Motivation for Using Microcomputers

Motivation for Using Microcomputers

Donaldo de Souza Dias (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch431
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Information technology implementation is an intervention we make in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of a sociotechnical system. Using microcomputers to help individuals perform their jobs and tasks is one of the most important actions we take when implementing this technology effectively. Information systems effectiveness has been extensively studied using, mainly, user satisfaction and quality of information constructs to evaluate users’ acceptability (Iivari & Ervasti, 1994; Ives et al., 1983; Neumann & Segev, 1979). However, sometimes, the result of this intervention is not successful and may even generate difficulties related to people participation in the process. This leaves us with a question: What motivates individuals to use microcomputer technology in their daily activities? Theorists and empirical researchers have been trying to understand the relevant motivators for the implementation and use of computer technology based on the idea that people make an effort if an activity is enjoyable or offers external rewards (Igbaria et al., 1996; Schwartz, 1983). They have been aiming to find out how individuals feel motivated to work with computers, and what motivates them to use computers in their daily activities.
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Main Motivational Forces

Figure 1 shows the results for the relationships among perceived enjoyment, perceived ease of use, and perceived usefulness found in Dias (1998a). The author focused on the motivators perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and perceived enjoyment. The aim was to find out how Brazilian operations managers felt about using computer technology in their workplaces, how the perceived usefulness of computers is affected by ease of use and users’ enjoyment in working with them, and how to find opportunities to act according to this acquired knowledge, in order to increase the quality of microcomputer technology usage in organizations. In his study, the author emphasized the relationships among these perceived motivators for using microcomputer technology. The impact of the motivators on systems usage or microcomputer adoption was considered to be beyond the scope of his research.

Figure 1.

Relationships among enjoyment, ease of use, and usefulness


The path analysis model used was based on the natural precedence of intrinsic motivational factors over extrinsic motivational factors, as proposed by the Freudian theory of psychoanalysis (Freud, 1976).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Microcomputers Usefulness: The degree to which an individual believes that using a particular computer system would enhance his or her job performance.

Extrinsic Motivation: Motivation that derives from what you obtain from engaging in an activity. An example of extrinsic motivation for using microcomputers is using it because you think it is useful for your job.

Microcomputers Ease of Use: User perception on how simple and easy it is to understand and use microcomputers; degree to which an individual believes that using a particular computer system would be free of physical or mental effort.

Microcomputers Enjoyment: The extent to which the activity of using microcomputers is perceived as being enjoyable in its own right, apart from any performance consequences. It encompasses the feelings of joy, elation, or pleasure associated by an individual to a particular act.

Computer Self-Efficacy: A judgment of one’s capability to use a computer. It incorporates judgments of an individual on his or her skills to perform tasks using a microcomputer.

Computer Anxiety: Degree to which an individual is nervous in his or her interaction with computers; the uneasiness some people feel when they have to use a microcomputer. Anxiety results from a danger or a danger threat. As a feeling, it has a clearly unpleasant character.

Intrinsic Motivation: Motivation that derives from the activity itself. An example of intrinsic motivation for using microcomputers is using it because you enjoy it.

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