Investigating the Role of Attitude in the Adoption of Mobile Data Services: Extended Theory of Planned Behavior

Investigating the Role of Attitude in the Adoption of Mobile Data Services: Extended Theory of Planned Behavior

Peter Tobbin (Pentecost University College, Kaneshire, Accra, Ghana)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/ijesma.2014010102


The present study proposed an extended theory of planned behavior, which includes the attitude construct in its original multidimensional sub groups of cognitive, affective and intention. The author adopted the salient beliefs of Perceived Usefulness and Perceived Ease of Use from Technology Acceptance Model as the antecedents of the cognitive attitude; and Pleasure, and Arousal aspects of emotion as the antecedents of Affective attitude. The extended TPB model was empirically tested using a utilitarian (mobile money) mobile data services. The author analyzed the data using a Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) to evaluate the strength of the relationship between the constructs. The results indicate that the extended TPB provides a satisfactory explanation of the role of attitude in predicting the behavioral intentions of users of mobile data services.
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1. Introduction

The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion draws all things else to support and agree with it. (Francis Bacon, 1620)

Prior information systems studies have sought to explain and/or predict consumer behavior towards the acceptance of Mobile Data Services (MDS) by applying theories and models from social psychology, information systems and communication streams of research (Hong et al., 2006; Taylor & Todd, 1995). Notably among them are technology acceptance model (TAM), (Davis, 1989), theory of reasoned action (TRA) (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975), theory of planned behavior (TPB) (Ajzen, 1991). Central to these theories is the concept of attitude and its correlation to intentions and subsequent behavior. However, in a longitudinal study, Davis and his colleagues claimed that the role of attitude in mediating the relationship between belief and behavior is extremely limited and in some cases non-existent (Davis et al., 1989; Venkatesh & Davis, 2000). Furthermore, in a comparison of the three theories, TAM, TPB and decomposed TPB, (Taylor & Todd, 1995) concluded that attitude is not significant in predicting consumer behavior. This has led to a reduced attention to the attitude construct in the explanation and prediction of consumer acceptance of MDSs and information systems in general. Meanwhile, a recent study by Hong et al. (2008) in predicting the continual usage of MDS concluded that attitude is the most critical factor that influences consumers’ intention towards all MDS services.

Such inconsistency in the role of attitude could be attributed to the context of the studies and/or the operationalization of the attitude construct. Whereas the main focus of Davis et al. (1989), Hong et al. (2006) and Venkatesh (2000) studies were confined to understanding employee adoption process within organizational settings where task performance is paramount, MDSs are mainly for satisfying personal needs and gratifications. They therefore maintained attitude as a one-dimensional construct which is largely determined by cognitive processes with affect mediating the effect of cognitive attitude on intentions. However, to understand the relationship between attitude and behavior better, a number of researchers in social psychology have argued that the tripartite dimensions of attitude (affective, cognitive and conative) must be considered (Millar & Tesser, 1986; Petty et al., 1998; Triandis, 1977). Furthermore, in a more recent study, Yang and Yoo (2004) concluded that understanding and prediction of consumer behavior can be enhanced by distinguishing the affective and cognitive dimensions of attitude. Thus, a further theoretical discourse and empirical analysis is needed to establish the exact role of attitude in explaining and predicting consumer’s intentions towards MDS use.

The objective of the present study is to investigate the role of attitude in predicting user behavior towards the use of mobile data services, and proposes a framework based on an extension of the theory of planned behavior. Thus, the research question that this study seeks to answer is to what extent does the use of multidimensional attitude construct provides an increased predictability and explanation of consumers’ intention toward mobile data services? To answer this question, the present study extends the attitude construct into its sub components of affective attitude and cognitive attitude, and applied them to the acceptance of mobile money services in Ghana using a survey instrument. The choice of the phenomenon of interest, and the sample from Ghana was informed by the inadequate application of such theories in the developing world, and an interest in the consumer's initial adoption process.

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