Non-Significant Intention–Behavior Effects in Educational Technology Acceptance: A Case of Competing Cognitive Scripts?

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Computers in Human Behavior

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Current technology acceptance research insufficiently considers complex educational settings. Recent research in educational technology acceptance has found weak or non-significant intention–behavior effects. To understand this finding, this paper presents a learning scripts approach to acceptance. A mixed methods approach is used to examine the intention–behavior effect in the context of informal learning in the workplace, focusing on the use of a virtual community of practice (vCoP) where participants share knowledge about the technical use of a software used in daily work tasks. Alternatively, users can access expert knowledge by contacting a Help Desk. As expected, the quantitative results show that the participants develop an intention to use the vCoP, however this intention has a limited effect on the actual vCoP use behavior. Qualitative results reveal that users have two cognitive scripts: an acceptance script, resulting in intention formation, and a help-seeking script, a well-established script in users which is leading them away from the technology and toward alternative help-seeking strategies. The help-seeking script is therefore interfering with the acceptance script, thus explaining weak or non-significant intention–behavior effects. Further research is needed to explore additional scripts that play a role in educational technology acceptance.