Coppers context, and conjoints: a reassessment of TAM

Harry Bouwman, Lidwien van de Wijngaert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the role and explanatory value of context-, task- and information-related characteristics vis-a-vis individual characteristics in relation with respect to the adoption of mobile technologies and applications. We combine insights from adoption and acceptance literature with media choice and task-technology fit theories. These insights are applied to a case in which police officers use mobile communication tools and information technologies. Officers were asked which mobile applications they preferred to use in specific situations (contexts) and for specific tasks. In a structural equation model focusing exclusively on individual TAM-related characteristics, such as perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use, as well as on a generic media fit concept, the explanatory value of these concepts turns out to be high. We extend our study, based on Ajzen and Madden (1986) by arguing that, in addition to personal characteristics, contextual characteristics, in combination with task-related characteristics, play an important role in people's preferences for specific technologies. Conjoint analysis focusing on contextual and task-related characteristics yields relevant insights. When context-related and individual characteristics are combined into a single hierarchical linear model, the significance of the concepts used in TAM turns out to be low, while context-related issues stand out. On the basis of our research, we conclude that TAM models are too generic to fully explain people's intention to use mobile technologies. Future research should aim at developing models that take contextual and task-related factors into account when studying mobile applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-201
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of information technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • IT diffusion and adoption
  • Mobile computing
  • IR-94686
  • questionnaire surveys
  • METIS-262219
  • user acceptance of IT


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