Beyond technology acceptance: understanding consumer practice

Steve Baron, Anthony Patterson, Kim Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)



– To critically examine the current definitions of key constructs of the technology acceptance model (TAM) in a consumer technology‐based service.


– Two qualitative research studies were undertaken that encouraged consumers to reflect upon their text message (short message service – SMS) behaviour.


– The research highlights the inadequacy of a concentration on simple acceptance of technology where technology is embedded in a consumer community of practice. The existence of counter‐intuitive behaviours, technology paradoxes and intense social and emotional elements in actual text message usage all point to the need for a review of the definition of the key TAM constructs.

Research limitations/implications

– There is a need to re‐examine the construct of use behaviour in the context of the practice of technology‐based services that owe much to consumer creativity. Theory development of the constructs of perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and perceived enjoyment should not be constrained by adherence to the existing (well developed) quantitative models of technology acceptance. There is a methodological potential of employing consumers as practical authors.

Practical implications

– Where there is evidence of counter‐intuitive consumer behaviour in the marketplace for technology‐based products or services, a study of practice, with a view to the subsequent derivation of adapted theory constitutes worthwhile research. This may be of special importance to cell phone operators promoting SMS to US consumers.


– The approach offers a method of complementing the dominant quantitative modelling research on technology acceptance. The findings are relevant to an era where consumer co‐creation of value is of increasing interest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-135
JournalInternational Journal of Service Industry Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2006


  • consumer research
  • communication technologies
  • consumer behaviour


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