user acceptance of an electronic audit–workpaper system. Electronic work systems are implemented by organizations to reduce storage costs, facilitate communication, and improve efficiency and effectiveness. However, these goals may not be achieved because users who resist the system may try to duplicate tasks using paper methods, bypass the system, etc. Because training is an intervention under the control of management, study of factors that affect the success of training in improving knowledge workers' acceptance of new work systems is clearly important. The purpose of this article is to study the role of users' perceptions of their task and computer self-efficacy on their perceptions of system quality and their intention to use the system as intended by developers and to investigate whether training-related shifts in self-perceptions are associated with improvement in system acceptance. We investigate these issues using data on 289 senior/staff auditors (workpaper preparers) and 142 manager/partner auditors (workpaper reviewers) who undertook intensive system-specific firm-sponsored training. We find that training is associated with shifts in preparers' perceptions of their task and computer self-efficacy, but that reviewers' self-perceptions did not change on average. For both groups, increases in computer self-efficacy are positively associated with shifts in system ease of use perceptions, and increases in preparers' task self-efficacy are also positively associated with shifts in their ease of use perceptions. These results imply that an important mechanism through which training improves system acceptance is through its effect on users' views of both their task and computer self-efficacy.
This article studies the effect of training on professional users' acceptance of a highly complex work system. Particularly, we examine the role of users' perceptions of computer and task self-efficacy in the improvement of system acceptance associated with training. The general topic of training in complex work systems is important due to the considerable resources invested by businesses in developing and maintaining these systems. Training can be more effectively designed and targeted to particular user groups if the mechanisms of user acceptance are better understood (e.g., Venkatesh and Davis, 1996). However, research documenting training-associated improvement in system acceptance is relatively rare, and studies that do examine training often use simple technologies and/or student subjects. Therefore, extending findings from such settings into the domain of knowledge workers performing their professional roles is an important extension of existing literature. Our particular focus on the role of user self-perceptions is also important because to improve training, it is vital to understand factors that affect users' positive or negative views of the systems on which they are being trained. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) (e.g., Davis, 1989) is a well-recognized theoretical basis for studying user acceptance. TAM proposes that users' perceptions of system ease of use and usefulness influence the likelihood that users will quickly and efficiently adopt new technologies.1 Recently, researchers have explored personal and situational factors that influence user perceptions. One such factor is the user's perception of his/her computer self-efficacy, i.e., proficiency at using technology Igbaria and Iivari, 1995, Compeau and Higgins, 1995, Venkatesh and Davis, 1996 and Venkatesh, 2000. While user perceptions of computer self-efficacy have been shown to be important in their system perceptions, knowledge workers need both computer and task proficiency to apply a workplace system efficiently and effectively in performing their jobs. Thus, their perceptions of self-efficacy related to both the computer technology and the underlying task are likely to affect their perceptions about the system and their intentions to use it as intended by the system developers. We first examine the role of computer and task self-efficacy perceptions using TAM, and then test the extent to which shifts in these perceptions associated with training are related to shifts in perceptions about the ease of use and usefulness of the system. Exploring the impact of training on perceptions will aid organizations in designing training interventions targeted toward improving users' computer and task self-efficacy, and ultimately toward increasing user acceptance of new systems. We study these issues in the context of an electronic audit workpaper system, newly implemented by an international audit firm in its U.S. practice.2 Prior studies of technology acceptance have called for more research on technologies implemented in professional contexts, particularly those used by knowledge workers (e.g., Hu et al., 1999). In these systems, employees' job tasks are often so tightly integrated with the tasks of other employees that they have to use the system in some form to complete their tasks. Therefore, employees no longer have a choice regarding use of the system—use is mandated. Because most research on users' intentions to adopt new information technologies was conducted in environments in which usage is voluntary Davis, 1989, Davis, 1993, Hartwick and Barki, 1994, Jackson et al., 1997 and Venkatesh and Davis, 2000, the question arises as to whether findings of those studies are generalizable to mandatory systems. Specifically, Brown et al. (2002) note that while results from prior studies provide consistent support for relationships among perceptions, attitudes, behavioral intention, and usage, it is unclear whether these relationships will hold when behavior is mandatory. Because the more important business systems are in fact mandatory, it is important to extend study of user behavior into these environments. The implementation of the electronic audit workpaper system that we study is an example of a “paperless office,” i.e., a