Development of an Instrument to Measure the Perceptions of Adopting an Information Technology Innovation
This paper reports on the development of an instrument designed to measure the various perceptions that an individual may have of adopting an information technology (IT) innovation. This instrument is intended to be a tool for the study of the initial adoption and eventual diffusion of IT innovations within organizations. While the adoption of information technologies by individuals and organizations has been an area of substantial research interest since the early days of computerization, research efforts to date have led to mixed and inconclusive outcomes. The lack of a theoretical foundation for such research and inadequate definition and measurement of constructs have been identified as major causes for such outcomes. In a recent study examining the diffusion of new end-user IT, we decided to focus on measuring the potential adopters' perceptions of the technology. Measuring such perceptions has been termed a “classic issue” in the innovation diffusion literature, and a key to integrating the various findings of diffusion research. The perceptions of adopting were initially based on the five characteristics of innovations derived by Rogers (1983) from the diffusion of innovations literature, plus two developed specifically within this study. Of the existing scales for measuring these characteristics, very few had the requisite levels of validity and reliability. For this study, both newly created and existing items were placed in a common pool and subjected to four rounds of sorting by judges to establish which items should be in the various scales. The objective was to verify the convergent and discriminant validity of the scales by examining how the items were sorted into various construct categories. Analysis of inter-judge agreement about item placement identified both bad items as well as weaknesses in some of the constructs' original definitions. These were subsequently redefined. Scales for the resulting constructs were subjected to three separate field tests. Following the final test, the scales all demonstrated acceptable levels of reliability. Their validity was further checked using factor analysis, as well as conducting discriminant analysis comparing responses between adopters and nonadopters of the innovation. The result is a parsimonious, 38-item instrument comprising eight scales which provides a useful tool for the study of the initial adoption and diffusion of innovations. A short, 25 item, version of the instrument is also suggested.