Venkatesh, V. and Zhang, X. “Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology: U.S. Vs. China,” Journal of Global Information Technology Management (13:1), 2010, 5-27.
This paper seeks to enrich our understanding of research on technology adoption by examining a potential boundary condition, related to culture, of the fairly recently developed model of technology adoption and use—i.e., unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT). Based on the cultural differences between the U.S. and China, we outline the similarities and dissimilarities between the hypotheses specified in the original UTAUT, which was validated in the U.S., and how the relationships will play in the context of employees in China. We conducted an empirical study in a single organization that operated both in the U.S. and China and collected longitudinal data from a total of over 300 employees in one business unit in each of the two countries. Our study confirmed our hypotheses that social influence will be more uniformly important across all employees, without contingencies related to gender, age and volunatariness that were found to be the case in the U.S. As we theorized, other UTAUT hypotheses held both in the U.S. and China. This work contributes by examining culture as a boundary condition and identifies the bounds of generalizability of UTAUT.