comprehensive electronic work system whose goal is to supplant paper as the medium of knowledge documentation and exchange. Organizations are increasingly implementing such systems in order to reduce storage costs, facilitate communication, and improve efficiency (e.g., Sellen and Harper, 2002). While these electronic work systems are usually mandatory, they can be met with resistance. People accustomed to using paper work systems often try to adapt a mandatory electronic system to their preferred ways of working, attempt to work around the electronic system, leave the organization, sabotage the system, and/or lobby to dismantle it Markus, 1983, Leonard-Barton, 1988, Hartwick and Barki, 1994, Chau, 1996a, Anderson, 1997, Chin et al., 1997, Griffith, 1999 and Sellen and Harper, 2002. User resistance to mandatory systems imposed by employers has clear short-term efficiency and effectiveness consequences to organizations and potentially has long-term consequences as well. Thus, it is important to provide theory-based investigations of user behavior in mandatory system contexts. To conduct the study, we measured system perceptions and intentions, and self-efficacy perceptions, before and after intensive, hands-on training sessions performed by system developers. Because auditors perform two basic roles within the system (a workpaper construction function performed by seniors and staff and a workpaper review function performed by managers and partners), we prepared research instruments specific to each role.3 This study has several findings. First, prior to training, workpaper preparers had relatively higher computer self-efficacy, but relatively lower task self-efficacy than workpaper reviewers. Second, we find that both self-efficacy perceptions positively affect ease of use perceptions for both groups prior to training, but this effect does not extend to perceived system usefulness. Third, we show that as a group, preparers' self-efficacy perceptions (both computer and task) shifted during training, but those of reviewers did not. Fourth, we find that shifts in computer self-efficacy during training are positively associated with shifts in perceived ease of use for both groups. For task self-efficacy, this association is found only for preparers. Taken together, our results imply that in a setting in which training is successful at shifting system perceptions, one mechanism through which that effect occurs is by affecting an individual's belief that she/he possesses the proficiencies necessary to perform the task well. This finding is stronger for less experienced workers using the system to perform a file construction task, than for more experienced workers performing a file review task. Presumably, the self-perceptions of more senior individuals are less subject to change through external intervention. The implications of our findings and their relationship to prior research are discussed further in the concluding section of the article.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this article, we examine effects of training on user acceptance of a new electronic audit–workpaper system at a major international audit firm. Prior to discussing our results, it is interesting to consider issues surrounding the application of a “user acceptance” model, such as TAM, into a mandatory system context. Some contend that in mandatory environments traditional nations of system use are not appropriate as a dependent variable (DeLone and McLean, 1992). This contention raises the question, why study intention to use systems in environments where there are not alternatives to system use? Prior research on the topic of user resistance notes that even when system use is mandated, several behaviors can result that impact efficient and effective operations, thus reducing returns to the system investment. For instance, users can bypass the new system by informally switching to the former system while performing work tasks (Chau, 1996a), duplicate task performance under both old and new systems (Sellen and Harper, 2002), or not use the system as intended (Hartwick and Barki, 1994). They can underutilize the system or even attempt sabotage of the system Markus, 1983 and Leonard-Barton, 1988. Thus, study of user acceptance of mandatory work systems is of practical as well as theoretical value. In this study, we examine factors associated with the auditors' intention to apply the system in the manner envisioned by the firm. While lower intention scores imply greater potential resistance to the system, further research investigating the linkages of behavioral intention to various forms of user resistance, and the effectiveness of means of addressing them, would be timely and interesting. Our first set of findings relates to pretraining associations among user perceptions and intentions to use the system, which provides a backdrop for our subsequent discussion of training effects. While a number of studies have examined basic TAM relationships, this study has several specific results that add to the literature on system acceptance. One of these findings relates to the question of whether perceived ease of use directly affects user intentions or acts only through its effect on perceived system usefulness. This issue is important because prior research implies that the effective functionality of a system is impacted by its perceived usability (Goodwin, 1987). Thus, the less effort required to use a system, the more using it can increase performance (Venkatesh and Davis, 2000). We find a direct effect for perceived ease of use for preparers, but not for reviewers. One possible explanation for this difference is the nature of the task performed by the two groups: preparers have a more detail-oriented construction task, while reviewers have a more conceptually oriented review task (Rich et al., 1997). If the workpapers are properly constructed, the extent of reviewers' effort in interacting with the system is less than