Reactions to New Technologies in the Workplace: The Role of Gender
as a Psychological Construct
Venkatesh, M.G. Morris, T.A. Sykes, and P.L. Ackerman
Journal of Applied Social Psychology,
34, 2004, 445-467.
Recent research investigating gender differences has demonstrated that
women and men make technology adoption decisions very differently.
Specifically, using the theory of planned behavior, it has been
shown that women make “balanced” decisions in that
they are influenced by attitude, subjective norm, and perceived
behavioral control; in contrast, men are influenced only by attitude.
That research treated gender as a biological, dichotomous construct
that is typical of much research in this area. This paper extends
the line of inquiry by treating gender as a psychological construct
by employing Bem’s Sex Role Inventory (BSRI). Individual
reactions to the new technology and technology usage behavior were
studied over a twelve-month period among 552 employees being introduced
to a new computer-based system in the workplace. When considering
gender as a psychological construct, important distinctions were
revealed. Specifically, masculine sex-type individuals exhibited
the same pattern as men in the previous research; feminine sex-typed
individuals were different from women in that, they were influenced
only by subjective norm and perceived behavioral control. The “balanced” decision-making
process was observed only in the case of individuals categorized
as androgynous. The high percentage of women who tested to be androgynous
explains the divergence in results from the previous work, and
provides evidence of changing sex roles for women in today’s
organizations and society.
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