Technology adoption can be viewed as a decision process which may result in an individual’s acceptance and use of an innovation to achieve a specific goal (Rogers, 2003). In spite of the increasing number of information and communication technologies in all aspects of our lives, several issues related to mechanisms that govern the process of diffusion and adoption of an information and communication technology (Mustonen-Ollila & Lyytinen, 2003) have not been adequately explored. For example, despite the widespread diffusion of cell phones, there is little research investigating psychological factors influencing mobile phone use (Walsh & White, 2006). Further, most of these studies on information and communication technology (ICT) adoption focused on developing countries. However, several studies (e.g., Hofstede 1980; Keil et al., 2000; Srite & Karahanna, 2006) suggest that behavioral models do not universally hold across cultures, and so cultural differences between countries may impact the acceptance and use of an ICT. Thus at this point it is not clear if the results of studies on the adoption of cell phones in developing countries are appropriate for highly developed economies. In this study we explore issues related to the adoption of a collective use ICT, the cell phone, in a developed economy. We seek to explore the underlining factors that explain the adoption of the cell phones, especially as these technologies offer various innovative, valued-adding applications including mobile commerce and access to healthcare services. Specifically, we strive to provide answer to the following research question:
What are the impacts of specific external factors (i.e., mobility, facilitating conditions, social influence, technology characteristics, group characteristics) on the use of the cell phones?
Our objective is to understand the dynamics of the cell phones adoption and use as Ishii (2004) argued that the diffusion of mobile devices is driven by a better understanding users’ behavior. A good knowledge of the needs of the end-users will contributes to the formulation of strategies leading to successful practices. Our study strives towards this end. While adoption of cell phone, an interactive, collective-use ICT, differs from of other types of innovations (Markus, 1987; Mahler & Rogers, 2000), similarities may exist between the adoption process of cell phones and the Internet (Rice & Katz, 2003). Therefore it seems reasonable to expect that our research can generate new and interesting insights and to extend the current understanding of cell phone use and its various applications. As such, the results of our work have the potential to be of interest to researchers, cell phones service providers and even public policy makers.
Overview Of Research On Adoption Of The Cell Phone
Previous studies that aim to explain the cell phone adoption factors involve the integration of results and concepts from several disciplines (psychology, management, marketing, etc.) can be categorized into three main perspectives.