that of preparers. Thus, preparers' intentions may be more directly driven by ease of use, whereas for higher level workers performing the review function, the dominant perception is system usefulness (see also Hu et al., 1999). Further insight into differences between preparers and reviewers on the basic TAM relationships is obtained by comparing our results for this mandatory system to those of prior studies performed primarily in voluntary environments. Specifically, the greater importance of system usefulness, found for reviewers, more closely follows associations found in voluntary environments (i.e. that the association of usefulness to intentions is stronger). These findings suggest that preparers may perceive that system usage is not a choice, whereas the reviewers may perceive that full use of the system is a choice. Regardless of the explanation, from a practical perspective, these results imply that to be effective some aspects of training should be customized. Also at the pretraining stage, we find variability in the association of CSE and TSE with system perceptions. Common to both groups are positive associations of CSE and TSE with PEOU. In contrast, the preparer model shows that before training, individuals with lower TSE consider the system more useful than those with higher TSE. This suggests that before training, lower proficiency preparers may have considered the system as a means of boosting performance, whereas higher proficiency users considered that the system would not add significantly to their achievement level (Radecki and Jaccard, 1995). The next set of findings relates to shifts in self and system perceptions during training. Prior studies of technology acceptance are inconsistent in finding that training influences system perceptions. However, studies not finding a training effect have tended to include training as part of a construct containing other support mechanisms. Our study, as well as others that have measured training separately (e.g., Igbaria et al., 1997 and Agarwal and Prasad, 1999), does show that training improves user perceptions. Even among studies finding that training affects users' perceptions, however, prior research differs on whether the primary effect is on PEOU or usefulness perceptions. Consistent with Igbaria and Iivari (1995), we find that system perceptions improve for both groups, with the exception of PSU for preparers, which was already very high prior to training. However, our finding that PEOU perceptions increase, but that PSU does not, is inconsistent with other studies that found a direct effect of training on PSU, but not on PEOU (e.g., Igbaria et al., 1997 and Agarwal and Prasad, 1999). Given the inconsistent findings of research on this issue, it may be that the particular perception most affected is due to characteristics of the system or the training. In this study, the content of training addressed both perceived ease of use and usefulness. Because prior research indicates that training is most useful in the early stages of users' experience with the system (e.g., Venkatesh, 1999) and that perceptions of ease of use are strongly anchored to perceptions of self-efficacy (Venkatesh and Davis, 1996), future research needs to further explore the long-term effects of training on users' perceptions and usage. In addition, we observe shifts in auditors' self-efficacy perceptions during training. Limited prior research within and outside the technology acceptance area shows that training can increase people's perceptions of their ability to perform tasks. Interestingly, we find that preparers' TSE perceptions increase with training, while their CSE perceptions decrease. Based on the relatively higher means of computer versus task self-efficacy prior to training, we infer that some preparers may have revised their assessment of their own computer skills downward after learning the requirements of the task and observing others performing during training. In contrast, reviewers approached training with relatively higher TSE and lower CSE (both consistent with their greater professional experience), and as a group their self-perceptions did not change over the training period. Because this is the first study that explores the relationship between training and TSE, and because prior research finds significant interactions with task complexity and training method (Bolt et al., 2001), future research should investigate this relationship with users of even more complex systems. For instance, Enterprise Resource Planning systems are highly complex due to their scope and integration across many business processes. Thus, task self-efficacy may be even more important in that context because of the range of new skills that must be acquired to utilize these systems. Our final set of findings relates the shifts in self-efficacy perceptions to shifts in perceptions of the electronic work system. For preparers, we find a strong positive association between shifts in both TSE and CSE and PEOU and through PEOU to PSU. For reviewers, we find that as CSE improves, PEOU and (indirectly) PSU also improve. As noted above, there was little change in reviewers' self-perceptions during training, which implies that improving system acceptance by improving users' perceptions of their proficiency, as suggested by Venkatesh and Davis (1996), may be less useful among high-level knowledge professionals. While a natural extension of this result is that further training should be directed toward these individuals, prior research suggests these individuals may resist further training or may not profit from it (e.g., Warr and Bunce, 1995 and Brown, 2001). Therefore, an important consideration for both practice and research involves investigating other avenues for improving system acceptance for these individuals. For example, training combined with strong incentives for use (or strong disincentives for nonuse) of systems might aid in affecting behavior of these individuals.